100 Best Restaurants 2012: Central Michel Richard
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 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 11:45 AM to 2:30 PM and 5 to 10:30 PM, Friday 11:45 to 2:30 PM and 5 to 11 PM, Saturday 5 to 11 PM, and Sunday 5 to 9:30 PM.
Nearby Metro Stops: Metro Center, Federal Triangle
Price Range: Expensive
Dress: Upscale Casual
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.

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Is there a chef more joyfully indulgent than Michel Richard? At his bustling, blond-wood-paneled bistro, Richard is all about over-the-top fun, serving his famed fried chicken in fast-food-style buckets and an already-gooey grilled-cheese sandwich with a three-cheese dipping sauce.

During the day, deals are made over bacon cheeseburgers and the best corned-beef sandwiches in town. Ties are loosened at night, and such go-down-easy cocktails as an old fashioned made with Maker's Mark and figs keep a crowd around the bar. The dining room is a prime place for celebrating with Champagne and Richard's fabulous desserts.

What to get: Cracker-thin bacon-and-onion tart; goat-cheese Caesar salad; oysters on the half shell; rockfish, shrimp, and mussels in lobster broth; tuna and lamb burgers with fries; meringue with berries and whipped cream; Michel's Chocolate Bar, a riff on a Kit Kat; crème brûlée; napoleon.

Open Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday for dinner. Moderate.

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