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Planet Z

Eric Ziebold opens Kinship and Métier, and DC cannot wait.

Eric Ziebold’s roasted chicken, which will appear on his opening menu, is prepared by making bread crumbs from a loaf of brioche and whipping up a panade with roasted garlic, lemon zest, butter, salt and pepper—the cavity of the 3-pound chicken is seasoned with salt, and the panade is piped under the skin.

Acclaimed chef Eric Ziebold is back. This month, he opens the 80-seat Kinship near Mount Vernon Square, and early in 2016, Métier—a 36-seat, tasting-menu-only spot for nights of luxe indulgences—will open on the lower level. While in full build-out mode, Ziebold took a little time to chat with us about his vision for the new spaces. 1015 Seventh St. NW

When did the idea of your own restaurant first take root?
[It evolved] over two years—and has to do with [my wife] Celia and I being together and what we look for when we go out to a special-occasion restaurant.

How is this restaurant the culmination of that mindset?
We are two restaurants instead of one. Foodies want to curate their own experiences. Others go out for special occasions and get dressed up. Now we will offer those two experiences: Métier for the [seven-course] tasting menu, and Kinship for those who want a less rigid experience. For the latter, we’ll serve a couple of plated courses and then serve something family style. That’s why we have a la carte and for the table.

How are you different now as a chef than when you started?
My style of cooking is lighter, brighter and fresher than it used to be—not reduction, reduction, reduction. The traveling I’ve done in Asia [has been influential]. Instead of adding acid to something, I may add something pickled, which adds dimension—or something cured rather than just adding salt. The idea of going out just because you need something to eat is gone. As a chef, you are the sole entertainment, so you should take on more responsibility.