Mini Fenway crawl: Basho and Citizen
I've been a fan of Brian Reyelt for a while so I was excited to try out Citizen last night. First impressions: dark (possibly too dark), cozy and inviting, with an incredibly heavy menu and friendly staff. We split the lardo, 2 champagne oysters and the schnitzel at the bar.
The lardo was good. I will say this, however: anyone who grew up in either the NY tri-state area or with a Jewish grandmother (or both) will have a chicken-fat-memory trigger. Not that that's a bad thing. Champagne oysters were too boozy for me - I thought the champagne overwhelmed the delicate flavor of the oyster. The schnitzel was delicious and comforting.
I think I still prefer Franklin Cafe's cuisine, however the space is certainly comfortable for lingering.
At Basho, they've done an admirable job trying to break up the space, but it still feels like an airport hanger.
Hamachi pastrami: a really interesting treatment - smoky and texturally marvelous.
Hiramasa carpaccio: chardonnay gelée adorned this perfectly cut fish.
Robata of duck spicy mushroom: probably my favorite dish of the night - spicy, tender.
Scallop kiwi roll: we needed to try a crazy roll and I nixed anything with cheese and something called the Celtic burrito. This is what we settled on. Surprisingly worked beautifully, though the scallop wasn't the star.
Fenway's becoming quite the contender for food neighborhood.
I've been to Citizen twice and was blown away - by both the quality of the food and the fair prices. I had an amazing fish special the first time (cod on top of beet risotto) that was dreamy, and very resonably priced at $18... Their toffee bread pudding is to die for. My husband got the beef tenderloin and raved about it for days. Only drawback is that I agree, a little too dark...
The clam chowder at Citizen is really good. I don't know why more places don't put fried clams on top of the chowder.
I agree that its very dark in there and I also don't like how narrow the bar area is. The setup doesn't work well if a group of >5 wanna go for a couple drinks.