CityZen closing Dec. 6th at the Mandarin Oriental

Photo of CityZen via Mandarin Oriental

Big news reported by the Washington Post on Friday:

“CityZen, the critically acclaimed restaurant in the Mandarin Oriental, will close Dec. 6 with the departure of chef Eric Ziebold. Ziebold is leaving to open his own restaurant in Mount Vernon Triangle…the hotel plans to launch a new signature restaurant in the coming year.”

You can salivate over CityZen’s menu here – CityZen_Dining_Menu (PDF)

Back in August we learned that Chef Ziebold would be opening a new restaurant at 1015 7th Street, NW (near the Passenger). Updates when he gets closer to opening.

25 Comment

  • tonyr

    Looks like we just made it in time. My son graduated recently and now that he’s gainfully employed he decided to start paying me back for the last 22 years. This place was the most “reasonably” priced 4* option that also offered a vegetarian selection. The menu then read “Loin of Shoat” instead of “Pork Loin”. I had no idea what a “Shoat” was and he read it as “Lion” and was visibly shocked. Fun times. Experience was excellent and as my mother used to say, the best food doesn’t have the taste of money on it.

    Also Eric’s new place is two blocks away so next time I’ll be spared the walk from L’Enfant Plaza metro, which reminded me of one of Goddard’s dystopian efforts. My sympathies to all the people who have to work around there every day.

  • With CityZen closing and Citronelle already closed, what options are left for a really amazing dinner? Restaurant Eve? Minibar?

    And that is really a shame. CityZen was one of the few places I’ve been in DC where the food and the service were absolutely flawless. They were extremely accommodating and the service was attentive, but not obtrusive. It is not a check that I could afford to pick up every day (unfortunately) but CityZen was lovely for a special occasion. I look forward to seeing if Ziebold’s new place is as wonderful.

      • After reviewing subsequent replies since I suggested Komi, I thought I’d add some more thoughts.
        First, Rose’s Luxury and CityZen/Komi-type places are not in the same league. Rose’s is amazing and a fun dining experience worthy of the lavish praise, but it does not operate in the same sphere as Citronelle, CityZen, Eve, or Komi. These are higher-end, tasting-menu style places with optional pairings. The prices also reflect this difference.
        Second, I actually never understood the high marks CityZen received. I never thought the service or food stood up to the hype or price. It was not bad, just not that special. My wife and I took my mother there for a big birthday, but were embarrassed by the indifferent and inattentive service with slightly above-average food.
        Lastly, I’ve been to Eve, CityZen, Komi, and Citronelle (before it closed), but I think Komi is the best restaurant in the city. The service, food, and atmosphere are all spectacular. I’ve been fortunate to go several times and have had equally great experiences each time. It maneuvers through a lot of food and drink that is memorable and entertaining. I’m not associated with this establishment, but think it deserves serious consideration as a special occasion place that was not represented in this discussion.

    • Don’t read Seitsema’s latest missive on Eve…..
      What’s wrong with Rose’s? It’s worth the hype (and nowhere near as pricey as the others mentioned).
      But yeah, Komi is really good too when we were there a couple years ago (not as good as Rose’s in overall enjoyment though IMO).

      • GiantSquid

        Mr. Squid and I were ‘meh’ on Komi.
        Rose’s is a solid dining experience and great food but you can’t reserve ahead of time.
        I haven’t tried to get reservations at Minibar since it has expanded. Is it any easier?

      • Rose’s is great, but any place that doesn’t take reservations will never coexist the rarefied air of truly “high end” dining that you get at Komi, Minibar, Per Se, Jean George, French Laundry, etc.

        • Galatoire’s in New Orleans–James Beard’s Outstanding Restaurant in 2004 and one of the most storied restaurants in the country–doesn’t take reservations. Famous story they tell is how a Senator took a call in line from President Reagan and had to go back outside to continue waiting for his table after he hung up.

          It’s just a different way to do “rarified high end dining.” It’s about making the meal the event itself–building anticipation with a line is part of that for Rose’s.

    • Agree. My wife and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary there last year and are going back for our second this Saturday. Obviously the food was excellent, but we were blown away by the service. To me, that was the difference between a top-flight place like CityZen and restaurants a rung or two down ladder. Sad to see it go.

    • Anon, I’m sure there are perhaps one or two restaurants in this sleepy two-horse town that will satisfy your discerning tastes.

      • @ Really:. Give me a break. I didn’t say that there weren’t ANY good restaurants in DC. For the record, yes, I know that there are plenty. What I said was that there weren’t many that are on a par with CityZen. And there aren’t many people who would dispute that.

      • Two-horse town? Haven’t you heard? Millennial newcomers are getting away from private transport to help save the environment (all that horse poo adds up).

    • Plume for the service and ambiance (and wine), but sadly not as innovative on the food front. Iron Gate for something a little different in nice weather.

      Citronelle, Palena, CityZen. Options are getting more limited unless you want a steak house, in which case take your pick. Fiola Mare is a good option for awesome seafood, but the setting is a small step down from the more elegant places in town.

      • +1 for Iron Gate. The main room’s tasting menu was -almost- on par with a meal I had at Charlie Trotter’s a few years before it closed, and nicer in some ways. Better decor, for sure.

        • gertie_wickler

          +2 for Iron Gate. Hubby and I just went there for our anniversary and kept discussing how perfect the service was. The food was amazing too.

      • I find Iron Gate vastly overrated. Never has a dish there that tasted special (service nad ambiance great, mind you).

    • I took my parents to Marcel’s for their 50th anniversary (they wanted to stay in the city and CityZen & Komi were too “odd” for them) and the service and food were impeccable.

      • I agree that Marcel’s is an excellent option. They also offer a pre-theater menu with complimentary car service to the Kennedy Center. Great place.

      • +1000 for Marcel’s
        From the bartender who stored my drink aside without being asked to do so to the attentive service with a vegetarian diner. Top notch. Also the first place I had the deliciousness that is foie gras (yes, I know how’s made, and yes, it’s still delicious; don’t judge me)

    • I’ve heard good things about Obelisk but have never been. Similarly, Fiola and Fiola Mare get great reviews but I can’t give a personal opinion.

      Iron Gate was fantastic when I went–I wouldn’t say it’s a classic place, but more of a very “now” place and I loved all the food. Rasika was a fun fancy experience, too, but not the same level of formality (and honestly, other than the Palak Chaat I like Masala Art more). Bombay Club may be a more formal atmosphere and the service has always been great.

    • I like Rouge 24 (over Komi)

  • Maybe we should ask the NYT where to dine mere steps from projects (sarcasm).

  • This place was WAY overhyped (and therefore overpriced). I went with family and I recommended against it to everyone. Number 3 restaurant in the city? Pleeeeeeeeease.

  • Obelisk is great, but it’s not a super fancy, formal place like CityZen or Citronelle were. I agree that Iron Gate is really good, but it’s not one of those either.

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