Central Michel Richard

The bar and lounge at this modern French bistro is people-watching heaven. On weekdays expect senators, on weekends fashionistas. Inventive cocktails ($11 to $14) change with the season and often include little-known ingredients. It would be wrong not to indulge in a couple of Michel Richard’s appetizers, including the gougères ($7), one-bite wonders that give new meaning to “cheese puffs.” Or order the platter of duck rillettes and “faux gras” terrine ($15), two spreadable, French charcuterie options.

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