818 Lancaster Ave.
Bryn Mawr PA
Citron has closed and been replaced by Carmine’s Creole Kitchen.
Rating: 3 Silver Spoons out of 5
Overview: Latin-influenced continental bistro in the heart of Bryn Mawr. Citron recently brought in chef David Grear — formerly of Philly’s La Terrasse — who lowered prices and raised the consistency of the cuisine.
Food: Grear’s specials are interesting and complex — for example a filet of grouper with blackberry sauce or a “tournedo of beef” — two petit filets served over mushrooms and artichokes. The regular menu choices are simpler but tasty — a pork chop comes sliced over risotto and “California” steak frites is well-prepared. Although Citron is billed as a “tapas” joint, the selection of smaller plates was surprisingly limited.
Service: Although new chef Grear has brought with him improved cuisine since our initial visit to Citron years ago, the service on a recent visit was far worse. We were seated in what has to be the most uncomfortable booth in the history of mankind — clearly the space was so poorly designed that there was not room for a full size dining booth at the end of the row. As a result, we were stuck with tiny benches and enormous poles taking up most of the room underneath the puny table. (This undesirable booth is closest to the door opposite the bar, if you go.) When we asked to be moved to an empty table, we were told that the empty one right near us was about to be taken and they would let us know if another became free. To our discontent, the table we originally asked about was never occupied the rest of the evening. To make service matters worse, two people at our table finished drinks during dinner and found extreme difficulty in procuring another glass. After finally getting the attention of our waitress, it took an even longer time for her to arrive back with the fresh drinks. These types of service miscues really can be the difference when it comes to encouraging return visits to a restaurant — while the food certainly warranted another visit to Citron, the service did not.
Value: Since moving all the entrees below $20, Citron has certainly improved its value proposition. Specials, however, were all over $20 with a filet special finding its way up to $27. In addition, the wine list would better compete with BYOBs in the area if there were a few more bottles in the $20s and low $30s. Lastly, when paying $40-$50 per person, one expects the service to be a bit better.
# of times we’ve eaten there: 2