Citizen Public House
Went for Happy Hour this past Friday. At 5:00 we were the only customers, but the bar started to fill up shortly after. The bartenders were extremely welcoming and friendly, asking our names and introducing themselves. It wasn’t overbearing attention, it felt sincere. Happy Hour is $2 off drinks, no food specials. The room is kinda large and airy, not as cozy as I was imagining, but it was sleek and comfortable at the same time.
We had a few cocktails, which were mostly very well done, of the “mixologist”, made one-at-a- time variety. They were not too busy when we were there, so this went okay, but on our second round the bartender made and served one cocktail before beginning on the second, which I thought was a bit odd. I enjoyed the Pelaga (?) Club, but the Manhattan was only OK, with Jim Beam bourbon. I’d like to see a higher end bourbon for this price ($11 or $12 regular times). The Sidecar was nicely done. The Lux Limon could have used a sugar rim but the bartender made it to order and got the sweetness right for our taste.
For food we had the Hummus and Tzatziki with grilled pita bread for $6. It was delicious and filling rustic comfort food, a large portion. Hard to make this dish exceptional, but it was better than what you would get at a lot of casual places. The waiter recommended the Pork Belly with Brussel Sprout Sauerkraut and Rye Spaetzl for $12. He warned us it was small, but I was surprised how small it was. The online menu has it listed for $10. The flavor of the pork belly was huge and it was tender and juicy, just not enough of it. The acidic brussel sprout sauerkraut with a mustard-vinaigrette was a good contrast and compliment to the rich salty pork. The rye spaetzle was actually julienned rye bread coated and fried. Not sure why they are calling this spaetzle, I was expecting egg noodles German style and that would’ve made the dish a lot better, IMO.
I never ate at Cowboy Ciao, so I cannot compare but I did overhear that the chopped salad at CPH is a popular Ciao holdover. It was prepared barside by the bartender and looked good.
I’d like to go back and try a few more dishes, like the Green-Lipped Mussel Chowder and some house-made sausages.
Citizen Public House
7111 E. 5th Avenue, Suite E, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Went a couple weekends ago for dinner...overall it was good to very good. The green-lipped mussel chowder was our favorite dish of the night but not a true chowder , more mussels in a good amount of broth and (our server warned us of this though, so I don't mean that in a bad way, just some people might get confused). I'm not a person that is in love with mussels but this dish was great...pork belly, leeks, potatoes, once the mussels were demolished we finished up every bit of the broth left with the other ingredients as well. We also got the kiltlifter fondue as a starter and although very good I did not get much Kiltlifter taste but would definitely order again.
Our cocktails were good - I had a peach cocktail that was made with Jim Beam I believe, that was just sweet enough and you could only taste a tiny bit of the Jim Beam - which is what I was looking for. My dining partner had a few cocktails and really enjoyed them although I did not take any notes so do not remember what she got.
I got the short ribs which were fall off the bone tender with a parsnip puree and a cherry bbq sauce on the side. IMO the cherry bbq sauce was far too sweet and I could only dab a tad on the short ribs to not be overwhelming so the short ribs basically had to be eaten sauceless. Parsnip puree was as expected - very tasty and flavored well.
The real shortcoming was when we were considering the dessert and I asked the servers honest opinion and was suggested to get a cherry or strawberry dessert (really should have taken notes but I believe it was some sort of pound cake??). I told our server i don't prefer that type of dessert and asked about the bread pudding which I had read awesome reviews about and then was told "it was really dry and overcooked last time Itried it" ....um ok? So I then asked about the panna cotta at which point I was informed it now has a different topping and was better before. At this point I just felt awkward because the dessert suggested did not sound appealing to me and the other 2 discussed something negative was said. It was just a little odd and off putting...it did not ruin our evening by any means but just threw me off a little and I ended up just not ordering any dessert.
So overall except for the weird service at the end with dessert we really enjoyed our appetizers and cocktails and main dishes were good enough. I would definitely return back for apps/drinks for happy hour but might wait a little while before trying it for another full dinner.
I did a bunch of reading about this place and today my wife and I ventured out. I am sorry but we went in the door and the place looked like a big warehouse with a nice bar in the middle. No ambiance whatsoever. Call me spoiled or superficial, but the competition in downtown Scottsdale is such that I don't believe this place will make it.