Details

Citronelle (Temporarily Closed)

3000 M St. NW
Washington, DC 20007

202-625-2150

Neighborhood: Georgetown

Cuisines: Modern, French

Opening Hours:
Open Tuesday through Saturday 6 to 9:30 PM.

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Nearby Metro Stops: Foggy Bottom-GWU

Price Range: Very expensive

Dress: Formal

Noise Level: Intimate

Reservations: Required

Website: http://www.citronelledc.com

Best Dishes:
Fried chicken nuggets with mustard sauce; duxelles-stuffed brik pastry; “begula” pasta; glazed sablefish with miso sauce; mushroom “cappuccino”; roast duck; napoleon.

Price Details:
Three-course dinner menu, $95. Chef's tasting menu, $155. Lounge menu, $12 to $38.

Special Features: Wheelchair Accessible, Valet Parking Available

100 Best Restaurants 2009: Citronelle

No. 2: Citronelle

Citronelle's famed mosaic. Photograph by Renee Comet.

Cuisine: Michel Richard’s dazzling reinterpretation of French cooking puts the hoot in haute cuisine. Elevating fun over formality, and with a masterly command of technique, he creates a gastronomic experience unrivaled in the area: dinner as theater, from sleights of hand—an “egg symphony” of four tastes that includes not a single egg—to stunning trompe l’oeil, as in a “stained glass” of raw fish. Amid all the play, though, lies a sturdy classicism.

Mood: An open kitchen is the centerpiece of the multitiered space. A seat at Richard’s long chef’s table provides an up-close view of the brigade of toque-wearing chefs circling about. The subterranean dining room is somewhat dated, as are the dark-suited waiters.

Best for: Foodies who think they’ve eaten everything.

Best dishes: Abalone served sashimi style with a rich shallot emulsion; reconstructed oyster-and-clam chowder; sablefish with miso glaze; short ribs for two, the meat deboned and cooked sous-vide for 72 hours, then finished in a searing-hot pan and presented medium rare; loup de mer with black-truffle emulsion; candied apple with caramel ice cream; blueberry cheesecake; chocolate dégustation, a variation on a theme with four different desserts.

Insider tips: Citronelle Lounge—really just a table around the upstairs bar—is a less costly alternative to four-star dining, with some of Richard’s greatest hits on the menu, including his take on Chicken McNuggets and the justly famous 72-hour short ribs.

Service: ***½ (three and a half stars).

Open daily for dinner.


See all of 2009's 100 Best Restaurants