“The menu should read like a poem,” Ms. de Boer said. “You should seduce the diner. People don’t know they want to eat deep-fried mackerel with aioli, so you’ve got to tell a story and get them on your wavelength.”

“We had this idea of a restaurant as a magical space where the food doesn’t get in the way,” said Ms. de Boer, describing the three partners’ vision for King. “Where the food doesn’t detract your attention from the real reason you’re there: to commune with people you enjoy.”

As Ms. Shi put it, “To be able to do simple to high standards, it has to be intentional.”

“That wine is just everything we wanted to be,” she said. “A beautiful sunny day under olive trees, drinking a glass of Tempier and having grilled toasts with butter and anchovies.”

Jordan C