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
481 reviews since June 3, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.3
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelEnergetic
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (302)special occasion (179)great for lunch (131)hot spot (119)notable wine list (106)neighborhood gem (97)vibrant bar scene (82)good for groups (76)great for outdoor dining (75)romantic (57)late-night find (25)great for brunch (24)kid-friendly (16)scenic view (9)Show More
  • Restaurant Week Disappointment
    FFFanVIP
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    We were very disappointed with the menu selections for Restaurant Week, as there were only two in each of the three courses -- unless you wanted an "upcharge" for only two more choices in each course. Out of 7 of us that went, only 1 ordered off the restaurant week menu and 4 ordered the fried chicken which should have been a selection on the restaurant week menu.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Poor service, good food
    Washingtonian
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    This was my first time at Central and I went during Restaurant Week. The food was delicious, as expected, but the service was not good. We ordered a glass of wine at the bar while waiting for our table (which we were seated at after the reservation time). Once we sat down a server did not come by for at least 20 min to ask if we wanted another drink or to give us bread. It took asking several times to get someone to come over and this continued throughout the meal. There was no one to be found to ask for a new pepper grinder, a new fork, another drink.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Food
    luvofwine29
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    The food was amazing, the service was outstanding.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Restaurant week
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    We tried central for dinner during restaurant week (3 course pre-fix menu). The each course was amazing! We had the fried chicken and the hanger steak as our entrees both were large portions and delicious. The chocolate bar dessert was amazing! We will definatly be returning to central.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Central lived up to it's reputation
    notafoodcritic
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    It was a pleasure to finally experience Central Michel Richard during restaurant week and it did not disappoint. Service was excellent and the food met every expectation. Flavorful, fresh and masterfully prepared is how I'd describe my meal, and this was undoubtedly the first of many dining experiences there. Nicely done.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Central - a Special Treat
    mtpete
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    Second visit to Central, and it did not disappoint. Despite being there during the busy lunch rush, and for Restaurant Week, we were not rushed. Service was impeccable. My husband's filet tartare was a real treat. And of course, Michel Richard's chocolate bar (a Twix bar reimagined) was delicious. The restaurant was a bit on the noisy side, so intimate conversations are a bit difficult. But that wouldn't stop me from going again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Poor Selections for Restaurant Week
    MDfoodie
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    The selections for restaurant week lunch were very minimum. I had the mushroom salad which was very good, Ahi Tuna burger which left a lot to be desired, and the creme brulee. I wanted it medium well but was told it wouldn't be good or appetizing if it was cooked that long. Well it wasn't good nor appetizing anyway. I don't even think it was cook to the correct internal temperature because it got cold very fast. I think it should have been put on the grill and then steamed for finishing. The creme brulee custard was dark not cream-colored, it looked almost scarched. There is no additional condiment in the restaurant other than ketchup!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delicious find
    foodie4ever
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    The food here is fantastic. The French sauces were to die for. The dishes are well thought out. Service was impeccable. The restaurant had a nice liveliness to it. Very happy with the meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good not Great
    blueboybob
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    For all the accolades I was expecting more. The food was good, but with such hype I was a little disappointed. It was really loud. I thought it would be a quiet romantic spot, it was not. Who wears a wife beater and flip flops to a place like this?
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Restaurant Week Aug. 2014
    longtimefan
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    I went to Central with some friends during Restaurant Week 2014. Our service was great! Ambiance was fun, classy and modern. My frisee salad with a poached egg on top was my favorite part of the meal. It was delicious! The French Onion soup was also a great choice. Their mashed potatoes rocked! But I didn't eat all the mussels in my entrée because I had a couple terrible tasting ones and they felt a little sketchy. We were not fans of the fried chicken either; it was edible but not incredible. My crème brulee was good but not fantastic. Definitely try Michel’s Chocolate Bar. The tartare of filet mignon is hand-chopped instead of put through a grinder. It’s a must try!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Splurge that felt comfortable
    drl13
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    For residents of the burbs like myself this is a splurge but well worth every minute of the drive and penny of the cost. Our waiter was helpful, fun and knowledgeable. We had no unanswered questions. Same with the wine expert. The food was glorious, every bite perfect in taste and presentation. My perfect meal is now frisee salad, lamb shanks and spaetzel and celebration cake. Thank you for an evening to remember.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Most Amazing Fried Chicken Ever!
    nicholjo
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    Wow- the fried chicken dish was AMAZING. I had not complaints about the food. My only complaint is sitting there for 20 minutes without a server. We were thirsty, but there was not a single waiter to take our order. Granted, we were waiting for 1 person to join us, but our drink order could have been taken at least.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Onion Soup
    Shmendrick
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    You folks need to re-learn how to make onion soup. I can get a far, far better corned beef sandwich at the Parkway Deli for $7.95.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2001VIP
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    the corn beef sandwidch & fish and chips were amazing.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice place
    betta
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    I tried to eat Fried chicken and it was amazing. meshed potato and mustard sauce made the chicken perfect. I will visit again if I have a chance to go DC again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Best Fried Chicken...Ever
    JoeGrubVIP
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    A nice contemporary design and energetic dining added to a wonderful experience on our final night in DC. My family enjoyed the food and the service was excellent. The star of the show was Michel's fried chicken. The most flavorful, juicy and tender fried chicken I have ever had. My wife paired hers with the smashed potatoes and I chose the mac & cheese. I seemed to enjoy the mac & cheese far more than she did the potatoes. My youngest daughter enjoyed the mussels ( I tasted the broth and it was decadent) and my eldest daughter had the lobster burger which she found underwhelming. She regretted not getting the chicken.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Central never disappoints
    sandra
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    As always, the food and service were excellent. The soft shell crab is delicious. Central is one of our favorites.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • 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
  • Always
    GeorgeVIP
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    Dependable for delicious food. Crowded at lunch most days, but worth it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • 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