7158 E 5th Ave, Scottsdale
So many times when going out to eat, we have to pick and choose. Most restaurants offer a wide variety of selections in four different categories: drinks, appetizers, entrees and desserts. Hitting all four isn’t always doable, whether that’s because we don’t want to break the bank, or because the eatery you’re visiting doesn’t excel in one of those categories. So, we spend the early minutes of the meal making decisions. Drink or no drink? Appetizer or dessert?
Citizen Public House, from former Cowboy Ciao master chef Bernie Kantak, eliminates that decision-making process by excelling at all four categories, meaning guests really have no choice but to go all-in!
The cocktail list is extensive and varied, and they’re unique enough to take a shot, even if fancy drinks aren’t usually your thing. The drink list stands out with six barrel-aged cocktails. On the lighter side is the Rose Garland, bourbon with Sangue Morlacco liqueur, sweetened with Solerno blood orange and coffee-caramel bitters. If you’d like a drink that you need to sip sitting down, the Instant Gratification is what you’re looking for. It’s a lineup of heavy hitters, including Hennessy VS Cognac, Glenfiddich 12-year Scotch, Grand Marnier with Montenegro Amaro and bitters.
Probably the most well-known item from the starter section is the Original Chopped Salad. It will be brought out by a server and the presentation is an eye-catcher, with each row of colorful ingredients lined up next to each other in the bowl. The server will then mix the salad in front of you, throwing together the smoked salmon, arugula, asiago cheese, corn, tomatoes and black currants into what ends up being a sweet tasting dish. Couscous is the ingredient that brings it all together, adding a chewy softness to the crunchy salad.
Another go-to appetizer is the Pork Belly Pastrami, which you’ll have to eat with a fork instead of your hands. The pastrami is laid over rye spaetzle, a soft egg noodle and shares the spotlight with brussels sprout sauerkraut and mustard jus.
The main courses can change with the season, but there are the mainstays that regulars will recognize. The Filet Mignon Asada Tacos are a mix of casual and fancy, with the Oaxacan chile salsa delivering real spice to go with the very tender meat. Ask any fan of Citizen Public House for their favorite dish and the answers are likely to be varied, with the Amaro Meatloaf, Filet Mignon, Pork Shank and Scallops all having their supporters.
Perhaps the most unique dish is the Fair Trade Short Ribs. Rubbed in local coffee and served with a parsnip puree, the boneless ribs don’t require any kind of knife, as the touch of a fork will have them falling apart. Feel free to lather the ribs in the dried cherry bbq sauce for a combination of sweet and tartness all at once.
Although there are multiple tasty desserts, the absolute standout is the Bag ‘O Bacon Brittle, from dessert chef Tracy Dempsey. You have to really bite to get the pieces to break, but once you do it’s a melding of caramel and bacon that will have you ordering a bag to-go.