citronelle mosaic

I think it’s rare when a restaurant lives up to its hype, but I must say that Michel Richard’s Citronelle delivers, and then some! I’d wanted to try this restaurant for a long while, but it’s not the sort of place you can just pop into casually – the price tag can be kind of daunting for even the most ambitious foodie.

So last Friday, I finally had the fortune of dining there on the small occasion of celebrating my friends’ marriage. XD Such a fun foodie pair they make, it was only fitting to try out one of the best restaurants in town! We did the dinner “a la carte” menu, which is a three course meal where you get a choice of appetizer, entree, and dessert for a set price. (Some items are extra, like caviar. Or an optional cheese course for $18).

Aside from OMGWTFAMAZING, I’ll try to recall the other words that we came up with to describe our dining experience there. I do remember that a lot of “ooing” and “aahing” took place, along with a healthy smattering of flash photography.

I had to use this picture of the “mosaic” surf and turn as the header image because wow…what a work of art! And trust me, it tasted as amazing as it looks. In the tradition of surf and turf, the best of land and sea was represented on this plate, sliced in the most impossibly thin manner imaginable and arranged beautifully across the plate. The steak tartare was Chateaubriand, meltingly delicate. Then there was salmon, tuna, eel and scallop, mixed in with cucumber, radish and peppers. Scattered on top were black beans and rice krispies for an interesting variation of texture. Loved it! I’d say this was my favorite dish of the evening.

I know you wanna click the link for MOAR! >>

amuse bouche

So I’m backtracking one course to the amuse bouche, bite-sized morsels of fun from the chef. There was smoked salmon to the right, glazed chicken with black sesame in the middle, and a mini “taco” made from fruit slaw (peaches, I think?) So cute! The slaw was most refreshing. Definitely amused my bouche.

citronelle egg symphony

Okay, back to appetizers. Here’s the most whimsical dish of the evening – the “egg symphony.” No eggs were actually used in this dish! The highlights for me were the lobster mousse “scrambled eggs” (far left) and the creamy whipped cauliflower (second from the right).

citronelle tuna

The third appetizer, tuna Napoleon “ni├žoise.” (Apparently the Obamas had this when they famously dined here a few months back).

citronelle squab

Moving on to main course, here is the squab, complete with leg confit and a red wine sauce, with square fried potatoes that elevates the tater tot to levels you never imagined. Amazing!! *___*

Here’s a funny story…when my friend was ordering a wine to accompany her squab, the waiter firmly discouraged her from getting the white. “So you wouldn’t recommend it then?” she asked.

“No, I would not,” came the no-nonsense reply. Our waiter was very French and quite amusing. (My friend ordered the white anyway, undaunted!).

Squab is actually a kind of pigeon, and it was my first time trying it. Who knew the bird could taste so good??

citronelle macaroni gratin

The squab came with this macaroni gratin, baked with foie gras, wtf. So decadent that one bite will do ya.

citronelle veal 3 ways

Veal three ways, with the sweetbreads and veal cheeks being the best! ♥

citronelle short ribs

Here’s Michel’s signature short rib dish: cooked sous vide for 72 HOURS and seasoned with a raisin peppercorn sauce. Fabulous! This is actually not the whole of the dish – the beef was served in a large pan, and there was enough to feed four people, at least! It is intended for 2 people, so if you order it for one, they’ll charge you an extra $50. Needless to say, much of this beef became takeaway.

ps., the mashed potatoes that came with this were wonderful!

On to dessert! But before that came this little thing:

citronelle orange mousse

An airy square of orange mousse, topped with cherry sauce.

citronelle souffle

Passion fruit souffle with coconut sorbet, candied slice of pineapple, and whipped cream topped with chocolate crisps. Actually a bit too tart for me. Definitely must have it with the sweet sorbet to cut the sourness of the passion fruit.

citronelle apple

Tatin-like apple, served warm and with a caramel ice cream. Lovely and sweet!

citronelle blueberry cheesecake

Blueberry cheesecake with orange sorbet. Nice pairing, loved the sorbet.

Ah, sadly the meal had to come to an end. One thing that surprised me about the meal was how BIG the portions were! We’d been planning on having that cheese course, but the moment the entrees hit the table, that option was out the window. This is not the sort of establishment that skimps on the volume in that tradition of “less is more.”

And nor do they rush you out. We were there for three hours, and they pretty much let us stay for as long as we wanted after the last of our meal was done. High praises for the attentive wait staff (and much love in particular to the French waiter, who dryly asked me if I was photographing the bill when I’d whipped out my iPhone calculator at the end, hahaha!)

I’ll still be fantasizing about that mosaic dish a year from now, I’m sure. Hopefully I’ll revisit Citronelle before too long!

Wow. this looks like a really high class place!! *____*
And everything seems really tasty!

(I’m catchuing up with your posts and EVERYTHING looks wonderful!!!)

Oh, damn. I need to visit this blog more often because of the sexy, sexy food piccies.

These food pics are sexy indeed XD



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