When chef Michel Richard passed away last year, Washington lost one of its patron chefs—and this downtown brasserie the man it was named for. Credit David Deshaies, Richard’s protégé of 15 years and business partner, for keeping the legacy alive and the menu fresh. Central classics such as decadent burgers and steak frites still hit all the right spots, though it’s worth welcoming newcomers. We feasted on buttery crab pizza, Moroccan lamb pastilla (braised meat swaddled in a croissant-like pastry crust), and a bright salad of quinoa, pickled daikon, and coconut-ginger vinaigrette. Expensive.
Also great: Bacon-onion tart; filet tartare; Provençal calamari; tuna burger; mac and cheese.