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“Worth every penny”
Review of CityZen - CLOSED

Price range: US$50 - US$50
Cuisines: Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special Occasion Dining, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, After-hours, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: 12th Street, SW
Transit: Smithsonian Metro (Orange and Blue Line) L'Enfant Plaza Metro (Yellow and Green Line)
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Worth every penny”
Reviewed 14 July 2014

I have eaten in many fine dining restaurants, and I have had many tasting menus. This was one of the best. The food is not going to "wow" you with flashy presentations or unusual preparations, but it is perfectly cooked and delicious. The six-course tasting menu will leave you well satisfied as the portion sizes are larger than you might expect. Mostly though, I want to point out the top-notch service !! Every person in the restaurant, the hosts, the servers, the busboys, the sommelier, EVERYONE was friendly, courteous, knowledgeable and very efficient. Yes, it will be expensive, but you will get more than your money's worth. Perfect for any kind of celebration.

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Patrick B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

174 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
northern VA
Level 6 Contributor
156 reviews
118 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“23rd anniv clearly year to celebrate with world class food, wine and warm and impeccable staff”
Reviewed 11 July 2014 via mobile

My husband and I celebrated our anniversary by trying both the 6- course tasting menu with wine pairings for one ($200 ish) and the 4 course dinner option ($90) that included a creative array of choices for appetizer, fish dish, meat dish and dessert. These are creative and cutting edge dishes with superb sauces and presentation. Having never experienced a tasting menu - it felt nearly regal and each bite was superb and surprising - whether it used steak, rhubarb, scallops, sweetbreads, root beer, or berries. The wine pairings were so enjoyable - with a heavy pour - for each of the 6 tasting dishes - so plan on sharing. Given the food was outstanding, the service and staff and seemingly effortless fine tuning by staff made the evening feel like an effortless, constantly moving dance. But staff visits to present and explain dishes and wines were quick - informative - and non intrusive. Further, all staff made us feel welcome , congratulated us and an extra dessert tasting and dessert wine were added on the house. If my financial plan to increase scratch and win earnings pans out - I'll be returning before the next 23 years of marriage.

Visited July 2014
3 Thank constantgardener87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jupiter, Florida
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Food prepared perfectly”
Reviewed 8 July 2014 via mobile

In DC for a special occasion so I booked citizen well out only knowing it had some good reviews. We're we surprised to be prepared one of the finest dining experiences in our lives. The tasting menu prepared by Eric is all recognizable food executed with creativity and perfection. The sommelier Andy created a perfect tasting to compliment the meal with wines you will only get a very small opportunity to taste but the best part is the passion and kindness they serve you all this wonderful goodness. They have a way of making you feel at home and their genuineness will impress you.

Visited July 2014
1 Thank GrantB15C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Phoenix, Arizona
Level 6 Contributor
1,137 reviews
578 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 630 helpful votes
“CityZen - Delivers Again!”
Reviewed 19 June 2014

This was our second visit to CityZen in the DC Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Unlike our last visit, we were staying across the Mall in NW. Originally, we were a bit sad that we could not secure a table for the early seating, as we were to arrive at IAD (Dulles) at 3:00PM, and a 9:00PM seating seemed so far away. Well, the fates knew what they were doing, as our flight from PHX was delayed by more than 3 hours, so we would have missed the 6:00PM seating. The second seating was perfect.

We did arrive a bit early, and were promptly seated in the small area beyond the bar. A half-bottle of Puligney-Montrachet started off the evening nicely. At 9:00PM, we were promptly seated, and our main server immediately recognized us from our previous visit, 10 mos. earlier. He even recalled where we were seated, and that my wife left to attend an event, but returned to dine with me later in the evening. He even knew that the kitchen had prepared a Barrimundi dish for her! I was impressed, but that seems to be how it is at CityZen.

We opted to go with a mixture of the various course options, passing this time on the Chef's Tasting Menu (my order on the previous visit). CityZen offers two wine pairings and, as we so often do when similar is offered, chose one each - the "Regular," and the "Vintage Pairing." This always proves to be great fun, as one gets to sample two wines per dish (we also save a bit, to try with other dishes). The only drawback is that a four-top can get pretty full of wine glasses, but the four-tops at CityZen are on the larger side, and well-spaced throughout the dining room.

We settled on the Roasted Spring Asparagus & Baby Mache, paired with a 2010 Eric Morgat Saveniéres (Chenin Blanc) and a 2006 Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Herrenweg du Turckheim Alsatian Riesling. Both wines were great, but the nod went to the Chenin Blanc - shows that a more expensive wine might necessarily be the best pairing for a particular palate.

The Chilled Maine Lobster Salad, with a 2012 Domaine Michel Briday Rully (Chardonnay) and the 2012 Littorai, Charles Heintz Vineyard Sonona Coast Chardonnay. Both were excellent, and the Littorai was the winner. We still had the Montrachet, but it did not fare as well, as I had imagined - good, but behind both the Rully and the Littorai. Great to have the opportunity to try three wines here.

The Sautéed Chesapeake Bay Soft Shell Crab was next, paired with an interesting treatment (at least for me) of a 2012 Viñedos Ithaca, Odysseus Pedro Ximénez from the Priorat. I know this grape, but see it expressed more often as a dessert wine from Jerez, or in a Madeira. This version was vinted dry. The other wine was the 2010 Château Olivier Bordeaux Pessac-Léognan (Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon). Both were great, as were both the Littori and the Rully. The Montrachet was now gone...

We opted for the Pan Roasted Prime Midwestern Beef Ribeye, served with the 2009 Remellui Reserva Rioja (Tempranillo) and the 1998 Kay Brothers A Very Vineyard Block 6 Shiraz, McLaren Vale. Both were excellent, and we did not try any of our previous wines, as we hoped to do the Cheese Course. The only little glitch in the Ribeye was a tad too much salt in the rub - it was only on one side, and slight, but kept the dish from total perfection. Mention was made of our perception here.

For dessert, we went with the Iced Mint Mocha, paired with the Rare Wine Company's Baltimore Rainwater Madeira (Verdelho/Malmsey) and the Rare Wine Company's "Thomas Jefferson's Reserve Madeira (Sercial/Malmsey). I am usually not a big fan of a "Rainwater-style Madeira, but the "Baltimore" was perfect with the Mocha - as was the "Thomas Jefferson's Reserve."

Alas, even with the best of intentions, those courses, along with two amuse bouches, proved to be too filling for us - no Cheese Course this time, though we had dutifully saved some of the wines in hopes.

The experience was perfect (or would have been, if we only had room for the cheese), with excellent pacing, and spot-on timing. The food service and wine service were at a level that I would expect from a European three-star restaurant.

While not inexpensive by any criterion, the meal was a very good value, and the total experience bordering to absolute perfection.

I also feel that CityZen has one of the best wine lists in the area, and while it might not be the deepest, or contain the greatest number of "trophy wines," it is well-suited for the fare from the kitchen, and the service is impeccable.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank The_Loup_Garou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Walnut, California
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“A Tasting Adventure”
Reviewed 3 June 2014

They have a preset tasting menu plus another menu where you choose your own four courses. We went with the chef tasting menu it was their highlight.
The pre 1st course was this prosciutto that was aged at the restaurant. THAT WAS BOMB!! it was so good that I actually asked for more hahha. Other highlights included the lamb bacon pasta as well as the rib eye steak. Both were perfect! Other dishes were good but these two just stood out among the rest. It is around $125 per person for the tasting menu. Go and try!!!

Visited May 2014
Thank Kain P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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