From French Parc de Ville to Japanese Gyu-Shige, Fairfax’s Mosaic District is brimming with a world of enticing flavors. Last week, the shopping center’s mouthwatering cred expanded exponentially with the opening of Kirby Club. Courtesy of the team behind DC’s lauded Maydan and Compass Rose, the new restaurant features eastern Mediterranean fare that mostly descends from Lebanon and Egypt.
The menu opens with the words, “Imagine you’re sitting down to eat kebab with your Lebanese Grandmother for the first time … now imagine we’re your Grandmother.” Kirby Club is named for the Lebanese-American club co-founder Rose Previte’s grandparents started in 1933 in Akron, Ohio. The Egyptian touches? They come from Egyptian-American chef Omar Hegazi.
A manager told me that the very first dish that Hegazi created for the menu was the pickled eggplant salad. It is, appropriately, a stunner that pairs tender, almost effervescently tangy eggplant, tomato, and peppers with a wash of cumin.
That dish appears among the sides and salads. Most of the menu, though, is divided between dips — including carrot-based havus, lemon-y hummus, and something simply called “Olive Goodness” — and kebabs. Those range from chicken shish taouk and lamb-and-beef kofta to dukkah shrimp and grilled oyster mushrooms. The standout is a rosy-centered lamb shish kebab that melts with earthy spices over a bed of turmeric rice.
It’s tough to choose just a few things to order, but diners must keep in mind that dessert is included. Petite cups of oat milk soft serve that’s lightly salted and flavored with dates are currently served gratis.
For now, Kirby Club is open only for dinner, but the lunch bunch will likely be welcomed by the end of January. Another, larger, Kirby Club location is slated to open in Arlington next year. 2911 District Ave., Fairfax
See this: The image of a camel greets you when you enter the packed restaurant, with stylish lamps illuminating the walls covered in washes of orange.
Eat this: Crinkly fries, pickled eggplant salad, lamb shish kebab
Open Tuesday-Saturday, 4-10 p.m.
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