CityZen Crowdsources Its New Year’s Eve Menu

What will chef Eric Ziebold cook this year? You decide.

By: Carol Ross Joynt

Eric Ziebold. Photograph by Kathryn Norwood.

One of Washington’s most prominent chefs is taking an unorthodox approach to his New Year’s Eve menu. Without using the word expressly, Eric Ziebold is basically crowdsourcing what CityZen will serve on the festive, pull-out-all-the-stops night.

“As we look to the future, go back in time. Help us determine the menu for New Year's Eve,” says an e-mail sent out to customers of the restaurant, a critical favorite since its 2004 debut. It continues: “Below are the most popular dishes. [Those] with the most votes will be what’s served on December 31st!” The items listed span the restaurant’s menus over the years and are broken up into two groups: 2004 to 2008 and 2009 to the present. Each item can be ranked on a scale of 1 to 10.

The 19 dishes on the ballot include moulard duck foie gras stew parfumé au Laurier with winter root vegetables, Gésier confit, and juniper-aged balsamic vinegar (2005); crispy medallion of Marcho Farms veal sweetbreads with braised cardoons and Anson Mills lobster bisque (2006); herb-roasted Maine lobster celeriac purée with maignon and red wine Béarnaise (2009); Périgord truffle-stuffed tenderloin of Savoy cabbage, crispy pommes duchesse and truffle mousseline (2011); and, for dessert, a choice between a chocolate chip cookie dough soufflé from 2007 and a CityZen Sky Bar—a milk chocolate biscuit with Valrhona fudge and caramel—from 2010.

A price for the evening is not listed—it may be determined by the items that make the final New Year’s menu—but on a regular night, the four-course menu is $90 per person and the six-course tasting menu is $185.

To request a copy of the menu ballot, send an e-mail to Jslipp@mohg.com.