This past Tuesday night, I had the pleasure of attending my first Mystery Meet hosted by Glenn and Katrin of Wine Dine With Us at Citizen Public House. Every month when I get the initial Mystery Meet email, I look over the clues and see if I have a chance of figuring out the restaurant. This month, for some reason, every single clue seemed to click for me and I figured out immediately that it was the Citizen Public House. Coincidentally, this is a place Kevin had mentioned wanting to go a few times in the past, so when I cracked the code I convinced him it’d be worth getting tickets to check it out.
The clues we were given are as follows:
The first clue offered little to start my guesswork with, so I went straight for the second clue, which was an easy one having grown up in a family of Red Sox fans. I’ve been to Fenway numerous times, and my little brother gives me near daily updates on their performance. The third clue was an easy one for a Google search, and most results pulled up something with roasting or barbecuing, so I knew that was involved. Four I didn’t figure out until later – all of those things can have Citizen in the title. And the fifth one really sealed the deal – a pig has a snout and a tail, and can be roasted or barbecued!
I’d never been to a pig roast before, never mind one hosted inside at a proper dining establishment! Pig roasts make me think of a big dirty pit, dug deep in the ground of someone’s back yard, with people all surrounding the pig roasting on a spit. Not exactly classy, but this dinner totally was.
When we were seated the waiter for the evening came over and took drink orders – I started with a glass of prosecco and Kevin started with the Pretty Things beer on tap. They gave us baskets of fresh-baked bread, that was a little crispy, a little salty, and super satisfying for our empty bellies. We started the real meal shortly after 9pm with fresh oysters, littleneck clams, and cocktail shrimp. We were all so hungry the shellfish were devoured within seconds.
A little bit later, they brought out the whole roasted suckling pig on a big cutting board for us to see, but it was so dark it was hard to get a good look at it (or any sort of picture for that matter, so use your imagination here). We all oohed and aahed and then they took it away, and miraculously, minutes later, there was freshly roasted meat sitting on platters in front of us. They had it sorted by type of cut, so there ere essentially platters with the different parts of the pig so that we could try a sampling of each part. Some of the pig had been stuffed with the minted sausage stuffing, and that meat was particularly tender, so I really liked it! Overall, it was all quite flavorful, moist and delicious.
Along with the roasted pig, they served some pretty fantastic sides (all of which are listed above). My favorite was probably the blue cheese brioche bread pudding – I’d never had a savory bread pudding, and it totally blew me away. The mac and cheese was super creamy, and I liked the pasta used in it (similar to gemelli) because it had lots of nooks and crannies to hold all of that sauce! The roasted potatoes and grilled asparagus were both perfectly done, and minimally seasoned to let their flavors stay true to what they should be.
After our first couple of platters of meat and their accompanying sides had been served and happily consumed, they brought us out another platter of extra special “goodies” – the ears, oysters, cheeks, livers, BRAINS, etc. Yes, you read right… they served us PIG BRAINS. And even more incredible, I TRIED THEM!!!?! Not something I had ever expected to do, but I’m so proud of myself for trying! They were reminiscent to me of chicken liver/pate, though made me a bit squeamish nonetheless. Somewhere between all the delicious mouthfuls, I ordered a Oaxacan Rose (Hornitos Plata, Cinzano Rosso, demerara, Taza Mexican Chocolate extract), which was potent and scrumptious.
The night was a blast, and I finally met my Twitter/blogger buddy Kitchen Misfit, as well as some other wonderful individuals. If you ever have a chance to check out a Mystery Meet, go for it! It’s sure to be a unique experience, with great food and great company.
For more on the night’s events, check out the recap through the eyes of Glenn and Katrin here.
Citizen Public House and Osyter Bar
1310 Boylston Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02215