Details

Central Michel Richard

1001 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20004

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

Website: http://www.centralmichelrichard.com

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

100 Best Restaurants 2010: Central Michel Richard

No. 13: Central Michel Richard

Cuisine: Celebrated French chef Michel Richard—the genius behind the whimsically haute Citronelle—puts his spin on American and French comfort food. Where else can you find divine gougères alongside a killer corned-beef sandwich? Or Budweiser and Chassagne-Montrachet?

Mood: The loud, blond-wood dining room, complete with a Warholian portrait of Richard, is as fizzy as a bottle of Veuve. It’s the antithesis of a stuffy power spot, but the Hill crowd likes it anyway.

Best for: Celebrating anything; fans of burgers (there are five kinds on the menu); taking out-of-towners.

Best dishes: Perfectly shucked oysters; mussel chowder; “faux gras” terrine; Gruyère gougères; corned-beef sandwich; an ultra-rich, duxelles-slathered grilled-cheese with a three-cheese béchamel for dipping; light and crisp fried chicken; cheeseburger with cheddar and bacon; macaroni and cheese; a messy but wonderful coconut Pavlova; Richard’s famed, hazelnut-backed riff on a Kit Kat bar.

Insider tips: Just because the fried chicken is inspired by KFC doesn’t mean you can stroll right in—this is one of the town’s toughest reservations.

Service: ••

Open Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday and Sunday for dinner (closed Sunday in summer). Expensive.

See all of 2010's 100 Best Restaurants