100 Best Restaurants 2009: Central Michel Richard
Comments () | Published February 23, 2009
100 Best Restaurants 2014 100 Best Restaurants 2013 100 Best Restaurants 2012 100 Best Restaurants (2010)

Central Michel Richard
Address: 1001 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20004
Phone: 202-626-0015
Neighborhood: Penn Quarter/Chinatown, Downtown
Cuisines: Modern, French, American
Opening Hours: Open Monday through Thursday 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM and 5 to 10:30 PM; Friday 11:30 to 2:30 PM and 5 to 11 PM, Saturday 5 to 11 PM, and Sunday 5 to 9:30 PM.
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Nearby Metro Stops: Metro Center, Federal Triangle
Price Range: Expensive
Noise Level: Rowdy
Reservations: Recommended
Best Dishes Oysters; mussel chowder; “faux gras” terrine; Gruyère gougères; corned-beef sandwich; grilled cheese with a three-cheese béchamel for dipping; fried chicken; cheeseburger with cheddar and bacon; macaroni and cheese; coconut Pavlova; hazelnut-backed riff o
Price Details: Starters, $6 to $18, entrées $16 to $30.
Special Features:
Wheelchair Accessible, Valet Parking Available

No. 13: Central Michel Richard

Cuisine: Michel Richard’s version of a bistro is a playground for any culinary style, dish, accent, or seasoning that catches his fancy. He and chef Cedric Maupillier turn out gleefully unfaithful renditions of French comfort cooking along with twists on fish and chips and a banana split.

Mood: An oversize portrait of a jolly Richard anchors the far end of the dining room. Tables are side by side, Parisian style, and the crowd is a who’s who of Washington, from media mavens to politicos.

Best for: Richard fans who aren’t up for the blowout prices at his Georgetown restaurant, Citronelle; New Yorkers; foodies.

Best dishes: House-made, nonalcoholic fruit sodas; duck rillettes and “faux gras” terrine; burrata, a soft Italian cheese, with basil oil and roasted cherry tomatoes; tagliatelle Bolognese; cassoulet; Brussels sprouts with bacon; pearl-pasta risotto with mushrooms; house-made corned-beef sandwich; apple pandowdy; chocolate lava cake.

Insider tips: The kitchen can be uneven, so count on the occasional low amid the highs. Still, it’s one of the hottest tickets in town, and reservations (made well in advance) are needed. At lunch, the corned-beef sandwich will more than satisfy all who long for a great Jewish deli.

Service: *** (three stars).

Open Monday through Friday for lunch, daily for dinner. 

See all of 2009's 100 Best Restaurants 

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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 02/23/2009 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews