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From January 2005 100 Very Best Restaurants. By Thomas Head
Comments () | Published January 1, 2005


Michel Richard's decision six years ago to move his base of operations from Los Angeles to Washington was the culinary equivalent of DC's acquisition of a Major-League Baseball team. Richard's combination of classic technique and witty innovation makes any meal at Citronelle a memorable experience.

It will not be an inexpensive one, particularly now that Citronelle is no longer open for lunch. Only in the upstairs bar can diners order à la carte. In the dining room there is a choice of two menus--three courses for $85 or a tasting menu of nine courses for $150. The choices change frequently, but recent menus have included Michel Richard's pig's foot--a thin sheet of crisp pork skin atop a stuffing of sweetbreads, foie gras, and the meat from the foot; Virtual Fettuccini, not fettuccine at all but thin strands of cuttlefish sauced with fresh corn and trout caviar; and a squab "minute steak," the flattened breast served with a potato-crusted confit of the leg in a cinnamon-cabernet sauce.

Richard was trained as a pastry chef, and his unusual desserts are delicious. Try Breakfast at Citronelle, a sweet that looks like fried eggs with toast, bacon, and hash browns but tastes like nothing of the sort. Sommelier Mark Slater presides over the extensive and well-chosen wine list with impressive knowledge that he is eager to share.


Food & Drink
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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 01/01/2005 RSS | Print | Permalink | Articles