HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >
What's your latest food project? Get great advice


FlaHopper Jun 16, 2008 01:27 PM

I'm going to dinner at CityZen next month. Has anyone been lately? Is it as good as its reputation?

  1. m
    mkbrew Jul 14, 2008 10:09 AM

    Reservations are not needed for the bar. The couple times I've been the bar has been pretty empty, so I think it's easy to grab a couple seats.

    I've eaten at CityZen a few times and had the tasting menu twice. One of the meals was as good as any I've ever had and the others have been exceptional but not quite as good. I recommend getting the Wagyu addition to the tasting menu. It is not very inventive and very simple compared to the rest of the meal. But it is worth every penny of the $30 surcharge.

    1. c
      cookiegirl Jul 13, 2008 04:32 PM

      Are reservations needed for the bar tasting menu?

      1. l
        lcool Jun 25, 2008 01:49 PM

        YES,add on the wait and wine staff is over the top

        I am beverage trade and very picky about "the service experience"

        all of my visits were stellar in every sense

        1. m
          Magnificat2005 Jun 19, 2008 10:25 AM

          We went in November and had the chef's tasting menu. It was out of this world. One of our favorite dining experiences. Enjoy! Let us know what you think!

          8 Replies
          1. re: Magnificat2005
            FlaHopper Jun 19, 2008 01:35 PM

            I'll do it. Thanks.

            1. re: Magnificat2005
              Ericandblueboy Jun 19, 2008 05:42 PM

              We're going next week. His tasting menu:

              ASPARAGUS SALAD with Oven Roasted Tomatoes, Baby Arugula, Preserved Quail Egg and Nicoise Olive Vinaigrette

              CHESAPEAKE BAY SOFTSHELL CRAB TEMPURA Marinated Spring Onion and Ramp Top Pesto

              STEAMED PACIFIC SABLEFISH with Artichoke Tea, Jerusalem Artichoke Subric and Toasted Lemon Crumble

              HERB ROASTED MARTIN RANCH SPRING LAMB and Petit Pois á la Française


              CITYZEN SEVEN LAYER BAR Valrhona Chocolate Custard Cake, Coconut Shortbread, Butterscotch Candied Pecans and Condensed Milk Ice Cream

              I'm actually not that excited by the menu because I'm going to Citronelle this week and part of the Promenade menu includes:

              SOFT SHELL CRAB, tempura, chilled ratatouille

              SABLEFISH, broiled, saké-miso marinated

              1. re: Ericandblueboy
                Ericandblueboy Jun 25, 2008 08:00 AM

                I'm debating whether to try the tasting menu or or off the prix-fixe menu, which includes:

                Appetizers: cream of nettle soup, english pea ravioli with morel mushrooms, yellowtail tataki, confit of cuttlefish, crispy shoat belly, or braised veal tongue.

                Entrees: sauteed filet of halibut, sesame crusted salmon, pan seared walleye pike, herb roasted pork loin, crispy veal sweetbreads, or pan seared ribeye.

                My conundrum is that I don't find either menu all that appetizing. If I could order whatever I want, I would probably try the cuttlefish, shoat belly and veal tongue. None of the entrees are really all that appealing on either menu. Any recommendations as to what to try?

                1. re: Ericandblueboy
                  Jason1 Jun 25, 2008 08:49 AM

                  Well, I'll say that on my visit the alacarte menu seemed more appealing to me than the tasting meny, but the rest of the group was leaning towards the tasting menu. And despite the rather mundane sounding nature of many of the items on the tasting men, overall it was outstanding. Their use of seasoning and sour flavors to complement the dishes was fantastic, as were the precision to put it together. In a million years I wouldn't have chosen the Poussin, which is essentially a chicken breast, from a menu. But it was truly an amazing dish. Of course, the dishes that I was interested on the regular menu may have been fantastic as well. I recently went to Komi, and while I loved the degustation menu, the pasta and main courses weren't what I would have chosen, and I probably would have preferred to go with my instinct. But I think at CityZen, you'll be fine either way.

                  1. re: Jason1
                    Ericandblueboy Jun 25, 2008 08:57 AM

                    That's reassuring as in I shouldn't cancel my reservation for Friday night. I wish the menu wasn't prix-fixe as we would be able to order with abandon. Do you think that's something they would able to accomodate?

                    1. re: Ericandblueboy
                      lcool Jun 25, 2008 01:54 PM

                      as a party of 6 once,we ordered all over the page
                      no two the same wine or food,the staff was spot on,not one miss-step in service timing or plate placement.The solution to taste all,be a party of 6,order for seven.

                  2. re: Ericandblueboy
                    Ericandblueboy Jun 29, 2008 06:03 AM

                    Ate dinner at CityZen last night. The service was indeed inpeccable as many have posted. They accomodated my wish for 3 appetizers off the prix fixe menu, but it was at a surcharge of $17. I had the confit of cuttlefish, the veal tongue, and the shoat belly. Wife had the pea ravioli, and the ribeye. Everything was good, nothing was spectacular. The food here didn't set it apart from other top rated DC restaurants in my view.

                    To be honest, I had no idea what a confit of cuttlefish is. It turns out to be a squid salad. Ceviche may be a more apt name. The veal tongue was almost too tender. I like my tongue with just a little bit of firmness. The shoat belly was really good but for perhaps a little too much salt on the skin. The pea ravioli was served in a bed of foam. The foam later turned into a thin watery sauce with not much flavor. The ribeye was perfect.

                    1. re: Ericandblueboy
                      ktmoomau Jun 29, 2008 02:30 PM

                      Cuttlefish is not squid (it is in the same family with octopus and squid). When well prepared it is so much better, in my opinion. Of course I ate the best preparation in Barcelona right after seeing them in the aquarium, didn't feel guilty, but they are quite a neat looking fish to see in the water.

              2. s
                Steve Jun 16, 2008 03:06 PM

                You will probabaly eat something that will amaze you. And you will probably eat some things that you wish were better. I've only been there once, and I'm plenty happy to let some time go by until my next visit.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Steve
                  FlaHopper Jun 18, 2008 03:47 PM

                  Yah, I saw that Eric Ziebold just won a James Beard award, making me all the more intrigued to check out his restaurant. Central also picked up one and my experiences there have consistently been great.

                  1. re: Steve
                    NoVaMom Jul 14, 2008 10:22 AM

                    We went a year ago, and it was amazing. My husband had the regular tasting menu, and though I'm not a vegetarian, I got the vegetarian menu b/c we wanted to try everything the chef could make. I thought I'd feel unsatisfied eating a vegetarian meal, but that was not the case at all. The food was delicious and beautiful. The service was amazing. My friends have gone recently and they say it's still amazing.

                  Show Hidden Posts