100 Very Best Restaurant 2016: Central Michel Richard

Head to chef Michel Richard's Central, where you'll find tasty hamburgers and frites. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

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.

See what other restaurants made our 100 Very Best Restaurants list. This article appears in our February 2016 issue of Washingtonian.

Get Our Weekend Newsletter

The best DC news, delivered straight to your inbox.
Or, see all of our newsletters. By signing up, you agree to our terms.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.

Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.