The other night, we met up with some fellow food-loving friends for an evening of catching up. We decided to try Citizen. Aaron was the only one who has been to this restaurant before and he quite enjoyed his last experience. At that time, they had a guest chef, so the menu was very different. They are on DINR, if you want to test your luck to get a last minute reservation. That being said, it wasn’t too difficult for us to make a reservation for 4 on a Friday night.
It is located on Gilmour Street, around the corner from its sister restaurant, Town. Given the construction on Elgin Street, it may be a little tricky to get to and find parking. I took the new LRT line and got off the UOttawa Station and it was a short 13 minute walk from there. The restaurant itself isn’t large. We got a table in the back and it was nice and quiet. There was plenty of space for bar seating as well.
They have a good selection of wines, beers, spirits and cocktails. I chose their App Store, which is like an old fashion. Aaron had the Brainchild IPA by Fairweather Brewing Company which was delicious. It was a hazy IPA refermented with Gewurtraminer grape juice – a combination of one of my favourite beers and wines!
For food, we were advised to order 3-4 dishes between two people, so we had the seared halloumi salad, classic shrimp cocktail, grilled pork shoulder steak and fried chicken sandwich.
Our friends had unintentionally ordered the same items except they had the grilled baby romaine instead of the shrimp cocktail. The seared halloumi salad was really lovely. I liked that the cheese was seared. The beets and shishito peppers went very well with the halloumi.
The shrimp cocktail was also very delicious. The shrimp themselves were huge! I really enjoyed the standard cocktail sauce over the unique Maggi ranch sauce.
We had a bite of the grilled baby romaine salad and it was surprisingly tasty. I usually am not a fan of tabbouleh but there was a umami taste in there which made the dish taste so unbelievably good.
For our mains, the fried chicken sandwich was quite impressive. They were quite generous with the chicken they used as it was probably the size of Aaron’s face. The whipped feta, tzatziki and oregano dressing really added an explosion of flavours to the sandwich. This was balanced by some sun-dried tomato and olive tepanade and salad leaves.
The grilled pork was nice and tender. It was cooked in black garlic chicken broth, so it was very tasty. The braised cabbage with the dish really complemented the pork. I really enjoyed this dish but my friends felt there were not enough textures.
For dessert, the option for the day was the coconut panna cotta, with corn flakes and mashed avocado on the side. It was a very strange combination of textures and flavours, definitely not my favourite part of the meal.
The service was pretty good. The food came pretty quickly and they did not give us a hard time even though we did stay behind a little bit at the end to chat after our meals.
Overall, I was very impressed with the food here and would definitely be returning in the future. I am under the impression that their menu changes often so I look forward to trying new dishes here soon!