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Citronelle vs. Vidalia

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My husband and I are going to be in DC for 4 evenings in April. Based on the reviews on this board, I have made reservations at Obelisk, Kinkead, Vidalia, and CityZen. I'm now second-guessing the Vidalia choice and I may switch it to Citronelle. Thoughts? Thanks!

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  1. I think for the money Citronelle is more worth it, but the "modern" southern at Vidalia doesn't thrill me, but I am used to real southern food, so that may be why.

    1. I would switch to Citronelle. While I like Vidalia, I think Citronelle is in a league of its own in terms of artistry and taste. It's just a fun restaurant where the chef has a real interesting point of view. If it's on the menu, get the Citronelle Breakfast for dessert. Trust me...you will love it!

      1. I would recommend switching. I went to Vidalia reently and although the 5-course tasting menu was quite good, the service was well below expectations. I have yet to go to Citronelle but I have heard amazing things about it and no bad reviews yet. The chef has certainly made a name for himself!

        1. Black Salt and Hook are both far better sea food resturants than Kinkeads. I would keep Vidalia and switch out Kinkeads [the weakest of the four] for Citronelle. If you are also considering switching out Vidalia, I'd recommend Komi.

          6 Replies
          1. re: Dakota Guy

            I was actually going to say the same thing about Hook. I don't mind Kinkeads--I think the quality is pretty good as is the service. But if I was looking for a seafood restaurant I would go with Hook.

            Of course, the vibes are totally different at the 2. So depending on what you are looking for the recommendation might differ.

            1. re: Elyssa

              Yeah, Hook is good, but it's not *that* good. The fish I had there, while perfectly cooked, was overly salty; and the taleggio ice cream that came with the Lingonberry Linzertorte tasted like toes. Sure, telaggio ordinarily tastes like toes, but a bit jarring nonetheless when stubbed into an ice cream.

            2. re: Dakota Guy

              Your current choices are all very good... However, I agree w/ Dakota Guy. I would switch out Vidalia for Citronelle and Kinkeads for BlackSalt.

              1. re: keithdcil

                If you're going to 86 Kinkead's (I ate there recently and it was delicious) then you have no choice but to go to Black Salt. Hook can't stand up to either. Don't be so quick to discount Kinkead's, though. It's a bit dated and needs sprucing up, but it is a DC institution and it still has its own special charm.

              2. re: Dakota Guy

                DG! I'm shocked!

                Kinkead's is a DC institution that put the Washington dining scene on the national map. And 12 years later (guessing) it is as good as it has ever been.

                Black Salt is a great suburban joint, and Hook is fine for the under 30 crowd, but neither is as good as Kinkeads. In fact, BS or Hook would make a good option for lunch.

                1. re: Pappy

                  We so often agree, but not on this one. Kinkead's is a Washington institution but longevity doesn't make up for seafood dishes conceived 20 years ago and unimproved since. I agree the 20-something crowd at Hook gives it an atmosphere I don't care for but I just eat early and avoid the crowd. The food is still great. My GF prefers Hook, I prefer BS.

              3. By all means, go with Citronelle! I was just there for dinner a few Sat's ago, and let me tell you, it was spectacular! The place is a bit dated from a decor standpoint, but the food and service are stellar. Make sure to bring your fat credit card, though. BTW, if you have a chance to make it to Vidalia, you should, but Citronelle is in a league of its own.

                1. I agree with the rest- I would switch out Kinkeads- but not for Hook or even BlackSalt unless you are really dead set on fish. Still, you can get fish anywhere and I would rec. Komi, 2941 in Falls Church, the tasting room at Palena, or Restaurant Eve in Old Town, Alexandria. If you have one of those plus the other three you are already doing you will have what I would consider to be the perfect DC experience. Good luck!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: mtwright72

                    All excellent choices; I was just sticking with the seafood theme.