Quarantine For Two
It’s a wild time to be in the restaurant business—especially if it opened during the COVID-19 pandemic. Operated by the former owners of State and Lemp, KIN has rolled out an upscale and hands-on way to enjoy dinner at home.
“People are super excited about it, and they’ve been having a great time dressing up and having date nights,” said Co-owner Remi McManus. “We’re trying to provide an experience that’s as close to being in the restaurant as possible.”
KIN’s new program is called KIN At Home. It’s a full three- to four-course tasting menu delivered to your home, complete with wine pairings and cocktails, all for $65—delivery and tip included. The restaurant delivers 50 meals a night on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from a rotating menu.
McManus said KIN accommodates any dietary restrictions people may have and offers vegetarian options. The restaurant also sends a PDF with instructions, a video link to customers showing them step by step how to plate the food and mix the cocktails, and a link to entertainment in the form of a song by Samantha Trulock.
“We are honing everything in week by week,” said McManus. “We don’t know how long it will be until people want to sit in a restaurant again and this gives people an opportunity to try us out, and we are having a blast.”
In the PDF the restaurant explains that it has done 90% of the cooking and left the remaining 10% up to home cooks. The idea of plating food KIN-style might seem daunting, but the included instructions are easy to follow, keeping the intimidation factor low. They also explain basic sanitation processes and the safety measures the restaurant takes regarding COVID-19.
The videos are full of extras and bits of information beyond just plating. Bar Manager John Straubhar doesn’t just show you how to make the cocktail, he also discusses the ingredients in it and how they find or make them in-house.
Mark Runsvold, the general manager, offers notes on the wine pairings with in-depth descriptions of where the wine comes from and how it pairs with the food, and Chef Kris Komori walks people through how to plate the food and throws in a lot of culinary tidbits. Pastry Chef Michelle Kwak finishes the videos with instructions on plating deserts.
“Anything we do we work hard on it and we’ll never start something we can’t always do,” said McManus. “We are putting the things in place to keep doing this and we’ll keep doing delivery in some form no matter what happens. People really seem to enjoy it.”