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“Best overall experience in years” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of CityZen - CLOSED

CityZen
Price range: $50 - $50
Cuisines: American, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: 12th Street, SW
Transit: Smithsonian Metro (Orange and Blue Line) L'Enfant Plaza Metro (Yellow and Green Line)
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Best overall experience in years”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 25, 2014 via mobile

It was my wife's 40th and we could not have asked for more. Out of this world food and service and many wonderful extras to make my wife feel special. It was not an inexpensive dinner, but the staff at Cityzen make sure that you get full value for what you pay for. An absolute must for a special occasion.

Helpful?
1 Thank CHKH2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

174 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    110
    35
    16
    7
    6
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
California
Level Contributor
180 reviews
111 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
“Good food with good sized portion...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 9, 2014

We really enjoyed the tasting menu at this restaurant. The tasting menu is quite inventive. Really enjoyed the combination of seafood and meat. Service was fantastic. Though it was pricey, I think the generous portion along with the quality of the food makes it a worthwhile place to visit. One of the best in D.C.

  • Visited July 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank ppts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Florida
Level Contributor
17 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Happy Anniversary ”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 1, 2014 via mobile

The contemporary cuisine was amazing. Staff members went out of their way to make a fabulous anniversary experience. Notable selections included soft-shell crab tempera, pan roasted rockfish, poached Maine lobster, pan seared prime Midwestern beef, and blueberry crepes.

Helpful?
1 Thank Rachel B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arlington, VA
Level Contributor
161 reviews
133 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Top Ten Restaurant And Not By Accident”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 16, 2014

Since our visit to CityZen was a carefully planned birthday celebration, our expectations prior to arrival were set incredibly high. Our previous two birthdays had been successfully celebrated at Marcel's and Komi, so comparisons were inevitable. I will say that not everything tasted divine, all service was not impeccable, yet our overall experience clearly illustrated that CityZen belongs among the Washington elite.

Upon arrival we were greeted by a trio of friendly hosts/hostesses. Something about the opening minutes indicated that the restaurant was not entirely ready for us. A waiter approached our table to take our drink orders. He did not seem particularly knowledgeable about what he was doing, and I could not help but think that we were in for a long evening. However, as it turns out, it was just his role to take a basic drink order. Fernando, the man in charge of our table, took over, brought us our menus, and went over our options for the evening. One other hit-and-miss here was that we ended up making our own wine selection, one glass of red (an exquisite pinot noir) and one glass of white (a so-so riesling). If we were bigger wine snobs, perhaps we would have insisted on meeting with the sommelier.

Both of us opted for the six course tasting menu. Most of the dishes are relatively small, but they left us pleasantly full by the end of the evening. The first bite we had to eat was the amuse bouche which was a thin slice of wagyu beef plus some jellylike substance. Nice touch but not a particularly memorable one. We were offered multiple choices of bread - all of which tasted freshly baked - plus later during the meal, there was also a serving of yummy rolls in a wooden box. The first dish was roasted asparagus, one of the better dishes in terms of a variety of different tastes that worked equally well individually as they did in combination with each other. The second course, the chilled lobster salad, was probably the least impressive dish, although there was nothing wrong with it, strictly speaking. I guess I am just not big on cold dishes. The third dish, soft-shell crab with cabbage, was pretty good, but it was unclear what exactly the role of the cabbage was. The fourth dish, the lamb carbonara was probably the best dish of the evening. I probably would have been happy ordering this dish five times over (plus the dessert). The fifth dish was the beef ribeye, perfectly cooked, and an acceptable ending to the selection of entrees. Prior to the dessert, we enjoyed three pieces of chocolate and candy, and as part of the birthday celebration, Fernando also treated us to some muscato dessert wine which was fabulous. In restaurants like CityZen, when you go with a fixed price menu, sometimes the best things you end up eating or drinking are not even listed anywhere on the menu. The dessert was an elaborate version of the root beer float. Plus for the birthday, we received an additional ice cream treat with "Happy Birthday" calligraphed on the plate in chocolate syrup. A nice way to wrap up our evening.

CityZen is located at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, in a somewhat awkward neighborhood, behind government office buildings just south of the Mall/Smithsonian. During the day and in the early evenings, it's actually a simple enough walk from the Smithsonian Metro Station. And I believe CityZen would also have validated our parking had we driven. The hotel is quite upscale and has some nice facilities, including restrooms. The decor of the restaurant is sophisticated and is in line with other restaurants of similar caliber. From my seat I could observe Chef Ziebold and his crew working on the dishes, applying final touches, right before they got shipped to our tables.

My initial reaction after leaving the restaurant was that service was not quite as good as Komi, that the dishes at Marcel's had been tastier on that particular evening, and that the bill was just as high as its peers, and I was actually thinking about going with four instead of five points. But after I came to my senses, I realized that CityZen had actually met our high expectations and that the personal touches in acknowledging our birthday celebration exemplified the interest that the restaurant staff took in treating all of its customers. While not everything was perfect on this visit, rather than dock the restaurant points for a few shortcomings, I would rather acknowledge and reward them for the things they did above my expectations.

  • Visited July 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
5 Thank Markus1995
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada
Level Contributor
38 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Worth every penny”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 14, 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Patrick B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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