Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >
Sep 7, 2009 10:33 AM

Anniversary dinner at Citronelle


My wife and I are going to be dining at Citronelle for our wedding anniversary in a few weeks, and I was wondering if anyone that's dined there before could give us some tips or pointers to make our experience there better. For example, is there a certain dish that we should try to request? Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. bring a lot of money
    food is great and at times whimsical
    menu constantly changing

    1 Reply
    1. re: dining with doc

      Along with a LOT of money, I would bring a flashlight. Last time I was there it was too dark to see.

      But even a flashlight won't help you find a great meal, polite service, or a reason to return.

    2. If the online menu holds, then I would highly consider ordering:
      green asparagus vichyssoise
      soft shell crab

      for the main course:
      lobster with potato fried rice
      Chateaubriand with pearl vegetables

      Strawberry Cocktail for dessert is a must. The tatin-like apple is not too interesting, though.

      1. And if you haven't had it before the lobster beluga pasta is really good. I also really enjoy the skate with crab.

        12 Replies
        1. re: ktmoomau

          Is the tasting menu worth the cost?

          1. re: thehyperion

            You know I have never done the tasting menu there, the food is so rich I normally just do the three courses a la carte and try different things... I would imagine getting smaller portions of more of his dishes would be a good thing though as I have loved so much of what I have had there. Especially if you like creativity and whimsicality in your food.

            1. re: ktmoomau

              Thanks to all the replies!

              I'll keep in mind the suggestions and hopefully make this a memorable meal. Considering how the menu changes, we will probably decide once we get there between the a la carte and the tasting menu.

              1. re: thehyperion

                Soup is an overlooked course in most restaurants, but at Citronelle it is usually an elaborate affair and one of the most inventive items you can order. So, if in doubt, I think ordering it is a good idea.

                1. re: Steve

                  Interesting. There is another thread on here about great soups in the D. C. area. In that Ray's crab bisque is mentioned and I was one of, well maybe the only, the dissenter for believing it is not the best. In that thread I noted the Narrows cream of crab but Michele has an absolutely incredible crab and corn chowder that may be the best cream of crab soup I have ever had.

                2. re: thehyperion

                  we were underwhelmed by citronelle. if you are willing to spend that kind of money go to CityZen or Eve, or really make a night fo it and go to the inn at little washington. If you want a phenomenal meal w/o the formal atmosphere i'd suggest obelisk.

                  but one thing i will say for Citronelle: the wine list is great.

                  1. re: DCDOLL

                    Yikes! Now I'm wondering if CityZen is the better option!

                    1. re: thehyperion

                      You believe everything that's posted on CH? Citronelle is consistently ranked higher than CityZen, Eve and Inn at Little Washington. If you want to top Citronelle, you'd have to try Komi, the chef's table at Teatro Goldoni, or Volt's Table 21, which arguably are better and cheaper than the 10 course tasting at Citronelle. As for celebratory meals, I always go with as many courses as possible (within my budget).

                      1. re: Ericandblueboy

                        i may be tardy with this response but the sentiment stands: the reason there are so many restaurants is that everyone has his or her own preferences. My experience at Citronelle involved lackadaisical service, extremely small courses (and i'm not a big eater), and a dessert that was nothing more that a poof of lemon foam without anything else to give it substance. Our seat was also in a corner and although we ordered a tasting menu and a very nice bottle of wine, i didn't feel i was treated the way i expected to be given the amount of $ being spent. If you've had a better experience, great...but you don't need to denigrate other's postings just becuase you disagree. Have you been to all the places you referred to? Rankings, like postings, are in the eye of the beholder and i tend to view THOSE with a grain of salt, more so than opinions on chowhound...

                        1. re: DCDOLL

                          I know it's awful when you have an expensive and disappointing experience.

                          Just so you know, 'a poof of lemon foam' is absolutely not a typical dessert at Citronelle. They are usually quite elaborate and showy. Minimalism is not usually practiced there.

                          1. re: Steve

                            I was very impressed with the quality of food and service at Plume @ the Jefferson Hotel. This is now my second favorite restaurant experience ever, Le Bernardin in NYC tops my list right now. We were seriously considering Citronelle but after reading the rave reviews on opentable I chose Plume and we were so totally happy we dined here, what a memorable time! :)