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Citronelle

3000 M Street (at 30th Street), Washington, 20007-3701, United States

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An attractive dining room with a view into the kitchen. I tried a good soft shell crab (this part of the world is known for its crab), served simply with a tasty tartare sauce (13/20). Bread was poor, lacking in much taste (11/20). My sea bass was timed well, served on a bed of tender puy lentils (14/20). The wine list has some quality producers but has hefty mark-ups e.g. Bonny Doon Old telegram at a stiff $85. Pleasant but expensive. Service was good, if a little slow.

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  • Paul A. Hoffstein

    Washington is a good, not great, restaurant town. Sadly, the best restaurants [Citronelle & Inn at Little Washington, as the best examples] fail to grow. I've celebrated my wedding anniversary a dozen times at the Inn at Little Washington in the past 20+ years, but I will not go back. The menu never changes [for a given month] and the selling point is the ambiance, which is still excellent, rather than the food and service, which were once excellent, too. Outside of NYC, the best food town in the USA is Chicago.

  • Dan L

    As a DC native and cook, I have to say your choices for dining when in the area were, not to be rude, poorly made. Not suprising however as Citronelle and Kinkeads are oft publicized and recognized more widely than the best restaurants in the area, however that's more due to the notoriety of their chefs (Michel Richard and Bob Kinkead) than their actual culinary aptitude (Gerard Pangaud is/was an amazing chef, but Gerard's place is hardly worth a visit). Better choices would be The Oval Room, run by Tony Conte, cooking asian-influenced American cuisine, Obelisk, run by chef Peter Pastan, serving excellent renditions of Italian classics, and Central, another Michel Richard restaurant, though better run by his chef de cuisine Cedric Maupillier. The best restaurant (in my opinion) DC has to offer is Komi, run by chef Johnny Monis in Dupont Circle, which serves contemporary takes on traditional greek dishes. In the surrounding area of Maryland and Virginia, you have Volt in Fredrick Maryland, run by Bryan Voltaggio, an excellent young chef, cooking modern american cuisine. In the same category in Virginia, you have Restaurant Eve and Inox restaurant in Virginia run by chefs Cathal Armstrong and Jon Mathieson and Jonathan Krinn (the latter two are co-executive chefs). Finally, in Virginia there is The Inn at Little Washinton, run by Patrick O'Connell, an excellent chef who became the first US member of Relais and Chateau. I hope you take into consideration a few different choices the next time you come to DC, as we're certainly capable of a much higher caliber than what you unfortunately experienced.

  • K.C. Bailey (www.ponocat.com)

    The first time I went to Citronelle a year ago, it was a wonderful experience. I ate here again on Jan. 28, 2008. It was a terrible disappointment. Of the 6 courses in the $175 per person tasting menu, not one was innovative or outstanding. The first course, a trio of tastes, had very garlicy escargo next to a delicate salmon mousse. The taste of the first overwhelmed the taste of the second. The sablefish had been frozen for way too long. The sweetbreads were so overcooked that it was a crime. There were no morels, or even morel flavor, in the morel sauce. The truffles, for which there was a $30 per person surcharge, had neither taste nor scent. I thought to myself at the outset of the meal that $175 was a good price for the meal; I thought the opposite by dessert time.

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