Decent brasseries / bistros. Glasgow has quite a few of them, which from a customer point of view is quite a good problem to have. Catering to the masses, but at a high standard. You know the place you go on a first date to show you have good taste, but aren't showy-offy. Not too sure if they're vegetarian or a steak lover, you know the menu is varied enough to cover all the bases. It's a bit like putting on “Now that's what I call Winter Hits" in the car, rather than Radio 4 or GBX… just to be on the safe side.
The trick is to combine this varied menu with some friendly, but not too laid back service. A classy but not decadent interior design and some solid value for money. A simple enough combination, but one which some places still spectacularly flunk. The Citizen doesn't.
When the band got back together and Barney and I stepped out with Betty, Wilma and the rest of the gang the venue was chosen not just for the geographical accessibility, being as close to the centre of Glasgow as its possible to be, but also the accessibility of the menu for the non gourmets amongst the group. The very accessible wine list may explain why not all the dishes were photographed, they may have been a wee bit blurry by the end of the night…
Service was top notch throughout the meal, food was ordered effectively, plates came and went without any great fuss, everyone who served us was cheery, even on a mobbed Friday night. The wait for the food, wasn't excessive, even with the decent size of our party and the full tables around, so seems both the waiting and kitchen staff were both on their game that night.
Starters were a good size and there were no complaints around the table as the varied assortment, from Shetland mussels in a tomato bisque to whisky butter soaked Prawns. From spicy buttermilk chicken to a black pudding scotch egg, all were swiftly enjoyed. Something for every taste and all of it looking and tasting good.
The main courses followed the same trend, my steak and sausage casserole with pastry top (it's not a pie!) was lovely. Once the flakey pastry was taken care of, there was great lumps of tender beef and sausage, soaked in rich gravy, they certainly didn’t skimp on the filling. The slow cooked Harissa cured Lamb Shank was as succulent as you’d want if you’d prepared it yourself and with some cheeky warmth from the harissa and spicy red wine jus. The Beef Cheeks melted in the mouth, and the Sea Bass was also well received. The portion sizes for each dish was more than enough to keep even the biggest appetites satisfied, and they were full meals, no having to dive into the sides menu, unless you really want to.
Service was excellent throughout the night, and the prices were reasonable, for both the food and drinks. Combine this with an easily reached City Centre location and a relaxed atmosphere and if you are looking for a decent,mid-market place then Citizen is an exceptional, average restaurant.