Central Michel Richard

4.4
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7334 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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American

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Pre/post Theatre
Michel Richard's modern American brasserie and winner of the 2008 James Beard award for best new restaurant. Central is Michel's tribute to great American cuisine, both modern and classic, with a French accent known for our award winning fried chicken & decadent desserts. A vibrant happy hour (5-7pm M-F) with a great wine list, beer & cocktail menu, Central offers a lunch & dinner 3 course prix-fixe menu. Located on the corner of 11 St. & Pennsylvania Ave NW , walking distance to the White House, The Warner Theater, Fords Theater, National Theater, Capitol One Arena, The National Mall & Monuments. Private dining room available for up to 16 guest, a semi-private space for 20 guest, & private events for up to 200 guests. We look forward to you joining us for brunch,lunch, dinner or your next special occasion.
What 7334 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.3
service
4.1
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
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B
Washington DC
197 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our first visit to Central. We had 4 different dishes, all excellent: fried chicken, bouillabaisse, scallops & salmon. Plus delicious mushrooms. Service was great, & we got out in time for theater. Valet parking was helpful. We will be back!

J
Philadelphia
23 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Fried chicken the best - large portion.

h
Boise
10 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food5service4ambience3

We started with the charcuterie tower which was HUGE! Definitely good to share with at least four people. The fried chicken was tremendous, but what really made it to die for were the garlic mashed potatoes.

MA
Washington DC
69 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We love it here. The food and service is consistently excellent!

R
New England
27 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall3food3service2ambience2

This place is really overrated. First off, the dining atmosphere is casual, and the dining room is very loud. Second, the service is indifferent, and sometimes just rude. Certainly not fine dining, but with fine dining prices. Food is average up and down the menu. It’s the kind of place that people want to go to for the name—but overall it’s a dud.

RD
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My dining experience was great. The food, service and venue was lovely.

PD
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always superb food & service. Will continue to be my 'go-to' place, with either local or out of town friends.

SJ
Washington DC
40 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2020
Overall3food2service5ambience4

Four of us had lunch recently with two of us ordering the hamburger, medium rare, with blue cheese. The burger came out nearly well done and the blue cheese was sparse. Central is a long way from its glory days.

w
Washington DC
73 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Went with friends for anniversaries - wonderful meal all 'round. Great wine, great service. But the restaurant has an open kitchen and is loud but not painfully so.

PN
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience2

Too noisy. Food was good. Service excellent. Will never sit near the kitchen again.

m
Washington DC
23 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We love eating at Central. Fried chicken is delicious. Onion soup is yummy. Hanger steak was amazing!!

ST
Washington DC
21 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I have eaten here many times before. Even had my daughters bridal shower in their private room but I never had the ahi tuna burger. It was unbelievably delicious. However they seasoned it or however they stacked it, it was an explosion of flavors right from the first bite.

OT
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall1food4service1ambience1

When we called to confirm our reservation we were not told that because of Valentines Day there was a fixed menu. This would not have been a problem except there was nothing on the menu that we could eat.

OT
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience4

We went for Valentine’s Day a

F
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Our reservation was at 5:30 pm and we arrived at 5:00 pm they sat us in the small back room passed the kitchen. The tables were so closed together that you would hear other conversations around us, especially the kitchen discussions! We passed so many lovely tables in the main dinning room. Our waiter was lovely. I wish I knew this was a fixed menu on Valentine's Day, we preferred to have a full French menu. Only two main items on the fixed menu steak was cold and the fish was cold too. This is not a place to go on a special occasions. We will never return here. I wish we were at Bistro l'Hermitage in Occoquan.

DD
Washington DC
23 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2020
Overall2food4service4ambience1

Food good but the ambiance is terrible. Carpeted floors and tacky furniture makes it seem like we were eating in a cafeteria. Tables too close together. Used to be very French inspired enviro and now it’s just bleh.

CA
Washington DC
55 reviews
Dined on February 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a fabulous pre-Fords theater meal. The branzino and salmon dishes were top-notch. This place also doubled as our Valentines Day dinner; the staff makes every day dining a special occasion.

HS
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Central never disappoints

T
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience1

I, and my guests, would have enjoyed my birthday dinner a bit more if the noise level at the restaurant was not so "energetic". We asked for a quieter spot and we were put directly next to the open kitchen, so not only could we hear customers' conversations we could hear the rattling of the pots and pans of the kitchen. (Note to hostess: seating by the kitchen is not quieter.) We had to get the attention of a number of people before we were moved - this time to a quieter spot, but one near the door, so when customers held the doors one for any length of time were were subjected to a blast of cold air. The food was very good. Classic bistro fare of which I am very fond. Don't think I'll be back though.

E
Washington DC
17 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Food was disappointing: pate appetizer and osso bucco were bland. Wine list not very extensive and expensive. Service is gracious but much too rushed; you clearly get the sense they want you in and out!

c
Washington DC
29 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall2food3service2ambience2

For a business lunch, yes. For dinner, not so much. For a special dinner, no way.

AJ
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I enjoy my dining experience all the time. However, it's not a place to hold a meeting unless you're using a private room. It can get a little loud. Or party of seven had difficulty hearing from one end of the table to the other.

OT
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall5food4service4ambience4

The black bean grain bowl was delicious. Thank you!!

j
New York Area
16 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience4

The noise level is really really really loud. That aside it’s a great restaurant with great food and impeccable service

RK
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience2

We were given a table close to the kitchen. Lots of noise and constant traffic by our table. Almost impossible to have a normal conversation.

j
London
37 reviews
Dined on February 4, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Classic steak frites (hangar steak always makes this a treat). Perfectly prepared (saignant) with an excellent peppercorn sauce. My friend and I both thought the fries were too crisp, though. The 2014 Burgundy was great.

JT
Washington DC
255 reviews
Dined on February 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I love Central Michel Richard. My family has a long history of loving Michel Richard. The food is fresh, modern French. There is so many things to enjoy and so many things that you will eat that you will ask for again. I love their French Onion Soup. It is hearty and rich. It has the best broth. I always take extra bread to get every drop of the broth. I love the cheese puffs. You won't be able to leave any behind. The drinks are excellent. I love the Manhattans. I also love the Bourbon Peach Tea. I always get the mac and cheese. If I'm being really bad I also get the mashed potatoes. They are really whipped potatoes. So yummy. The short rib is so tender. Ask for it over mashed potatoes or over polenta (if available). There is so much to choose from. The desserts are amazing! The service is very good.

a
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on February 4, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Food and service excellent; noise level impossible.

PH
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2020
Overall3food4service2ambience4

In attentive service despite not being busy

C
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Central, food and service-wise, is one of my two favorite restaurants in Washington!! Superb!!

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic food from start to finish. Best fried chicken we’ve ever had by FAR.

LC
Baltimore
2 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall3food3service5ambience3

The food and ambiance did not live up to our expectations. One dish, the bouillibase, was served barely warm and had to be sent back. Our dessert, the signature chocolate bar, was tasteless. The lighting was overly bright giving off the feel of a diner during daytime.

OT
Miami
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall4food5service3ambience3

Dinner was excellent. Service was slow and inattentive.

OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience2

This used to be one of favorite restaurants but they neglected the physical restaurant itself like the chairs are overly worn and tattered, the trim and wood at stations are in very bad shape, the menus feel old or overly used, and the napkins also look like they need to be replaced. The food was ok but it has lost the quality over the years and their new items aren’t as strong as their older ones. My wife and I both had older dishes and both were ok but they used to be spectacular and it wasn’t seasoned as well nor was the plate as professionally prepared.

RB
Washington DC
29 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

I wish they hadn't switched from fountain soda to tiny bottles.

OT
Philadelphia
12 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great date night! The service and food were excellent. We love this restaurant!

KP
1 review
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience3

The food at Central was superb and delivered to the table hot or cold and fresh as needed. The service was wonderful, not intrusive but our server was always available when needed. We came for a retirement lunch and had a marvelous time. My only complaint at this particular store is that the sound can get so loud - there does not seem to be any structural provision or ability to manage the noise levels.

MM
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I could eat the fried chicken and potato purée every day!

s
Washington DC
33 reviews
Dined on January 28, 2020
Overall4food4service1ambience3

It’s one of my favs but it like the servers were in a race to get us out of there. They asked to clear out plates about four times before we were finished. No grace. No training. No professionalism

8
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love the food especially the fried chicken and foie gras. Terrific manager Isabelle always greets guests with a warm smile and great service!

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