2012 Fall Dining Guide By Tom Sietsema
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Almost every bravura performance includes a showstopper, a moment when the star delivers something exquisite. Order the six-course tasting menu at CityZen, and you’ll probably agree that the high point of the evening is a dish called Lobster Magic. Dreamed up by Eric Ziebold, the fourth course, seafood-and-pork dumplings, is introduced from a cart that’s rolled to the table by the executive chef himself. Ziebold lets you see the pine-green purses before he gently cooks them in a steamer basket. Moments later, they emerge hot and ... red! With a smile, the boyish protege of Thomas Keller explains the “magic,” which lands in a bowl garnished with caramelized cauliflower and golden raisins: The pasta dough is made with lobster roe, which changes hue when it’s cooked. The trick is delicious, but it is far from the only thrill of the night in this cathedral of luxury dining. Halibut perched on a nest of young coconut and served in a consomme of roasted corn, and a torchon of foie gras poised on soft peaches and ringed in sparkling wine gelee quicken this food lover’s pulse, too. With the succulent herb-roasted lamb comes a glass of 2006 Font de la Figuera, a blend of Grenache, carignan and syrah from Priorat, Spain -- and gratitude for sommeliers as passionate as Andy Meyers, who’s also responsible for the dining room’s cool playlist. CityZen is eight years old, but it feels as fresh as ever.
My husband and I went for our anniversary and had a wonderful time. We ordered from the 4 course menu and everything was delicious. The dayboat scallops were some of the tastiest I've ever had and the veal shoulder with potato risotto and spinach was heavenly. The staff also was very attentive and acknowledged our anniversary with a card signed by the chef and all of the staff, a glass of moscato for each of us, an extra dessert wishing us happy anniversary in chocolate, and if that wasn't enough, they even gave us a bag with coffee cake, coffee and tea-bags to take home. One of the best nights out that we've had in a long time.
This is dining. We did the tasting menu with wine pairings and the experience was amazing. Great flavors and combinations. It was very cool to see the chef at the table with his "Lobster Magic" dish and the lamb was some of the best I've ever had. Some of the most friendly and professional service we've had.
CityZen is beyond phenomenal. I would give it more stars, if I could. The meal, the wine, the service... it was all perfect. All the flavors and textures were amazing. I can't think of a better dining experience I've had in the past 20 years (I dine out a lot). I cannot recommend it highly enough. For my money it's the best restaurant in DC.
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