The Watergate Hotel Debuts New Restaurant

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Watergate Hotel, the urban resort in the heart of the nation’s capital, has unveiled The Backroom at Kingbird Restaurant, a fine dining concept with thoughtfully designed three and four course tasting menus starting at $75, with options to suit diners’ varied preferences, in an intimate setting. Following the hotel’s reopening on June 14, 2016, after undergoing a $200 million renovation, the arrival of this new dining destination rounds out the property’s culinary offerings and promises to treat guests to memorable, gastronomic journeys.

Brought to life by The Watergate Hotel’s Executive Chef Michael Santoro, who brings more than ten years of hospitality experience to the table having opened two hotels and six restaurants in six countries, the epicurean destination boasts hyper-seasonal, rotating three course ($75) and four course ($95) menus inspired by modern French cuisine. Having worked in acclaimed Michelin Star restaurants including London’s The Fat Duck Duck and Mugaritz in Spain, as well as Andaz 5th Avenue in New York and D.C.’s Blue Duck Tavern, Chef Santoro felt inspired to create a one-of-a-kind dining experience at the property befitting the world’s most discerning travelers and Washingtonian’s alike.

“The Backroom at Kingbird gives us a fantastic opportunity to channel our creative energy and showcase innovative techniques, rare ingredients and incorporate interactive presentations to exceed our guests’ expectations and delight them with each course,” said Executive Chef Michael Santoro.

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The late Jean-Louis Palladin, the legendary chef of The Watergate Hotel’s namesake Jean-Louis Restaurant, served as a point of style and flavor inspiration for Santoro while developing the prix-fixe menus. In fact, there will occasionally be dishes added to the menu that pay direct homage to the culinary great. Each of the three and four course experiences, which include amuse-bouche, mignardise and petit fours, will change on a weekly basis and will be enhanced by optional wine pairings celebrating some of the world’s best-known regions. Further enhancements and supplements will be made available to guests to ensure guests can indulge in a truly extravagant, sensory dining experience.

Another key highlight to the experience provided at The Backroom at Kingbird will be tableside presentations, adding a level of theatrics to the meal, such as the Bouillabaisse with rouget, saffron scented jus and rouillee, which is presented in a vacuum pot. Filled with aromatics, the soup infuses vertically and condenses again to be poured in front of guests’ eyes. Smoke pots will also be used to dramatically bring pork bellies, lobsters, prawns and other delicacies to guests. Other signature items include John Dory, draped in caviar, quince and salsify, and Roasted Pheasant in Preparation, torte, with braised chestnuts, walnuts and huckleberry jus.

Nestled in the back of the property’s vibrant signature restaurant, the Backroom at Kingbird is separated from Kingbird Restaurant by custom red banquettes by Italian furniture company Moroso. Furthermore, the space is outfitted with The Watergate Chairs, designed exclusively for the hotel by acclaimed designer Ron Arad Architects to underscore the curvature of the building’s original architecture.

“By introducing The Backroom at Kingbird, we’ve completed our on-site culinary offerings and are confident that we now have something to curb any guest craving – whether it be a bar snack, a casual meal at Kingbird, room service or a multi-course tasting menu,” said Santoro.