Michel by Michel Richard (Closed)
1700 Tysons Blvd.
McLean, VA 22102
Neighborhood: McLean/Tysons Corner
Open Monday through Friday for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Saturday for breakfast and dinner, Sunday for brunch.
Price Range: Expensive
Noise Level: Chatty
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.
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.