Benjamin's Upstairs: Elevated Comfort with a Speakeasy Vibe
Citizen Public House has rightfully earned a reputation as a dynamic dining destination. An establishment combining a touch of luxury with casual comfort to create a space ideal for everything from power lunches to romantic date nights.
Utilizing the area once reserved for private dining, Citizen Public House recently introduced Benjamin's Upstairs and they've upped their intimate dining scene with class, swank and a touch of mystery.
Benjamin's Upstairs is a second story speakeasy offering an immersive dining experience. The space is literally a gem within a gem, where you enter through an interior door, up a flight of steps into a dimly lit room full of warm ambiance and cool atmosphere.
Chef Ben Graham put plenty of thought into the menu, limiting the offerings but amplifying the details. Look for signature dishes like fried chicken, oysters and a selection of small plates. You'll want to order a few different things to sample and share, lingering over good company and great cocktails.
If you like raw seafood you don't want to miss the oysters. Served iced on the half shell for maximum freshness and slurping. They are chilled and slippery, full of the briney goodness of the ocean. They come accompanied by a fish sauce vinaigrette, mignonette, hot sauce and lemon allowing you to create the perfect gulp. Other seafood options include: Prickly Pear Scallop Ceviche, a bright mixture of plump scallops, onion, garlic, lime, corn, cilantro and avocado, served with crispy lotus chips; and the Shrimp Cocktail featuring huge shrimp and spicy horseradish sauce.
My favorite taste of the night were the White Anchovies with Speck. A perfect shareable option that I really didn't want to share. Salty, teeny white anchovies come served on a board with speck ham, chive and dill crème fraiche, mustard, pickled onions and buttery crostini. I also loved the Cornbread Waffles served with maple whiskey and chipotle butters. They arrived crispy and piping hot, the smell had us drooling before the plate even hit our table - comfort food at it's finest. And speaking of comfort food, Benjamin's Fried Chicken really hit the spot. It was cleverly served in a metal bucket with spicy collard greens, creamy mashed potatoes and bourbon honey. The bird was juicy with a super crunchy exterior.
Benjamin's Upstairs offers pétillant naturel wine and I opted for “Caneva da Nani” Canello prosecco. The light effervescence and subtle sweetness paired well with the fried chicken and fancied up the down-home classic meal. I also had the prickly pear margarita which was a gorgeous color and had a nice balance of tart and sweet, the citrusy notes complimenting the seafood perfectly.
Benjamin's Upstairs is cool and swanky with a relaxed vibe. The service aims to please. Gather up some pals for a night out or plan a romantic evening full of intimate atmosphere. Discover the unique mystery it offers.
Visit www.benjaminsaz.com for more information. Located upstairs at Citizen Pubublic House 7111 E. 5th Avenue, Scottsdale, 85251.