Dedicated to serving up high-quality kosher fare, Citron and Rose, 370 Montgomery Ave. , does an amazing job of appealing to all tastes.
The new venue, which opened last year, specializes in the culinary traditions of European Jews as they migrated throughout the continent, adapting the local cuisine to their religious customs. Chef Michael Solomonov—owner/chef of Z’ahav, Percy Street Barbeque and Federal Doughnuts,who has been featured on “Iron Chef,” composed a menu of familiar dishes inspired and updated by his American-Jewish upbringing. And judging from the results, the journey was well worth it.
The cozy, modern décor of the restaurant and bar (the libations are kosher too, by the way) is warm and inviting, as are Citron’s well-crafted dishes — where even the smallest of details makes a big difference.
First-course dishes set the bar pretty high. The mushroom knish ($10) was light and fluffy with an extraordinary garnish of carrot mustard. The beef tartare ($12) was especially flavorful and had the added joy of tasty bone-marrow croquettes to send the experience over the top. The salad lyonnaise ($10) was a rich experience as well, topped with a poached egg and tasty slivers of roasted duck.
The second-course dishes were even better. The seared tuna ($26) was elegantly presented and perfectly cooked, with an amazing rye haluska (dumplings) and a velvety smoked tuna sauce. We were implored to try the dry-aged rib eye for two ($79) and we are glad we did, even though the super-tender and juicy slab of carnivore heaven could have easily satisfied four people. The steak sauce, almost blood-like in appearance, was divine, and the horseradish fritters and green tomatoes that garnished the plate were a nice touch.
Desserts, while showing a level of refinement and restraint, still impressed when it came to flavor. Plus, we liked that all of the desserts were accompanied by sorbet or ice cream. The French toast bread pudding ($9) was serviceable enough, but it was the potent coffee ice cream that really made an impression. The cinnamon babka ($9) hit the right notes, reminiscent of a Cinnabon but without the decadent size and wet, sugary overkill. We don’t know if paring it with a red wine sorbet was the best idea; the sorbet was great on its own but somewhat clashed with the familiar sweetness of the babka. Still, we would come back for this dessert any time.
Whether or not your diet requires kosher fare, Citron and Rose is a go-to destination for a drink and a nice meal.