Down-home country food is headed to Brentwood's Rhode Island Row, where the Maryland restaurant Carolina Kitchen will open its first District location at the end of February. This will be the third Carolina Kitchen from chef-owner Lance London, whose other restaurants are in Largo and Hyattsville.
The food: Expect Southern and Maryland fare, such as pulled pork sandwiches and crab cakes. You'll find fried fish, fried green tomatoes, eggplant fries and six types of wings for starters. Entrees, which are called "Ma Pearl's Specialties," after London's grandmother, include a rib platter with baked beans, coleslaw and Cajun fries, as well as Southern fried pork chops and ribeye steak. Sides include macaroni and cheese, collard greens and candied yams. London uses his grandmother's cobbler and sweet potato pie recipes for desserts.
The drinks: A cork-top bar with ostrich-skin stools inhabits the dining room. There's a "Carolina Martini," which showcases fig-infused vodka, and a drink named after London, featuring Bacardi and Malibu rums with fruit juices. Carolina Kitchen is also diving into the boozy milkshake trend with one unusual offering: A sweet potato pie milkshake made with candied yams, Frangelico, RumChata cream liqueur and vanilla ice cream.
The ambiance: London says he designed much of the restaurant himself, including "the Tunnel," a dining room with a 40-foot illuminated vaulted ceiling. An upstairs room, which can be reserved for private dining, has a King Kong theme after London's favorite childhood movie. A 28-seat patio is planned for spring.
The burger joint: After Carolina Kitchen opens, London will debut TKO burger, his newest concept. It's a boxing-themed burger joint that will seat nearly 100 people, and will focus on specialty burgers, homemade lemonade and shakes. TKO Burger is expected to open in late March or early April.
See the menu, and more photos, below.
Carolina Kitchen, 2350 Washington Place #104, NE.