Boston >Restaurants >
English >Citizen Public House and Oyster Bar
1310 Boylston St, Boston, MA | Directions 0221542.344200 -71.099186
Neighborhoods: Fenway/Kenmore, West Fens
Extremely Rude Owner – If you are expecting good service, friendly staff , and a overall pleasant experience... I would go elsewhere.
I had scheduled a Whiskey tasting on a Saturday for 9 people. When we showed up after being seated, the server brought over some menus. A person in the group expressed we had already eaten. A few minutes later a server came up to the table and asked to speak with me and my brother, who arranged the tasting. We were escorted over to the owner who I assumed wanted to be go over details. Instead he bluntly said "Your not having dinner?" Well... obviously we were not. He continued in an extremely rude tone "Well who makes a reservation on Saturday and does not have dinner?" my brother replied "Well, we are spending good money here on a tasting, that does account for anything?" The owner ignored this comment and went on about how much trouble it was for us to be there, essentially doing what we said we wanted!
When we sat back down at the table my brother and I were extremely annoyed and angry. Quite frankly I was surprised that he decided to speak with us and in such a rude way. The fact is we spent a lot of money on Whiskey, what we said we wanted. He did not seem to care about that and clearly was agitated we did not have dinner there.
As someone who works in the auto service industry I was really surprised the way he treated us. I did not want to get into it in the restaurant, so I emailed a nice note and expressed I was unhappy with what had transpired. When I got a reply, the owner was clearly still upset and blamed me. There was no apology at all, which just confirmed he is an A#%hole!
Additionally as others have stated, the service is slow. I was actually glad we did not order dinner there. The guests were from out of town and we would have gotten served after 9pm.
Also when I looked around the restaurant, after we were there for awhile, I noticed several tables were empty. I had a full table of 9 people tasting 4 glasses of Whiskey. We spent more per person, than if we had all ordered dinner. Why was the owner not happy about that?
When I called to reserve, I said nothing about having dinner. I even emailed to discuss details and thought it was clear, I wanted to do a Whiskey tasting. I even spoke with the owner directly about it. The confusion was on him too!
Essentially if you want a pleasant, courteous experience go elsewhere!
Wonderful Food in the Neighborhood – We were surprised by the unusual menu in a pub setting and even more surprised by the excellent food and the reasonable prices! We started out with "mac and cheese" made with gnocchi and mushrooms - it was so good that we were sopping up the extra sauce with some very tasty bread (the bread basket was accompanied by an onion flavored butter!). We also had curried oysters, served on the shell, with a spicy cream sauce - succulent and tasty! For dinner one of us had a wonderful take on a carpetbagger steak - it was a melt in your mouth sirloin with a bleu cheese and oyster butter sauce garnished with crispy fried oysters. Our friend had one of the best 'cassoulets' we've ever tasted with duck leg and smoked sausage over very rich beans accented with cranberries! I had a great take on shephard's pie made with roast lamb, barley and ale topped with a potato crust - very homey on a cold winter night but not up to the drama of the other two dishes. We topped it off with a crusty toffee bread pudding with caramel sauce that was about the best bread pudding ever - full of texture and flavor and with a rich, buttery after-finish that went straight to our arteries! Highly recommended! (oh, and also very attentive and pleasant service).
Avoid for dinner – We went to the Citizen for cocktails and dinner on my husband's birthday. Service was very slow even though it wasn't a busy night. Our food was terrible - I had a greasy sea bass that was poorly presented and my husband had a horrible looking filet that was overcooked for his specification. We were very disappointed in the food and presentation. I was hoping for a new neighborhood hangout - but this isn't it.
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