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Nov 8, 2012 01:13 PM

Come on Man... or, I Don't Get It...

I wanted to get some of you other foodies' reactions to this topic. I love love LOVE dining out and have tried most of the great, good and fun 'holes' in DC and here is my list of "I don't get it/Come on, man":

1. Dino
2. Central
3. CityZen
4. Citronelle
5. I Ricchi

Anyone care to comment on any of these? Please add your own "Come on Man!" to the in, don't get the hype, didn't love it, maybe didn't even like it...feel free to say why! EAch of these mainly had me underwhelmed by the food or service or both.. like, at I Ricchi one time, my husband went to refill his glass from the bottle of wine on the table, at which point the waiter came and SNATCHED it from his hand and said really loud: "If my boss sees this he'll be want to get me fired??" To which my flabbergasted husband said "Uh, no, i am just thirsty...and you weren't here!" Can you say Tiny Tip??? Would love to hear your votes!!

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  1. I've only been to Dino and Central, and while I think neither are great, I think they are both good, but I think Central tends to be more over-hyped (probably mostly due to Michel Richard). I think Dino is good, solid Italian food at reasonable prices with good service, but I do think it tends to be over-recommended on here. Not that it doesn't deserve to be recommended, but I wouldn't necessarily rate it as a "great" or "excellent". But there are a lot of mediocre, over-priced restaurants in DC, so I am always happy to see a good restaurant with moderate prices and good service.

    1. I agree that I Ricchi is not very good.

      Michel Richard's cooking is technically accomplished, but the food winds up covered up so much and so full of extra fat that I lose the point.

      City Zen is superb food, in a weird spot. I like it a lot at the bar. Great wine list. Sommelier Andy is passionate. The food had a sophisticated simplicity that so many chef's food today lacks. I mean I can eat at City Zen for about the same as Graffitiao and less than Fiola and I much prefer the simple foods I get at City Zen.

      Dino serves great food, simply. Also great cocktails, wine, cheese, interesting beers. Maybe that isn't enough for you, but we love it and eat there a lot.

      3 Replies
      1. re: wineo1957

        I do not get Central. At all. Never had a "wow" experience there. Also, don't get Masa 14 (everything so oversalted), Proof (service at the bar can be brusque or dismissive), Bibiana (food has underwhelmed though service is nice).

        1. re: wineo1957

          I guess i am missing would absolutely be enough for me, if i'd ever had that experience!! I like their wine, and cheese and love the free bar snacks. But each time i've had 'regular food" there i have been disappointed. We have eaten at the bar and at regular tables and it's always been the same...just something lacking. Then again it's always been on the weekend...maybe i need to try it when it's less busy. Everyone who loves it can't be wrong...and as far as CityZen maybe we will try the bar, thank you for that suggestion. We've been twice and both times, the best part of the meal was dessert (and of course the box of rolls).

          1. re: DCDOLL

            Box of rolls at Central? Have they changed their bread? (which I have raved about on another thread)

            When I have gone it has been absolutely fantastic sliced bread that I assume they make in house.

            I think some people have too high an expectation from Central . . . .expecting Citronelle at 1/3 the price. I frankly think Central hits all of the right notes for its price point and target market.

            I don't expect a transcendent meal (except for the faux gras) but I expect a perfectly executed "French" meal at a decent price with a fine wine list and good service. . . .and I always get it.

            And then the faux gras causes a gout attack and I limp around for week.

        2. I always enjoy my meal at Dino. I wouldn't argue it belongs at the very top level of restaurants, but he's not trying to do that, and I'd rather have a moderately priced meal that over-delivers than a very expensive meal that doesn't quite live up to expectations.

          I also like CityZen, and in fact I think it probably doesn't get enough credit, but then it's not a place I can afford to eat at regularly so maybe they are not keeping up.

          I agree that Central gets a little too much hype and I never really liked I Ricchi.

          The place I don't particularly like that I see recommended is Vidalia. Also Bistro D'Oc and Bistro du Coin (maybe the problem is me, not the french bistros).

          I tried Rogue 24 and thought it was good but did not live up to the hype, but I might give it another shot.

          1. Citronelle is closed, so there's nothing to "get." I think CityZen is the opposite of a C'mon Man restaurant - it has outstanding food, beverage and service.
            L'Auberge Chez Francois gets my nod in the "I Don't Get It" category.

            4 Replies
            1. re: crackers

              Thanks -- yep i know Citronelle is closed but supposedly will reopen after the reno. I was really just making a statement that i didn't get the hype over it. I may try again if and when it opens just to see if anything improves.

              1. re: crackers

                Totally agree on L'Auberge Chez Francois!

                Reminds me that 1789 is another place that I think is past its prime (at least I assume it had one).

                1. re: Doh

                  1789 and L'Auberge CF were truly back in the day, but that day was a long time ago.

                  1. re: pikawicca

                    Have you been to 1789 lately? it's one of our faves! they have a new YOUNG chef who is italian and his homemade pastas rival any in the city. i guess i just love the really good service and the food...and i love the fact that people dress for dinner there (although jackets are now just 'suggested' hoo). if you haven't been in a while you might try it again...and let's not forget that free valet in Geo'town is nothing to sneeze at!

              2. Come on Man

                Dino - You go for the fantastic and exceptionally well priced wine list. The appetizers are the strength but there are some excellent things on the menu. Local sourcing whenever possible.

                Citronelle- closed for the time being. The dining room was somewhat dated, but this is basically an older person's (like me) restaurant. Delicious, whimesical and very formal.

                Central - good food, good service, nice vibe. Special, no, worth going to, yes.

                As to the wine service at I Riccihi, I just tell the server, sommelier, whatever, that I will take care of pouring the wine after the first pour. I make it very clear that I wish to do so and do not want anyone else to do so. I never had a problem, especially after I told the manager that when he came to see how the meal was going.