After Eviscerating Petworth Citizen, Crane & Turtle Gets Good Review from The Post

828 Upshur Street, NW

After destroying Petworth Citizen back in November, The Post’s Tom Sietsema is much happier with chef Makoto Hamamura other restaurant Crane & Turtle located across the street. He writes:

“The food at Crane & Turtle can sometimes make you swoon and other times make you scratch your head. One thing you will never be is bored.”

Which is a phenomenal upgrade from the Petworth Citizen review:

“Reaction, after three visits: The check can’t come soon enough.”

21 Comment

  • Dangling modifiers strike again! After reading the headline, I was terribly worried that some poor Petworth resident had been maimed by Crane & Turtle.

  • I’m really excited to try Crane & Turtle and even more excited about Upshur Books.

    Petworth Citizen is great, for drinks, I LOVE their drinks (pricy but amazing), but their food? It’s weird, heavy, and just… off. I really think they need to revisit the menu

    • $8 for a cocktail is pricey? I go there a lot because the drinks are great and cheap!

    • jim_ed

      If you stick with the burger and drinks at Petworth Citizen, you’re doing fine. Veer off of that and it gets lousy in a hurry.
      Crane & Turtle was lovely though. Food, drinks, and service were all great, though I think we enjoyed the starters a little more than the entrees. Although it’s expensive enough to be a once in a blue moon destination, it’s great to see it in Petworth, and by all appearances doing very well.

    • Exactly how I feel. I love Petworth Citizen for drinks and to hang out, but the food is always super heavy/greasy. Doesn’t keep me away, but does keep me from eating there.

  • To be fair, Sietsema is the guy who still thinks Jaleo and Range are two of DC’s best restaurants. Crane & Turtle is better than both of those dumps, and certainly one of the best new restaurants (if not THE best) in DC this year.

  • Wait, so Crane & Turtle eviscerated Petworth Citizen? 😀

  • So all that praise and . . . only 2 stars?

  • I’d like to see a Venn diagram of “people who read PoP” and “people who give a f *** about what Sietsma has to say”.

  • Ha, I’m glad I’m not the only one questioning why Seitsema still likes Jaleo. Have been a number of times, but always have mediocre food and service. They must know him on sight and punch up the experience for him. I haven’t been to Range, but the fact that the Range folks know him on sight, he had such a bad experience when in disguise, but he still recommends Range makes me question all of his recommendations.

    • justinbc

      Everyone has differing opinions, for sure. And while I may disagree with him frequently, at least he does a good job of explaining why he gives certain scores, versus the Yelp masses who can barely muster three consecutive sentences.

  • the best thing you can say about Seitsma is that he’s a step up from Phyllis Richman, who was utterly useless and well known to restauranteurs.

  • I had high expectations for Crane & Turtle when it opened. Up until the moment it was open for business, I tried my best to keep track with any press release or preview that involved this restaurant. Makoto Hamamur’s resume especially had me excited about eating here. Unfortunately, I left a little disappointed. The service was good, though it was clear that they were still in the process of finding a rhythm. But the food left me feeling underwhelmed. It wasn’t that the food was bad, it just wasn’t the amazing experience I anticipated. Of course, that was just my reaction. My friend, who went with me, loved it and was much more enthusiastic about it than I was by the time we left.

    I’m not giving up on this restaurant, though. There’s no doubt in my mind of Hamamur’s talent. I like the interior design and the entire menu concept. I look forward to going again soon with hopes of having a much improved experience.

  • I checked out C&T over the weekend. I concur with the commenter who felt underwhelmed. The food is good, though pricey for such small portions. On the one hand, I completely understand that C&T’s entrees are made with more exotic ingredients and aren’t rounded out with heaps of potatoes/rice/inexpensive veggies. On the other hand, nothing about Crane and Turtle feels worth the $120 we dropped there. Pricey ($18-$27) small & flavorful plates can be done well in the right environment. C&T has zero ambiance (the “bar” is a counter facing the open kitchen and the tables are crammed together in the small space), almost no drink selection, and the decor is bland. They somehow managed to make the inside less appealing than Mothership… and that’s saying something.

    Unless this place becomes the kind of unique hot spot for foodies who are willing to take the Metro and trek past Chez Billy and up to Upshur, I don’t see it surviving as-is.

    FWIW, I like Petworth Citizen’s brunch.

  • I was underwhelmed by C&T and if I am going to spend that kind of money I will venture further afield. Sietsema lost me a but anyway when he gave Domku a good review.

  • +1 for pp who would really, really, really like to see Petworth Citizen revamp its menu (is anyone in power listening???) I like the space and love having another option in the hood but the several things I’ve tried there have varied from not good to really disgusting. The avocado on toast with fatty bacon? I wish I could forget that flavor. The arugula salad was…well…a plate full of arugula with an indiscernable salad. Could you just serve some standard brunch items and call it a day? No need to get fancy. I forgot what we had for dinner when the joint first opened but remember hoping it was a fluke and that other food would be better. I want to return but I feel almost scarred…would love to know mgmt has heard the concerns of its patrons and is doing something about it first.

  • I think the food at Petworth Citizen has been improving lately and the drinks are very good. Their peach barbeque chicken was fall off the bone tender and the potato salad had a nice smoky flavor. I was not impressed with the food choices or flavors when they first opened. Perhaps they are paying attention to the criticism.

  • Snobby dude writing articles while getting paid to eat and be snobby. I don’t care for these critics.

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