Citronnelle

4.7
210 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary French
Citronnelle is a small, casual yet elegant French BYOB, located right in the heart of Downtown Lancaster City, PA. Our dishes are classically prepared yet modern, with global influences. We use only the finest ingredients freshest local, seasonal produce.

Our establishment is BYOB, so guests are encouraged to bring in their favorite selections of wines (with only a modest $5/bottle corkage fee).

Join the fun every other Wednesday during the summer/winter months for our special $39 GLOBAL dinner events! See the calendar on our Global Wednesdays webpage for dates & details. NOTE: On "Global Wednesday" evenings, THE GLOBAL WEDNESDAYS MENU WILL BE THE ONLY MENU WE OFFER.

Come join us for some deliciously creative gastronomic offerings, a cozy ambiance, professional and friendly service, and perhaps even a little romance with your significant other. We look forward to serving you soon.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Contemporary French
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Hours of operation
Dinner: Tuesday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
Brunch: Sunday: 11:00am - 2:00pm
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Phone number
(717) 208-6697
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Rafael Perez
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Catering
We are available for on-site catering. Please email us.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Prince St. & Water St.
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Parking details
There are 4 metered spots on our block, and there is an indoor parking garage diagonally across the street.
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Special events & promotions
We are available for special events. Please email us.
Additional
BYO Liquor, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Fireplace, Non-Smoking, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access
What 210 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.5
service
4.3
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Quiet
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
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J
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Very friendly service and although the selection is small, all
the offerings are great.

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M
Washington DC
40 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Pleasant atmosphere, friendly waitress and good food. A quaint little restaurant with a unique menu and atmosphere.

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TW
Tampa
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were 20 minutes late for our reservation and they still let us stay. The food was out of this world and the atmosphere was just lovely. We had a great time celebrating our sons birthday.

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OT
Washington DC
35 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The restaurant is run by a husband-wife team where she is normally up front and he is in the kitchen. It is a very high quality French style family owned bistro. The menu is small with many standard dishes, but just enough additions (such as a lemongrass soufflé with coconut cream) to make it very interesting. Bring some high quality French wine (corkage $5) and enjoy mellowing out in the evening.

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MS
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was absolutely spectacular!!! Everything from the first course through main and dessert. This is one of the finest meals I have ever had. I had the fish special. My Husband and son had the steak. Fantastic experience. We will be back.

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DR
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

This was our second visit to Citronnelle and we love this restaurant. We will certainly be coming back again!

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j
1 review
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

Brunch: Served burnt crossiants, after waiting 40 minutes for any food. Disappointed. One server w a helper for the whole dining room

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L
New York Area
19 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Had dinner at Citronnelle before a show at the Fulton. Everything was excellent from the first course through the dessert souffle. Service was also excellent. My only issue was that they seemed to have some difficulty regulating the temperature. It's a tough time of year (fall) and the AC was still on which made it a little chilly.

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DC
1 review
Dined on October 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Very sophisticated food and our waiter made the BYOB experience a good one. Explanations of food intricacies smooth and professional. Will definitely return.

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t
New York Area
14 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

A tiny gem in downtown Lancaster. It’s. BYOB and the menu is small but with good variety. I had grass fed steak. Huge portion and excellent flavor. My husband has fish special which was great. Homemade gelato for dessert! We highly recommend and would certainly go again!

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TH
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Excellent dining experience! I have heard about this restaurant and finally booked it for my husband’s birthday the hostess was such a sweetheart and so friendly and helpful. Service was wonderful too. The food was simply delicious and the portions just right. We had the best experience here and will definitely come back!

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l
Philadelphia
31 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a wonderful dinner
Small intimate space
Food was inventive and delicious. Great vegetable preparation.

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LA
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Loved it! The entrees were very well prepared. Definitely save room for a meal ending soufflé.

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DL
Baltimore
13 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This quaint little BYOB French restaurant in downtown Lancaster, PA is always a favorite of ours. The menu is always very creative, and we love the soufflés for dessert. Always outstanding!!

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JB
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was creative and tasty! The service was great. Loved the BYOB. It got a bit noisy as the dining room filled up. But we can't wait to return with friends!

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ED
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best Croquettes I have ever had. The risotto was delicious. Great place to celebrate our anniversary:)

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GW
Tampa
1 review
Dined on September 27, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 2

The mushroom risotto was delicious, very creamy and topped with crispy edged mushrooms, nice. However, it was the only vegetarian option on the entire menu. Nothing vegetarian was listed for the first course and the risotto was the only vegetarian offering for the second course. The "signature" chocolate soufflé was good, rich enough to be easily shared.
The service was fair. There were only 3 tables yet the server seemed rushed. He did not try to engage with us or offer any food suggestions. He came across as unpolished at his job; not refilling water glasses, busing our table with dirty dishes from another table in his hands, reaching across our faces to serve, etc.
The seating is in a very small area with the tables extremely close together; it was cramped at best. I would not want to eat there if the restaurant was any more than 1/2 full. The dim lighting created a dingy atmosphere.
The food is good, but not enough to makeup for the atmosphere and server. Overpriced for the overall experience. I had higher expectations.

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L
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Attentive but unobtrusive and unrushed service, amazing food, great ambiance. Five stars.

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SS
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 1ambience 3

Food is excellent , creative with a wonderful combination of flavors

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DA
London
1 review
Dined on September 20, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Very good food. Nice plating. Warm and quiet environment. Very small.

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T
New York Area
22 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A gem in our city.

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KF
1 review
Dined on September 16, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Service was awesome. Romantic spot. Tight quarters, but that adds to the ambiance. Souffle was fantastic.

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C
Philadelphia
34 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Very good French restaurant. We were there for restaurant week. It was very good. I had their salad with apples, bacon bits, etc and it was very tasty. Probably the best part of the meal. The entree was short ribs over papardelle-beef Bourgognion style. Classic French. However a table mate had their chicken with Indian spices and bok choy- much more inventive. Desert was either ice cream or sorbet. Overall, very good and I would come back.

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LM
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on September 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went to a Citronelle with friends for the first time. Other friends had eaten there and recommended it. It was a delight from the food to the ambiance to the service. We also very much enjoyed the quiet aspect which lent itself to great conversation. We will return for sure and our friends said they’d be hard put to find a better place next time we get together.

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TK
Portland
24 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We really enjoyed our Global Wednesdays-Calabria,Italy 3-course menu. The cured meats (including a delicious N'Duja spicy pancetta spread) and cheeses were accompanied by a lovely pickled red onion. The outstanding pork chops side dishes included Melanzane Ripiene (stuffed eggplant ) We are usually ambivalent about eggplant but I'd probably order this dish if it were an entree. Lemon-Bergamot Tart with Housemade honey-vanilla ice cream? If ever given a choice of desserts, my taste buds would lead me directly to this lemon delicacy.
Our two servers, Becca and Femi, are professional as well as most personable. They are definitely "keepers". And the owners/chef truly have a gem in this beautiful space. We thank them for being here.

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M
1 review
Dined on August 22, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 2

Pleasantly greeted by owner and gifted anniversary dessert, generously. International Wednesday meal was flavorful and true to region, despite dry pork. Service could be improved as our waiter was not confident with food descriptions and spilled our wine. Would like to try on a regular menu night before giving up as business owner seemed very pleasant and overall flavors deliscious and one of a kind in our area.

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P
New York Area
24 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love Citronelle! They make dessert soufflés to order. If you go, you must order one!! Everything we ordered was delicious.....Beef carpaccio, risotto, octopus...and on and on. I have been a chef for 32 years and this restaurant rivals many of our favorites. We can’t wait to go back.

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LH
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband and I came here for our anniversary dinner. We were blown away by the quality of the food and ambiance. We loved that it was a BYOB. Our waiter was incredibly kind and helpful when making our selections. I enjoyed crab croquettes for my appetizer and the strip steak for dinner followed by an esquisite soufflé. Everything was cooked to perfection and very tasty. I will definitely be coming back soon and very highly recommend this perfect little spot.

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C
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on August 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As usual, dining at Citronnelle was a wonderful experience. The GLOBAL nights are exquisite. The Palestinian dinner was delicious. Coming into the restaurant one felt transported by the Middle-Eastern music and the delightful aromas that came merging from the kitchen. Susan is the friendliest and most welcoming host, always taking her time to explain different aspects of the dishes served. And our server was great. And the food was superb! The lamb kebabs for appetizer, the intriguing casserole, and the out-of-this-world dessert combined with lovely music that was loud enough to appreciate and quiet enough for us to enjoy our conversation plus the friendliness and professionalism in the service made a perfect evening.

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m
1 review
Dined on July 31, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Good food and a nice overall experience. Being in the city, the view out the window is terrible, but the restaurant is charming and the experience was a good one. The big appeal is high end restaurant that is BYOB, but they don't have stemware so if you want to use nice wine glasses, you need to bring them.

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JK
New Orleans
1 review
Dined on July 21, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Very small, everyone is very close. Table of six in front was noisy, with lots of loud laughter. Ask manager to try and hold the noise down. Corkage fee for wine(glassware,service etc) NO stem ware and had to ask server to refill glass..
Food was very good. Tried some tastes that I would not normally eat. Service was friendly. Was there for a special night. Overall a good meal and good time. Some what overshadowed by the noise.

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DM
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on July 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Food was amazing. I liked that it was BYOB. Very friendly service. Good price.

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JM
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on July 21, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

I was glad the restaurant had a few vegan options, but the food was just ok. It is a very small restaurant, which I don't mind, but there was one party there that was fairly loud, which made conversation and communication with our server difficult.

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OT
1 review
Dined on July 14, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

My wife and I had dinner here while on a romantic weekend trip to Lancaster, because we like French food. This restaurant is very small and tightly packed, so the environment depends on the other guests near you. We happened to have a couple that was being rather loud next to us, but I imagine it's normally quite a nice atmosphere.

The downsides are these:
The food isn't traditional or authentic French food, at least not the night we ate here.
The seating is tight enough that the servers had to squeeze between the chairs.
The food is expensive.
The chef uses very little salt by default.
There is an uncorking fee ($5 for a bottle of wine, $1 per bottle of beer).

The upsides may outweigh these for you:
The meat is cooked absolutely perfectly.
Even if not French, the dishes are exotic and inventive.
The desserts are amazing.
You can ask for your food to be more highly salted ahead of time.
It is BYOB.

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DR
Philadelphia
5 reviews
Dined on July 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a wonderful dinner and thoroughly enjoyed this restaurant. It has become our new favorite in Lancaster. The food was excellent and the staff was friendly and professional. The restaurant is small but the ambiance is cozy and inviting. The noise level was low as the kitchen is well separated from the dining area.

This restaurant is BYOB which was great as it allowed us to bring our own selections of wine for our special meal. There is a corkage fee, but the staff is well trained in wines handling and service, so they deserve some compensation for their work...

We will definitely be returning in the future!

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OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on July 14, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

The Barramundi special was delicious!! Thanks for the great evening!

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KW
Philadelphia
5 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food! Love that you’re BYO. We’ll be back!

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OT
Tampa
1 review
Dined on July 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was delicious. Becca, our server, was tremendous. Lemongrass soufflé was the best thing I’ve ever tasted.

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OT
Dallas
7 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

It was a great meal. The service was excellent. We ordered the squid (delicious), the tajarine (this was very good, though I️ found the egg preparation off putting), & we shared the turbot (the vegetables were delicious and the fish was ok, a bit heavy handed with salt). Do not skip the soufflé! It was wonderful!

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NY
Philadelphia
7 reviews
Dined on June 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food is always spectacular. The service is always good and the owner always comes by to say hello. It’s a small place so the noise level is high. The air conditioning needs to be cranked up as it was a very hot day. I will always come back for more!

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