100 Best Restaurants 2012: Michel
From soulful bistros to high-gloss steakhouses, there's lots of good eating in DC, Maryland, and Virginia
Reviewed By Todd Kliman, Cynthia Hacinli, Ann Limpert, Rina Rapuano
Comments () | Published January 23, 2012
100 Best Restaurants (2011) 100 Best Restaurants 2012

Michel by Michel Richard (Closed)
Address: 1700 Tysons Blvd., McLean, VA 22102
Phone: 703-506-4300
Neighborhood: McLean/Tysons Corner
Cuisines: French
Opening Hours: Open Monday through Friday for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Saturday for breakfast and dinner, Sunday for brunch.
Price Range: Expensive
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Recommended
Best Dishes Onion carbonara; salmon terrine; eel carpaccio; chestnut soup; head cheese with frisée and shallot vinaigrette; rib eye with tater tots; Celebration Cake; marjolaine cake; napoleon crème brûlée.
Price Details: Starters $10 to $22, entrées $27 to $39.


This hotel restaurant from Michel Richard has spent the past year grappling with its role in the master chef's orbit. It'll never be Citronelle, the venerated older sibling in Georgetown, and it hasn't captured the public's fancy the way his casual Central in downtown DC has. But that doesn't get in the way of a good meal, and Richard's sensibility--its wit, its theatricality--retains its allure. The dining room is inviting--dominated by swaths of plum and with lighting worthy of a theater set, it rides the line between formality and playful modernism. That same balancing act applies to the cooking, as Richard and his kitchen find the seam between French and American cookery, pumping out updated bistro classics alongside intricate, shock-of-the-new concoctions.

What to get: Gougères, light-as-air cheese puffs; salmon tartare; rich chestnut soup; 72-hour braised short ribs; fried chicken with mustard sauce; roast salmon with lentils and shallot dressing; lobster burger; banana split; chocolate mousse with cocoa puffs; napoleon, crunchy panes of pastry sandwiching superb vanilla cream; vacherin.

Open Tuesday through Saturday for breakfast and dinner, Sunday and Monday for breakfast. Expensive.

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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 01/23/2012 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews