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Citronelle or Marcel's?

Hi all -

8th anniversary dinner coming up next month - 1 foodie and 1 foodie in training. :) I made a reservation at Citronelle's early on (just to have it). I've been there once (9 years ago) and had a great meal with un-stuffy service. (Hubby hasn't been to either place.) If Citronelle, we think we'd do the 3 course option instead of the tasting menu.

I've been reading through the reviews, but thought I'd go ahead and post my own. We're open to other suggestions (as long as they're on Open Table since I have a $50 dining cheque). :) So a place like Komi or Eve's tasting room would be out.

I will eat nearly anything. Hubby is a big fan of both meat and fish (as long as they're cooked), but doesn't care for sushi-esque items, lamb, duck. (Oddly enough, he really enjoyed Volt's Table 21 and ate everything, but for this meal, I can't seem to get him to expand his horizons enough.)

Thanks in advance --

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  1. I'm a NYC CH and was visiting DC two weeks ago for vacation, and had an excellent dinner at Citronelle with my sister. We did have the tasting menu, made some changes to it, and were very pleased. Funny thing is that the short ribs that are supposed to be the signature dish were the weakest dish of the tasting menu. Service from our captain and all of the waiters was very friendly and professional. Didn't care for the cold attitude from the woman sommelier--never checked on us once we requested a particular bottle of wine--guess it wasn't expensive enough for her.

    P.S. I was also trying to decide between Citronelle and Marcel's, and ultimately chose Citronelle. Very happy with my decision.

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    Citronelle
    3000 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007

    2 Replies
    1. re: ellenost

      Interesting...I'll admit I did not think about asking to make some changes to the tasting menu for him....

      1. re: ScarlyAngel

        I didn't call in advance to request the changes to the menu, and my captain had no problems making the adjustments as we were deciding on the menu (we switched out the soft shell crab for the lobster begula, we switched my sister's first course since she doesn't eat pork, and we changed the dessert).

    2. We went to Citronelle a few years back and were underwhelmed. Things were good, but not stunning. Good is not sufficient at that price point. Our experience differs from most accounts of Citronelle, so maybe we hit them on a bad day or something. Or maybe we ordered badly (although you shouldn't be able to order badly at that price point).

      We've eaten at Marcel's several times, and like it a lot.

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      Citronelle
      3000 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007

      1. I prefer Marcel's, largely on the basis of service and menu flexibility. The food at both places is excellent (and Citronelle's food is definitely somewhat more exciting and flamboyant, if that's important to you). Either way, you should have an excellent meal.

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        Citronelle
        3000 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007

        1. I adore the level of invention and flair at Citronelle. I just had the oyster shooter and the split pea soup, and both were fantastic. They can tailor the tasting menu for you. If you loved it before, you will love it again, and there will be entirely new things to discover.

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          Citronelle
          3000 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007

          1. It looks like hubby is leaning Citronelle, but not the tasting menu - despite an ability to change it up a little as ellenost posted . . . I wonder - if you got the 3 course prix fixe, would they allow you to purchase an additional appetizer in case there was something additional you'd like to try?

            2 Replies
              1. re: Steve

                So funny! I actually just read that review after I posted . . . it got me thinking that maybe I could somehow attempt what he did and selfishly order the tasting menu for myself while my husband ordered 4 courses instead . . . of course, at the moment, a little thing like being unable to locate an e-mail address on Citronelle's website is stopping me!