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Joseph's (fka Citarella the Restaurant)


Pat Goldberg
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I had a fine lunch at Citarella yesterday. My buddy and I chose to order pre fixe, which at $35 was a great value. I ordered oysters, which were large an very tasty. My friend ordered the calamari; it was lightly breaded and mixed up with chopped pickled hot peppers, cubes of serrano ham and frisee. The squid was tender but the breading could have been crisper and a few of the pieces of ham were tough. The flavor of the dish, however, was well balanced and addictive.

I had redfish in "hot and sour" broth. Since I was expecting hot and sour, I was upset when it was neither hot nor sour. But the more I slurped it, the more I liked its complexity. I tried to guess what was in it, but coriander was all I could come up with. It came with skinned cherry tomatoes, which were surprisingly very flavorful (isn't summer tomato season?), water spinach and hon shimeji mushrooms. The water spinach and the mushrooms were both limp and lacking a bit in flavor, but I still enjoyed the dish overall.

My friend's skate was awesome, though the "grain mustard sauce" tasted only a little of mustard -- chervil (or tarragon) dominated. The thin, but not skimpy, piece of skate was very fresh and cooked well. The mussels, artichokes and shitakes scattered around the skate were welcome additions.

I had a warm chocolate cake that must have used seriously high quality chocolate, because it was far from the one-dimensional chocolate sludge the warm chocolate cake usually brings. The other dessert was a warm vanilla cake (a cakier cake :smile:) with good vanilla ice cream and vanilla gelee flavored with citrus. Interesting textures, temperatures, flavors.

Comfortable place, too. It all felt very casual.

JJ Goode

Co-author of Serious Barbecue, which is in stores now!

www.jjgoode.com

"For those of you following along, JJ is one of these hummingbird-metabolism types. He weighs something like eleven pounds but he can eat more than me and Jason put together..." -Fat Guy

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  • 1 month later...

Was also in NY Magazine on Monday.

http://nymetro.com/nymetro/food/openings/n_10195//index.html

I'm sure I posted somewhere here about the contest they were having to rename the place, but it must have been on another thread.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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