100 Very Best Restaurants 2017: Central Michel Richard

A Central classic—steak au poivre and crispy frites. Photo by Scott Suchman.

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.

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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.

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.

Kristen Hinman
Articles Editor

Kristen Hinman has been editing Washingtonian’s features since 2014. She joined the magazine after editing politics & policy coverage for Bloomberg Businessweek and working as a staff writer for Voice Media Group/Riverfront Times.