Washington Post Skewers the Petworth Citizen

829 Upshur Street, NW

The Post’s Tom Sietsema asks Petworth Citizen looks good, but doesn’t the neighborhood deserve better food? A sample:

“Chicken wings are crisp but scrawny, dull despite their marinade of ginger, garlic and soy sauce. Indeed, they’re the kind of grub you might expect to see at a bowling alley or a breast-aurant, but hardly in a contemporary city setting.

There’s no drinking away the cooking, by the way; the cocktails lack balance.”

Brutal – for those who have been to the Petworth Citizen – agree or disagree?

132 Comment

  • I agree, the wings were tiny and not worth ordering again.

  • Disagree – I have only been there once for dinner and both myself and my husband thought the food was great and the cocktials (house punch of the day) were even better. We had the hush puppies (excellent), chorizo burger (great), chicken fried sausage sandwich (great), and waffle for dessert (good). The price was spot on too.

  • I always get this place mixed up with The Park View Patio because of the original name controversy. I was meeting with a friend at the PVP and they ended up at The Citizen instead… Hah

  • Disagree. I enjoyed the wings and my chorizo burger and fries. My only complaint is that the beer sizes are American pints, which are too small IMO. It’s a neighborhood spot, the author should get their small plates and gourmet cocktails somewhere else, we won’t miss them.

    • justinbc

      If the portion sizes are actually small, and it’s not advertised as a “small plates” kind of place, then it seems like a valid complaint. As for the “gourmet cocktails” remark, they have 2 different cocktail sections on their menu, so again it seems fair to judge them on that. I normally think Sietsema is a massive blowhard, but his comments on the place all seem viable. I’m actually curious what non-Petworth residents think of the place, since so often in DC we become jaded by our own neighborhood’s establishments.

      • Fair enough about the cocktails and my residential bias. But one of the “small plates” he referenced is in the “snacks” section on the menu, and the other is an appetizer. So I interpret snacks to mean they are intended to be for if you are hanging out and just want something small to go with your drink, like a step up from the bowl of pretzels at your local dive. It isn’t a small plate in the sense of tapas or whatever. His usage of that word also seems to indicate his misunderstanding of the function of this place, which I interpret to be a decent local spot to grab a burger and beer at a reasonable price. In my mind it doesn’t serve the same occasion as like, Chez Billy’s. Plus the breastaurant comment is just ridiculous. I guess what I’m saying is that of course it’s not going to get any Michelin Stars, but it doesn’t need to.

        • justinbc

          Yeah a “snack” item really should be pretty straightforward with what your expectations on portion size should be. If he wanted a whole flatbread or something then that’s just purposefully ignorant, since I know he knows what a crostini is.

  • When there ain’t much competition, restaurants can get away with a lot more BS. Captive audience and all that.
    Sistema should go again in a year and see if he has a better experience.

  • I’ve eaten there twice and I have no complaints. Always room for improvement, but I would highly recommend that people check it out.

  • Disagree. I’ve been there for dinner once and had the Chorizo burger. It was delicious. I would definitely go back there for the food. They have good beers as well.

  • I also disagree with Sietsema. I went this past weekend with friends and none of us left with anything but nice things to say about the place. The corned beef entree was great, the cocktails were tasty and the cost was relatively reasonable.

  • Sadly, the review is spot on. Hopefully they can take the feedback and make the necessary adjustments.

  • I found the food wanting and the drinks not terribly good. Definitely nowhere near good enough for the price point.

  • lol. He said “breast-aurant.”
    I’m not totally sure why a restaurant critic is reviewing bar food. Is the Citizen really playing up their food menu that much?

  • I have to agree. I want to love the place, but the portions are small and the drinks are only ok. I had an old fashioned there that had way too much soda water and nowhere near enough whiskey.

  • Agree! I wanted this place to work for me so bad. I had the chorizo burger, and even though the patty was good, they managed to make it a blah sandwich! How can you do that with Chorizo?!

  • I live down the street and have been a number of times. I thought the food was great (have tried almost everything on the menu) and the drink selection to be decent (not great, but decent). My only gripe is that the bartender’s seem to be a little flustered – but it really only has had a negative effect when I was only there to grab a drink.

    The burger was awesome, the pork and grits are fantastic. Chorizo Burger is fantastic too.

  • What’s a breast-aurant?

  • The place could be a little better but considering Petworth’s other options, meaning there aren’t many, I thought he was a bit rough.

    • Why should his review be influenced by whether or not there are many restaurants in Petworth? Mediocre food and drinks are mediocre food and drinks, whether they come from a restaurant downtown or one in Michigan Park.

      I can’t vouch one way or the other for Tom’s review, as I haven’t eaten at Petworth Citizen. But I will say that I have found that, generally speaking, people (particularly those who live close by) tend to oversell the attributes of a new restaurant that opens in an underserved neighborhood because they are thrilled to have another sit-down restaurant option nearby. And while I think that it’s natural for next door neighbors to have a higher tolerance for subpar/mediocre offerings from the neighborhood joint down the street, keep in mind that the Post is the paper of note for the entire region. It sounds like Tom’s saying that PC isn’t worth the trip for anyone outside of the immediate neighborhood, and as someone who doesn’t live in or near Petworth I can appreciate that.

      • Well said. A restaurant should be judged on its own, not in relation to its neighbors (or lack thereof). He’s a critic, that’s his job.

      • “keep in mind that the Post is the paper of note for the entire region”
        But this is what has me a little puzzled. I don’t necessarily agree or diagree with his comments, but why is he writing a review of this place to begin with? One, the Citizen isn’t really a restaurant, is it? Two, it’s a neighborhood establishment, does it really merit a review in “the paper of note for the entire region”? I guess he’s welcome to review whatever he pleases but I doubt readers all over the DC metro area are wondering what that new bar in Petworth is like.

        • justinbc

          If he only reviewed one place per month and this was one of them, then I could see the controversy. The Post puts out reviews constantly, because every other site is fawning all over every other new restaurant opening like they’re the most creative thing to hit DC ever, so they’ve got to keep up. (Seriously, read some of the bogus descriptions that Thrillist or Urban Daddy put out, they’re beyond obnoxious.)

          • I guess then I could rephrase my argument thusly: if “the paper of note in the region” is putting out so many reviews that it has to resort to neighborhood establishments to pad it’s columns then maybe it shouldn’t be putting out so many reviews.

        • I would turn this question around, and ask why PC *shouldn’t* be reviewed in the Post? Just because it’s not holding itself out as a Michelin star-contending destination restaurant doesn’t mean it’s not worth checking in on. Many of Tom’s reviews are for restaurants that may not be destinations, but are restaurants that people may be interested in reading about. He has reviewed kabob joints in Germantown and Vietnamese places in Fairfax, along with places in trendy hoos such as Columbia Heights, 14th Street and H Street. That’s not an uncommong tactic for a publication such as the Post to use. I mean, go look at the places Jonathan Gold reviews in Los Angeles. Many of his reviews involve strip mall joints in far-flung locales; hardly “destination” restaurants (although many of them perhaps should be).

          These reviews are also useful for those times you find yourself in an unfamiliar neighborhood and would like a restaurant recommendation. At any rate, I struggle to come up with a convincing reason as to why a place like PC should be “off-limits” to a restaurant critic. If you’re going to charge $14 for a burger and $12 for a beet sandwich, you’d better have the chops to justify it, neighborhood spot or not.

          • I think I already answered your question but here it is again: I think PC shouldn’t be reviewed by the Post’s restaurant critic a) because it isn’t a restaurant and b) it’s not an establishment of interest for the greater DC metro area. Whether he’s done similar places in the past is irrelevant as far as I’m concerned. But mainly here my point is that I make a distinction between “restaurants” and “bars with food” and I don’t really expect them to be judged on the same criteria.

        • It’s not a full Sietsema review – he does those in the Sunday Magazine and they involve multiple visits and he gives a star rating. This looks like one of his smaller write ups that he does of new restaurants that don’t merit a full review.

      • Nice BIG LEAP you just made there …

    • This is my take as well.

  • Disagree wholeheartedly. Sietsema failed to mention the outstanding romesco sauce on top of the skillet dish and its accompanying arugula salad. Definitely not a frat house concoction. Their bottle and draft list are killer, too.

    • justinbc

      Has the beer list expanded beyond this yet?

      It’s not bad, but I wouldn’t call it “killer”, especially with only 3 draft options. The nice thing is they’re at least not as absurdly priced as most other DC places.

      • Definitely not a killer beer list.. I’ve seen worse, but when considering whats available in the region (killer craft beers!), it could definitely be a lot better.

        I enjoyed the food and overall vibe. Will definitely be back.

    • I have never been, but that is a poor beer list. It’s just a small group of beers that pretty much all taste the same. The oak aged Petrus and the Duck Rabbit are at least a little different, but aside from that you have a lot of beers, that while fine in and of themselves, are very similar to each other. There was no thought put in to that collection.

  • I’ve eaten there once and was really pleased. I forgot what they’re called, but the fried fish/potato ball things were really good. Hush puppies were fine, chorizo burger was good, though the bun was a bit too big, I guess. My wife had Mac n cheese, which i didn’t love when I had a bit. It’s a great place to have in the neighborhood and I’ll go back.

  • Basically agree. I’ve been once. My husband and I thought the chicken sausage sandwich was gross, though the beet sandwich was good. Drinks were only okay. At the same time, we’re happy to have a place like this in the neighborhood, so we’ll definitely go back and just cross our fingers that they kick the food and drink up a notch.

  • Pick on somebody your own size. Upshur Street is never going to be a destination. Most patrons of Petworth Citizen will walk there from home. But, The restaurant serves it purposes nicely of providing a great neighborhood gathering spot with good food and drinks at prices you can’t complain about. I’m surprised that Sietsema even reviewed this place to begin, and actually somewhat offended that he so brutally panned this place, as if he was expecting it to be a culinary revelation.

    • justinbc

      He gets paid to write about restaurants in the DC, why would it surprise you that this place would be included in that?

      • Does he review every single new restaurant/bar that opens in DC? I figure he has to draw the line somewhere (I heard that he visits any restaurant he reviews at least 3 times so there is definitely a commitment involved with each review), and would choose to focus more on upscale restaurants in locations that would draw crowds outside their immediate neighborhood.

        • justinbc

          I’m sure he doesn’t go to every Chinese take-out and random sub shop, but if a place opens with some amount of notoriety then it’s definitely within the scope. This place coming from previously well known restaurateurs makes it an easy selection and something I’m sure many readers were curious about. He also does different levels of reviews, be they little teasers or more in-dept commentary. This kind of felt somewhere in the middle, possibly due to lack of inspiration.

    • “Pick on somebody your own size.”

      So, are you saying that restaurants in Petworth aren’t worthy of being reviewed by the Post’s restaurant critic? That’s an interesting take, and doesn’t speak very highly of the Petworth dining scene.

      • “Petworth dining scene”? Is that a joke? I live in Petworth and I love the neighborhood but it has a long way to go before one can speak of a “Petworth dining scene.” By my count there’s at most one restaurant in Petworth that most people from outside the neighborhood would make a special trip for.

      • I think with any review, you have to consider the target audience. Clearly, when you are located in a residential area half a mile from the metro with a menu that primarily $12 sandwiches, you are not targeting visitors – you are providing a place for nearby neighbors to gather. With WashPost reviews, I would think that you would focus more on restaurants that have a broader appeal based on either their unique menu offerings or central location. This has neither. Instead, this a neighborhood place and should be reviewed in that context.

        • Perhaps we value different things, but if I lived in Petworth and my “local neighborhood joint” was charging $12 for sandwiches, I would expect more than what PC is apparently delivering. It’s just interesting to me that many on this thread seem to be responding so defensively and have taken issue with the fact that PC was reviewed at all.

          I guess the question I have is: if Tom had given PC a hearty recommendation and a glowing review, would people still be upset that he reviewed it? I suspect not.

      • The funny part about this “don’t review neighborhood restaurants in Petworth” line of argument is that, had this been a glowing review, the restauranteurs (who would stand to make more money and loyal customers, both from near and far) and residents (who would have something to brag about and talk about how ‘up and coming” the Petworth dining scene is) alike would be ecstatic. And that potential only exists if guys like Sietsma bring it to the street and try these smaller, neighborhood places on behalf of the big news outlets. At that point, you can’t possibly argue that the guy is obligated to stand down or only write positive reviews.

        • Perfect example: When TS reviewed Pho Viet (the small basement Vietnamese Restaurant on 14th Street with out a liquor license) everyone was excited because it got a really good review. They have amazing Pho in Columbia Heights that many would miss with out the review. I’m glad that our neighborhood spots get reviewed. I live a few blocks from Pho Viet and would have missed it with out the attention.

    • Hahaha. You sad people will be gone soon enough just like the others have left Logan. PC is fine…just fine. Tom is helping with marketing and highlighting (albeit negatively) the neighborhood. Your point of comparison is Firefly or the Citizen?! Keep trying and start visualizing yourselves in MD. Bye.

  • I think Sietsema may have expectations raised by the fact that this came from the Room 11 guys. Without that as background, this is pretty good. Compared to Room 11, it’s definitely not the same.

  • Went once for drinks. Found the atmosphere lacking sadly.

  • I had a very positive experience there – the food, the drinks, the service, the reasonably priced bill, great all around. If they were looking for customer feedback, I’d say expand the menu a bit. Given, however, that they recently released a weekend brunch menu then I just assumed the shorter menu was a reflection of its newness, and that it will likely improve upon itself once it really gets settled. I’m very excited to have it as a welcome addition the neighborhood and entire city, for that matter.

  • From an adult perspective, room for improvement, but I’ll go for drinks and snacks/burger. There are certainly other better places for dinner, but in a pinch, it totally works. I thought the drinks were great… perhaps he just had a new bartender or something.

    Not to start up a whole kids v no-kids thing… but if they want families to come (and they will in droves) then a changing table, kids menu, and better mac n cheese are needed. Like us or not, we’re a market in Petworth and the benefit is that we’re generally out by 7pm, having ordered food and drinks at a time when bars can be sparsely populated.

  • I agree with the review. The food was mediocre and unsatisfying. My husband and I wanted to love this place so we could stay close to home but until there are changes I don’t see us going back. I don’t want fancy, but I don’t like the food options (which are limited). i am not a picky eater either.

  • I absolutely disagree with Sietsema. The wings are fantastic and the drinks are delicious – this place is fantastic!

  • Well, one upside to the critique is that the people who continue to patron the Citizen (and they will) won’t be crowded out by destination diners. A glowing review of the food could have turned it in to a place where you can never get seated, and that’s not what I’d want a neighborhood joint to be.

    He’s right that the food and drink should be better given the resumes of the chef and bar captain, but the neighborhoods for Firefly and Mandarin Oriental–along with their budgets and clientele–hardly compare to what could and should be found in Petworth. Expectation should be set accordingly.

    I’m looking forward to a long and successful future for this place.

    • justinbc

      The “neighborhood” around the Mandarin Oriental is a bunch of big government buildings.

      • Exactly. There’s no comparison to be made. I agree with those who think Sietsema shouldn’t even be reviewing this place. A neighborhood bar that’s been open–what–two months? Not really fair.

        But again, I don’t want it to become destination dining, so whatevs.

  • His review of the food is pretty consistent with our meal there. On paper, the menu looks excellent. The execution wasn’t great. With tweaks, each of the dishes we had could be great. As served, they ranged from unimpressive to good.

    The beet sandwich was good, could’ve used a hint more acid.
    Mac and Cheese: looked exactly like Kraft (same pasta shape/size, same color). It needed a thicker sauce, some more texture and a sharper cheese.
    Fish fritters: woefully underseasoned, sauce was nice
    Salad: one note and underdressed.

  • I live in the neighborhood and have been a few times. The food was good, but it was all too greasy. They have an interesting selection of beer and alcohol. I’ve tried most of the cocktails on their menu and have not enjoyed any of them except the Moscow Mule. I think a few modifications that lessen the grease in their food and a complete rewrite of their drink menu and they’ll be a great neighborhood location.

  • Most agree with the review. Drinks are just meh. The hush puppies and chorizo burger were really tasty and well priced, but hate the bready bun that the chorizo burger was served with. The fries were way too salty. Should be a good neighborhood locale.

  • Totally disagree. Had a really excellent experience there the other week, and I thought the value for what you get was incredible. And I had a really delicious cocktail! I rarely agree with Sietsema’s reviews.

  • epric002

    saw this on sunday and was surprised/disappointed. went once for dinner and had a great time. we had the wedge salad (best ever, seriously), falafel pita (good), and fried chicken sausage sandwich (delish). the katana cocktail and the sloe gin fizz were both delightful. i will definitely be back.

  • Too bad that “neighborhood bar” has to mean “food that you make excuses for.” See NY and SF for places that manage to pull off both admirably.

    • A-MEN.

      Just because a place doesn’t hold itself out as a “destination” restaurant doesn’t exempt them from providing quality food and drinks. If you’re charging $14 for a burger, there are expectations that come with that.

    • Not always true, at least regarding the bags of chips at The Raven.

  • I had a really lovely experience here a few weeks ago… the ambiance is totally spot on and I found the portion sizes to be surprisingly large, especially considering Room 11’s dishes. My beet sandwich was delicious and so big I couldn’t finish the arugula salad that comes with it. The brisket dish was also tasty though the goat cheese crostini and mac and cheese were a bit lacking. I wouldn’t come for cocktails but I’ll definitely be back to try the chorizo burger.

  • “There’s no drinking away the cooking”

    i do that most place i go just fine thank you very much.

  • I agree with Tom’s comments. We live in the neighborhood and have been to Petworth Citizen a couple of times for dinner and drinks – so we have tried most of the items on the dinner menu. While many sounded tasty in print, we found them bland and/or poorly executed. The highly touted chorizo burger was the best of the things we’ve tried, but that seemed very one note — and was a lot of chorizo. I could see eating a choizo slider, but found the entire burger to be too much chorizo.
    The ambience is great, service friendly and relaxed, also very accommodating and kid friendly, and we are glad they are in the neighborhood, but hope they can step up their game in the food department and maybe add a few more things to the menu.
    The neighborhoodiness of the place will bring us back, but not the food. Hopefully the owners can kick up the menu a bit in response to the Post’s and locals’ reviews.

  • Been there once for dinner, once for just drinks. Food and drinks were good – not terrible and not stellar. My visits were certainly not as bad as Sietsema’s apparently were. Maybe it’s a question of expectations? I went expecting to try a new “bar food” type place, figuring that it would still be working out the kinks because they are new. Apparently he had higher expectations because of the chef and bar manager? I thought that the review was unduly harsh and snarky. I’m also not sure what he means about Manhattans not coming with maraschino cherries. Maybe some places infuse their own cherries or use a fancy jarred brand, but my recollection is that maraschinos are the classic Manhattan garnish.

    • epric002

      agree on the manhattan/maraschino front.

    • Yuck, commercial maraschino cherries taste like cough syrup and chemicals. If they are going to use maraschino cherries, they should at least make their own (which isn’t hard to do). I think the Manhattan cocktail predates maraschino cherries in the US, so I doubt it’s authentic to the recipe. If I garnish my Manhattan with a cherry, it’s with a brandied or bourbon-ed cherry.

      • justinbc

        You are correct. I believe the point he was getting at was that if you’re going to use a garnish, make it count for something, especially if your pedigree comes from owners of a well-known cocktail destination. Simply dropping a tasteless (or bad tasting) ingredient in a drink because the “classic” recipe calls for it is doing your customers a disservice.

  • I’ve been there a few times, but haven’t had any food. The drinks have always been great though! Some of the best cocktails in Petworth/Park View/Columbia Heights.

    • The cocktails are mediocre at best and come in tiny glasses. Not worth the price. The cocktails on the menu list all sorts of wonderful flavors and sound amazing, but all taste like bland moonshine.

  • What’s wrong with putting maraschino cherries in a Manhattan? That’s one of the reasons i like them!
    And why do I keep getting error messages telling me I’m posting too quickly? This is the only post I’ve attempted…

    • What’s wrong with them is that they are not in the recipe for the drink. Brandied cherries is what the Manhattan recipe calls for. Maraschino are an abomination of a product that should be reserved for Shirley Temples and their ilk…

  • 2: Domku & Chez Billy

  • Why is it so hard to get a neighbohood restaurant right? I went once, early, with a baby. The service was fine but the menu really limited. Hopefully they will switch it up more with daily specials. The falafal was defintiely of the frozen variety, little flavor and served luke warm. Hush puppies were ok. Everythign was just ok but because we so desperately want to support a local business, we tend to give too many passes when the reality is we are just setting them up for failure. Eventually you gotta have a lot of repeat business to stay in business. Dont’ even get me started on why Chez Billy still has the worst service of just about any place I have been to in the last year. They should have it down by now. (while I appreciate Chez Billy trying to reach out the Petworth Parents, if it takes 25 min just to put in the drink order then you have no idea what dining with kids is like). Cmon Petworth and Park View, surely we can get better restaurants.

    • epric002

      you seem really hard to please. i’ve had vastly different experiences, and think chez billy is a gem. never once had a problem with service there. and the oodles of people who bring their kids there seems to indicate there are plenty of parents pleased with their service.

  • I like the food. I just wish the brunch was more distinct from their dinner menu. More brunchy, if you will. Add a couple of vegetarian egg dishes, and it would become my go-to brunch spot.

  • My husband and I are former residents of Petworth, and so we made a bit of a trek to come check it out. We were so curious! And so excited for the neighborhood! I didn’t have any particular complaint with the small bites we had (a dessert and an appetizer, split), but was disappointed with the overall vibe, which was sort of a foodie-aesthetic varnish (typefonts, menu design, the host’s clothing) over diner/pool hall standardness. Maybe I came in with the wrong expectations? The bowling alley comparison evaded me until Sietsema used it, but it now seems exactly like what I would have used to describe it. Which is fine! It’s just not what I thought it would be, not really what I’d seek out next time. I’ll stick with Domku, which I will forever adore — Domku makes Petworth absolutely splendid.

    • I beg to differ on Domku. I wish it weren’t so… but the place has so much to be desired. Food is hit or miss in terms of what you order… the final straw for me was ordering the french toast and it was literally rock hard multi-grain toast with an odd syrup… and not enough syrup to make up for the seriously hard toast. If the food were amazing, maybe I could put up with the down right mean owner… but the combination makes this place off limits for me. I’ll take Citizen over this place ANY DAY!

      • Yeah, I remember when Domku came to Petworth we were so hopeful, but the service is terrible, the food is meh, and the owner is unbelievably rude. Every time a place comes to Petworth, I hope it will be the one to make it clear that Domku is overrated. I’ll stick with Hitching Post.

        • justinbc

          I love Hitching Post, wish I could frequent it more often.

        • People who haven’t been to Domku in a while should go back and try it again. The food and service have definitely been mediocre in the past. We went back about six months ago having not visited in a year or so prior, and were really impressed. They stepped up the food and decor and service was good. We’ve been a bunch of times in the last six months; now it’s probably our go-to restaurant in Petworth.

    • wow. you mention “the hosts clothing” as carrying a”foodie aesthetic”. What does that even mean?
      Also, you are the *only* person who I’ve ever heard say that they adore Domku. When we talk about places that get a pass due to being the only place around, Domku epitomizes this. Since 2005. I cannot believe that place is still in business.
      Petworth Citizen is a BAR. If you want to eat fancy/foodie food, go somewhere else. Please leave the Citizen for us neighborhood folk who wanna hang with our neighbors and have a few drinks. Maybe instead of striving to have a gourmet restaurant within every bar, lets think more like Chicago: neighborhood bars.

  • Wow, I think this review is harsh. I went for a drinks and a bite to eat with friends and I think we were happy with the wines, beers, and bar food. I wouldn’t go there if I was looking for a nice meal out, but for bar food it did the trick and the decor was nice as well. My gripe was that the bar is filled with meat smoke — a haze throughout the bar that hits you as soon as you walk in. My clothes smelled like smoked meat whenever I got home (similar to the situation at Trusty’s near Potomac Ave, for those who are familiar with that phenomenon).

  • Well, it’s bar food. And I don’t think you can get a chorizo burger or wedges salad at Hooters. And I’m pretty sure, you can’t get a delicious Scofflaw.

    I don’t think the Reading Room is suppose to be a foodie establishment. I think if you are that far north, you get a good drink, decent nosh and move on.

    I’m glad that the Post was harsh. I really don’t want to be surrounded by the Capitol Hill elite squad while I’m hanging Petworth.

  • I can’t speak too much on the food, but the service I experienced on a not so busy friday night was probably some of the worst I’ve had in a while. Forgotten drinks, forgotten food, servers flat out ignoring everyone – forgetting one thing, and then forgetting again. The plus side was, after forgetting so many things – we ended up not spending money for all the things we had to cancel because they took 30 minutes. Won’t be returning which is a shame because the bar is nice.

  • Uh, I was there on Saturday and the wings were pretty much legs: They were freaking huge.

  • Hi all –

    The back and forth on this thread made me wonder who actually was commenting from a perspective of not being employed/funded in some way by PC. Seems a few of the defensive comments are akin to the issue we saw with The Coupe a few months back. Agree?/Disagree?

    Either way, I think the PC owners should have their own PR push on PoP in the same way as The Coupe. Clearly, something isn’t working right now.

  • Have to agree with the Post. I was very excited to have a new place open in the neighborhood and have been 3 times – twice for dinner and once for drinks and a snack. I liked the decor, the service was excellent, and the drinks were good but the food was mediocre enough that I won’t be going back until I hear that some major changes have been made. I’ve had the chorizo burger (boring), the chicken sausage sandwich (kinda gross), the wings (ok but not crispy enough), bruschetta (not good) and the waffle dessert (literally the lamest dessert I have ever had at a restaurant). I think if the idea is a neighborhood pub, they seem to be trying to hard to make unique quirky dishes. Whats wrong with well executed burgers, sandwiches, salads, and a couple of interesting entrees?

  • I had brunch there yesterday. It was great. Some people just have trouble being comfortable with simple food.

  • Who cares what Tom Seitsema says?

    With online aggregators like Yelp or Urban Spoon, people like him are somewhat obsolete.

    Also, he is extremely biased toward restaurant groups. I found his unabashed love of Le Diplomate completely ridiculous. For the price point, that restaurant is average at best. He takes no risk, this review does not surprise me at all.

    • Most people on Yelp, etc. don’t write as well as Tom Sietsema does.

    • The difference between Tom Seitsema and Yelp users is that Tom has tried almost every restaurant in DC, many several times. And he has been doing it for years. Your average Yelp user can’t honestly determine what’s the best French restaurant in DC, for example, because they’ve only been to a small fraction of them (unless they’re justinbc).

      • Agreed. And you also get to “know” Sietsma, so you can interpret his reviews to figure out how it would affect your own experience. If he comments on some aspect of the restaurant and you typically agree (or not) with him about that sort of thing, then you know how to use that info. I’m not going to put that kind of energy into reading people’s other yelp reviews to figure out if they’re credible. Yelp is only useful to the extent that patterns emerge in the aggregate of comments.

    • justinbc

      As someone with over 600 lengthy reviews on Yelp before I quit contributing there I can comfortably say that site is full of absolute idiots. There is a reason people trust (to varying degrees) what a “professional” food critic says.

  • I live in the neighborhood (have since 2004), and have been to PC three times – once just for drinks, twice for food as well – and while I really like that this place is here (Domku needs the competition), I can’t disagree with Sietsema.

    The food is above average for bar food, but that’s all. And while I’m a beer guy, my wife has wasn’t happy with her cocktails (weak and unbalanced, as in the review).

    Worst for me is the atmosphere, or lack of it. The lighting is harsh, too bright, and too even throughout the place. Light is supposed to create pockets of space, not simply illuminate. There’s just no vibe, no personality to the place overall.

    I’m happy to have seen PC bustling each time I’ve been, but especially in winter, Chez Billy will be my first choice in the area until PC improves in all areas – food, drinks, and vibe.

  • The beet burger at PC is really. I’m very surprised it hasn’t been mentioned more frequently in the comments and the focus is mainly on the chorizo burger! The pork and grits was also very good.
    And this isn’t a place just for neighborhood folks. Friends from various neighborhoods in DC have been coming and enjoying it.
    But I am glad Sietsema didn’t give it a glowing review- will keep all the suburban kids away.

    • justinbc

      This whole “a bad review will keep others away from our local spot” strategy might be good for you, but it’s not good for the business. When enough people wind up staying away because they hear it’s no good it might not be there very long for you to have.

  • Disagree- this is a great neighborhood spot with fantastic service and great drinks. The menu might be a little overly ambitious, but the cocktails, especially the punch, are killer.

  • Totally disagree. I’ve had both the wings and the short ribs. The wings are crispy, and the homemade duck sauce is delightful. The short rib was cooked perfectly, and probably the best piece of beef I have had in a restaurant in this city. Lead it most definitely was not. The only thing on my plate I could have done without was the grilled lettuce.

    Staff are friendly and attentive. Really a great neighborhood watering hole!

  • I think the portions are puny, for their prices. What is it with this block and doll-house food? Domku’s portions are doll-housed, and so are Petworth Citizen.

  • I like the place & have visited it a handful of times, its good, not great. The Citizen needs a happy hour and charging tax on top of the listed price for drinks instead of including the tax it feels like a slight of hand. Agree with the comments on the wings and the crostini. Its going to have to do more to either bring the prices down or increase the value for me to take the short walk there more often.

  • Not a denizen of Petworth, but have been to P Citizen 2x. We both enjoyed eating @ the bar 1st time – good service, drinks, and food. 2nd visit, took friends from out of town and had good service, drinks and dinner. Only problem was the loudmouth in the next booth. What a freak. We left a lot earlier than we would have, just so we could have a conversation. Guess I’m saying we like the place itself but we’re unlikely to return, given the boorish clientele. The staff tooled their eyes in recognition of the ptoblem but didn’t seem inclined to act on it.

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