When Joe and Katy Kindred decided to leave the hustle and bustle of San Francisco and return to Joe’s hometown of Davidson, NC to open a restaurant, it was about more than just serving food. They wanted to incorporate their experiences from traveling the world and working in some of the top restaurants with the charm of a small Southern town. And they’ve managed to do just that in their award-winning establishment that bears their name, Kindred.
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Kindred is nothing fancy to look at from the outside; just a small storefront with teal-colored doors and a handful of outdoor tables. But once you step inside, you’ll find beauty everywhere you look – from the clean and artistic decor to the sound of neighbors connecting and the owners’ children playing. There are cushy leather stools at the bar, exposed brick walls and marble top tables that give the place an upscale tone while still managing to feel welcoming and full of charm.
You’ll discover one of the most popular things about Kindred at the very start of your dining experience – the bowl of warm, homemade milk bread that is delivered to your table, possibly straight from heaven. It’s both sweet and salty (as it’s topped with sprinkles of hand-harvested sea salt) and is presented in a beautiful graniteware bowl.
If you can manage to pull your attention away from the milk bread for a moment, you’ll find plenty of delectable cocktails to start off your meal like the Shrub Me Long Thyme made from gin, plum shrub, honey, lime and Mediterranean tonic or the Pinky Swear made with gin, aperol, lemon, hibiscus and egg white. Or try out one of their many fine wines selected by co-owner and sommelier, Katy Kindred.
On the menu, you’ll find an eclectic mix of dishes from small salads to entrees to sandwiches made with the restaurant’s famous milk bread. But there’s no need to be intimidated by some of the fancy words. At its heart, the food at Kindred is contemporary Southern cuisine. It’s just sprinkled with some international flare, thanks to the many travels of the owners. There are Southern favorites like crispy oysters and BBQ pork, as well as more refined dishes like squid ink conchiglie and wagyu beef tartare, each with their own blend of unique ingredients and accents.
Just make sure you save room for one of their delicious desserts like bread pudding made with their house-made milk bread, ice cream and cookies or for the kid in you, a piece of chocolate birthday cake served up with sweet cream ice cream and rainbow sprinkles. And it doesn’t even have to be your birthday.
But besides the amazing food, it’s the feeling of community the Kindreds have created that has made it such a popular spot with both locals and visitors. And the critics seem to agree as the restaurant was named one of the Best New Restaurants in America in 2015 by Bon Appetit Magazine. In 2016, Chef Joe Kindred was also named as a semifinalist for the James Beard Award for best chef in the Southeast.
And with just one visit, you’ll know why.