Michel Richard is one of the most important chefs ever to run a kitchen in this city—or, for that matter, this country. But scan the menu at this warm-toned roost and what jumps out? The burgers, fries, and fried chicken—yes, the junk food among the honor roll of bistro classics. If you have a discerning eye, you’ll understand the process that went into them, but the marvelous thing about Richard’s cooking—as rendered by protégé David Deshaies—is that you don’t need to: These are complex dishes that taste simple. Dessert is a must, whether exquisite tarts or ice creams of liqueur-like intensity.
Don’t miss: Gougères; bacon-and-onion tart; “faux” gras; tuna carpaccio; tuna burger; short-rib bourguignon; scallops with chestnut velouté; napoleon; Lemon “Eggceptional”; chocolate mousse; Celebration Cake.