Central Michel Richard
Central Michel Richard

Central Michel Richard

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.centralmichelrichard.com/
  • Phone: 2026260015x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:30pm Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:30pm Friday:5:00-11:00pm - Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm
    Sunday: 11:00am - 2:30pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: American, French
  • Executive Chef: David Deshaies
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Private Room, Smoking Area, Weekend Brunch, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Private Party Facilities: Join us at Central Michel Richard for your next business meeting or special occasion. Our Jean Louis room is available for lunch and dinner and features a floor to ceiling glass wall that allows your group to see all the action of our open kitchen. It is also equipped with exceptional meeting amenities including a flat screen television and an independent sound system with ipod/cd/dvd/pc capabilities. We look forward to hosting your event.
  • Private Party Contact: pdr@centralmichelrichard.com 2026260015x
  • Special Events: Our Jean Louis private dining room accommodates up 16 people. It has exceptional amenities including a flat screen tv and a sound system with cd/dvd/ipod compatibility.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 11th
  • Public Transit: walk from Archives/Navy Memorial, Federal Triangle, or Metro Center
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: Valet at night $8 starting at 5:00pm; self parking during the day
A word from Central Michel Richard
Michel Richard's modern American brasserie,and winner of the 2008 James Beard award for best new restaurant is located on Penn. Ave NW between the White House and the Capitol. We serve Michel's tribute to great American cuisine, both modern and classic, with a French accent. A vibrant bar scene with boutique beer and wines, and modern and classic cocktails.
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Central Michel Richard reviews from OpenTable diners
458 reviews since May 24, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.4
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelEnergetic
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (284)special occasion (170)great for lunch (127)hot spot (110)notable wine list (100)neighborhood gem (88)vibrant bar scene (78)great for outdoor dining (74)good for groups (69)romantic (57)late-night find (25)great for brunch (18)kid-friendly (15)scenic view (10)Show More
  • Central is the best of DC.
    MattVIP
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    My wife and I had tickets at sunset for the Washington Monument, but wanted to grab dinner before...quick scan of Google Maps, realize that Central is about 1/2-mile walk. Had not been there in many years, but it was just as good as I remembered it, perhaps with some slight improvements to the menu even! Our server was excellent, very responsive without making us feel rushed (even though the place was slammed on a Friday night)...we always split everything to taste everything interesting, and he was very supportive. We feasted upon the beet salad, onion tart, and the lamb shank with spaetzle, and every single dish was spot on. Not really sure how 1 person could finish that humungous lamb shank! Finished with chocolate mousse, yum. :)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Limited Menu but Tasty Dishes
    RonaVIP
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    While the menu is limited in the number of main courses offered, the dishes are well prepared. They are delicious and visually attractive. Don't expect to hold a conversation, however, with your dining partners. The place is loud. We arrived when it was less than half full and immediately were aware of the high volume of noise coming from the large bar. Once the other dining tables filled up, it was next to impossible to hear people sitting on the immediately opposite you at the same table. The layout in the restaurant is basically one large, open room with hard services. Because of the noise level, I would not return here despite the excellent food and attentive staff.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent meal
    Judy
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    We enjoyed a delicious dinner at Central Michel Richard. The wait staff was helpful and attentive without being intrusive. We relaxed and had a comfortable evening with friends.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Basically perfect
    Patrick
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    A now-classic spot in Downtown DC/Penn Quarter. The burger is one of the best in the city, and the mussels are as good as Brasserie Beck's, which is saying a lot. The prices are quite reasonable given the location and caliber of the food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, scenic view, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good, but so loud!
    MuseumGal
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    I love Central from a strictly food perspective, but the noise level dampens the experience everytime. With three people at a table I twice had to ask the person across from me to repeat themselves because it was so loud with a full lunch crowd. I have stopped doing "business lunches" there for this very reason. This visit was a farewell luncheon and it didn't work well for that either. I guess my only option is to avoid the high traffic timeframes . . .
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Classic still great!!
    DCdinner5
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Love this spot. Great menu. Good strong classic dishes. The frisse salad with the poached egg and cheese puffs are MUST haves. Lots of wonderful options with great people watching in a buzzing dining room.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, late-night find, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great dinner
    Kwill
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    My experience at Central was very good. The food was very good and filling although the service was a little slow. We started with the Charcuterie dish that had a decent amount of food and each sample had strong flavors that were very pleasing. For dinner I had the hanger steak with a side of sautéed mushrooms and my boyfriend had the lamb which was amazing. The portions were decent sizes and the cost was very reasonable for the quality of the meal. We ordered a bottle of wine that wasn't cheap, but worth the cost. For desert we both had our own (which by then was a mistake). The restaurant itself was larger than I had expected and it was very busy all evening. I personally would have liked something a little quieter but it worked out
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • decent
    OpenTable Diner Since 2002VIP
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    i guess i expected more for the James Beard award in 2008 winning new restaurant. service was fine. food was good. Dont know if i i will return.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Love This Place!
    PankoVIP
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    We go to Central regularly, typically as a pre-theater dine. That's when the place is really hopping. Tonight was no exception. The food here is uniformly delicious, and the menu is interesting: it's exciting and adventurous without being pompous. Michel Richard knows how to have fun, and diners can feel his enthusiasm permeating Central. We've had various appetizers over the years, but the one I come back to repeatedly we had again tonight: "faux gras" terrine with country pate. This dish is a must, and it can be shared across four (two is best, so each gets more). It's addictive. For the main we each had the cioppino, and it was spot on. We had to run to the show, so didn't get a taste of Central's excellent desserts, but we'll be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Foodlover
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    The food was very good. We had the fried chicken and lobster sandwich. The fries and green beans were great. The brussel sprouts had no taste. After seating us in a horrible location, they moved us to a table on the side. Overall, a good experience, but not great.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Overall good but disappointing
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    I haven't been to Central and years and had very high expectations base on past experiences and its excellent reputation. I was disappointed. Everyone in my party was satisfied with their dishes, but not overly impressed. None of the dishes were bad, but none were amazing. Our biggest complaint, however, was the slow service. We were kept waiting every step of the way. The most frustrating part was at the end of the meal when we needed to leave to catch a show and had to wait 5 to 10 minutes to receive the bill after asking our server for it. So, our experience was fine but far worse than it should have been.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Absolutely Incredible
    AFN21
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    I went on a date to Central and we started off with the special appetizer - soft-shell crab over guacamole. Absolutely the best guacamole I have ever had! No joke. We then split both the fried chicken and ahi tuna burger. The ahi tuna burger was delicious, but the chicken and soft-shell crab special were just on a whole other level. The place itself was sylish and nice, but not super fancy. People were dressed up or in nice jeans. I will certainly come back here for more!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great atmosphere, even better food!
    RyanVIP
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    I've been here twice; it's such a great place. Wish they would enforce a dress code - so nice and upscale place and everyone should embrace that. Food is devine! I've had a burger and the hanger steak, both were great. Have yet to have desert here but they look fantastic! Wine list is good, too, but they've been out of what I wanted (from the menu) twice now...but offered good replacements.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Beware of Shellfish
    HillLobbyist
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    If you have seafood allergies, you need to be very careful here - they do not anywhere on the menu warn that their "fish" tacos contain shellfish. I dine out at fine restaurants regularly, and when ordering fish tacos always receive tacos in which the fish is halibut, salmon or another "scales and fins" variety of fish. Central's "fish" tacos contain shrimp and/or lobster, which made me violently ill. Perhaps I should have asked, but there are certain assumptions that one makes when one frequents fine dining establishments. I placed a call to the restaurant, in the hopes that they will at least place a warning on the menu going forward. Those who keep Kosher will be similarly concerned. Aside from this, the food was fantastic.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    Better food before. Others like graffiato & zaytinya's food are more interesting & better priced.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Lunch Find
    Happygrandfather
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    Invited my Granddaughter (16) to lunch. Very picky eater. She ate to whole hamburger and fries. Amazing. Thanks Central.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Spot on.
    redwhiteandchew
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    Always a very good experience. My go-to in the work lunch arena (as well as a solid happy hour spot). Food is excellent, nothing but experienced and attentive wait staff. Outside seating today. Perfect day. (although construction outside chipped away at the perfection). Well done, Central.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always good to eat at Central
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    Food great, and service good the cheese puffs outstanding. The burger was great, but sad the lamb burger is gone off the menu. Bring it back!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great salad
    Melikeeat
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    The most memorable dish was the frisée salad, which was just about perfect with the poached egg and bacon.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fireworks!
    Mary
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    This was a special birthday for my husband--and the special cake he received at the end was fireworks chocolate in taste PLUS a mini sparkler/roman candle that was gorgeous when lit.The food is ALWAYS--and I do mean ALWAYS--excellent--the gazpacho soup is unbelievable and so is the beet salad, and I could go on but truly it is a flavorful delight.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Desevedly So
    NotKiddingNoVa
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    Delicious, and every part of it, stellar. Food, service, preps, taste, quality, decor, ceilings, bathrooms, staff. Stop reading, start eating! Top of any list.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best fried chicken in the world!
    DCdinerVIP
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    This is one of my favorite restaurants. I don't go every week or every month, but the server I have had several times (but not the last one) remembered my order and was so attentive. It has wonderful food and really great service. It works like a well-oiled machine which puts out a great product. I tell everyone and of course, I'll be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great for after work couple's date.
    4ATeam
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    Softshell crabs, beet salad, & scallops were amazing.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • eric
    Dined on 7/24/2014
    first time there for me. others had been there before and enjoyed it. definitely will go again. nice restaurant with great food and good service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • PTJPTJVIP
    Dined on 7/22/2014
    The French onion soup was good but not superb. I had filet tartare, prepared and spiced very well. The best part is the chocolate bar dessert. Service is generally attentive. It's loud.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Could be great, but just missed
    Anonymous
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    I took my wife to Central for her birthday recently. Maybe we went on an off night, but it just didn't live up to our expectations. Here's the run-down: Service: We had to wait about 10 minutes after our reservations, which wasn't too bad. Long wait for service once seated. When asked for a recommendation, server said, "Everything is good." This is not a helpful response. Long wait for food, but, to their credit, they apologized without our having to say anything and comped us dessert (classy). Food: Decent cocktail menu. Cheese puff appetizer and fried chicken were great. Pork chop was bland. Michel's chocolate bar was good. Ambiance: nice decor, but noisy. Will still recommend and would eat there again, but not in huge rush to do so.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Bob K
    ChefBob40
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    Everything was perfect - as usual. The chocolate bar is extraordinary.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Just ok
    Chicagostyle
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    Central came highly recommended by a foodie friend so had high hopes. Thank goodness for the charcuterie platter appetizer and celebration cake for dessert, which were both very good and saved an otherwise ok meal. Had the hanger steak which was best of all entrees. Scallops were ok but not as good as what we had the night before somewhere else. Fried chicken was good, mussels were generous portion but the mussels were so tiny! Had much better the next night at another restaurant. Ambiance and decor very nice. All in all, just an ok experience. Had much better meals at other restaurants the two other nights of our visit to DC.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great first impression
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    First time dining--overall, very pleased with the ambiance, service, meal presentation/taste. Will return again soon, and would recommend to the discerning diner.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • summer lunch
    love2lunch
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    My friend and I both ordered the 3 course lunch special. My onion soup and her frisee and mushroom salad were fabulous. Her salmon was good, but my filet tartare was so heavily seasoned (or had so much filler) that I wouldn't have known what it was in a blind taste test. My crème brulee was OK; her chocolate bar with ice cream was delicious - I wish I'd ordered that. Between the noise level (I could barely hear the person across from me and had to ask her several times to repeat), and the perfunctory service from our waitress (she wasn't particularly friendly or attentive) I'll visit other restaurants in Penn Quarter. And it took us nearly two hours for lunch - not exactly work friendly.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fantastic
    YumyumyumVIP
    Dined on 7/16/2014
    I've never had a single bite in this restaurant that wasn't perfection. The fried chicken is a standout, but everything is incredibly delicious and the service is impeccable!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Rainy night Dinner
    DAMP
    Dined on 7/15/2014
    We immensley enjoyed the soft Shell Crab special on our visit on a rainy night this week. We made reservations online a few hours before and were sure glad we did as the place was packed. Although we got an undesireable table close to the front door, we lucked out on a fantastic waiter and superior wine. The noise level was extreme and we had trouble hearing each other. The decor was a bit dull and dated but the food, wine and service more than made up for it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A very noisy experience
    Gjc808
    Dined on 7/15/2014
    Food was quite good, but not particularly special. The place is extremely noisy. It mostly comes from the bar but there is not place to get away from it. Not a place if you want to talk at regular volume
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 7/15/2014
    I have been to Central in the past and remember loving it, but it's been a while. I won't let it go that long again before I return because everything was outstanding. The food, charcuterie board, beet salad, salmon, creme brulee, chocolate mouse and wine were absolutley delicious. The waiter was professional, well informed, helpful and friendly and made sure we had plenty of time to relax, enjoy the meal and still make an 8 pm concert in plenty of time. I love this place and can't wait to go back.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Lunch at Central Michel Richard
    ElaineVIP
    Dined on 7/15/2014
    We had a wonderful lunch. The soft shell crab was not only delicious but a work of art when it arrived at our table. The service was, as always, perfect. Thanks once again for a great meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Disappointed
    TripleS
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    Totally disappointed. Too noisy to hold a conversation. Way overpriced for what you get. Had to wait forever it seemed like for the entrees. Marked Central off our list to do again.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    This is my second time dining at Central, DC. Previous eating experiences include Central in Las Vegas, & numerous trips to the former Michele in the Ritz Carlton, Tysons Corner. While Central has finesse, it doesn't quite have the same vibe as Michele. Food & service were excellent at Central, but it doesn't quite have same same warmth of Michele.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Celebrating Bastille Day in Style
    an0nym0usVIP
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    Central is always tasty and fun, so expectations are high for Bastille Day and we were not disappointed. Starting with complimentary gougeres. Knew about that in advance so didn't eat all day. My husband and I both ordered from the special menu. He enjoyed his escargots (a delivery system for butter), and the asparagus soup was very good, and beautifully presented. We both had the Seafood Boudin. It was delicious and hope it will be added to the regular menu!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Delicious food & Wonderful Service
    DVinNYC
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    Though the food may not quite live up to the reputation, at this point, what could? It's still delicious--and, considering the quality, reasonably priced. The Gougères alone are worth the visit.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ambience Negative Factor
    BigplateVIP
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    While the food is very good, the pricing is too high, the noise level is ridiculously loud, and the table we sat at was essentially squeezed between two rows of tables that lined the walls--we were smack in the middle of what seemed like an aisle for customers and wait staff. The result was an inability to really enjoy the meal.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic