City Table is a popular eatery in the Lenox Hotel, conveniently located in the heart of the Back Bay. I’d only heard positive things about City Table, but I had not set foot in the place since it was Azure. At first glance City Table lives up to its description as a “casually elegant neighborhood eatery.” Unfortunately, that’s where the description on the web and our experience part ways. Perhaps we tried City Table on an off night, but both the service and food was lacking.
In lieu of a dinner we opted for wine and to share several appetizers. This was an opportunity to get caught up with friends. All told we shared a bottle of Cote du Rhone ($34) and four appetizers.
The first appetizer Burrata on grilled baguette with speck ham, and poblano tomato jam ($13). The cheese was as creamy as you would hope and the ham and tomato added great flavoring but the bread which should have been crispy to offer a nice crunch was soft and slightly stale. I ended up skipping the bread and eating the cheese.
The second appetizer Tuna Tartare ($14) was my favorite and one I’d order it again. The chef added papaya (a flavor none of us could place) but which nicely flavored the tuna and went surprisingly well with the citrus soy dressing and avocado. Adding to the appeal was that it was also beautifully presented.
The third appetizer duck confit spring rolls with mint peanut sauce ($10) was also dissatisfying. The duck was dry and there was far too much egg roll. We actually didn’t finish this appetizer. Oddly the waiter never inquired why several pieces remained, and with the appetizers now 1 for 3 I didn’t want to make a negative comment so we all took a big sip of wine and waited for the fourth plate.
The fourth appetizer was the leek and artichoke arancini ($12). Again all three of us agreed that this was too dry and crumbly lacking flavor considering the ingredients used. Thank goodness the wine was still available as we all needed to take a decent gulp to help swallow the bland appetizer.
Main dishes are mostly in the range of $25 – $30 with a couple of more affordable and more expensive options. The restaurant also has several sandwiches which range from $11-$15. If you think you’d like to try City Table, you can view the full dinner menu here.
City Table is located in the Lenox Hotel at the corner of Boylston and Exeter St.
Reservations are strongly recommended. Tel: (617) 933-4800