Central Michel Richard

4.4
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7268 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 7268 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
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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DL
Atlanta
1 review
Dined 9 hours ago
Overall4food5service2ambience4

Food was great and the ambiance was fine. Felt like our waitress and rest of the staff was hurrying us through our meal. In fact, my wife’s dinner was taken before she was finished. Slow down and allow your guests to have an unhurried opportunity to reconnect over fine food. Stop worrying about turning tables.

A
Washington DC
25 reviews
Dined 13 hours ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent time with good friends

MD
Washington DC
17 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Good food and nice atmosphere.

GW
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Food and service were great! Would definitely return. Fried chicken, beet salad and Crème brûlée were the highlights!

MW
Washington DC
88 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Central consistently delivers great food. The restaurant week menu was terrific and great value. We ordered one regular menu item as well. The service was terrific-our server made great suggestions and was very attentive.

The noise level is robust but it’s a great place for lunch or dinner.

M
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Went for restaurant week. Generous amount of really good food for all three courses. Would come back to try other items even outside restaurant week. Would recommend to friends and family.

M
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent service and attention to detail. Menu Options and food very good.

HC
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The perfect time to go to Central is during Washington Restaurant Week. If you love fried chicken and mashed potatoes, this is the place to go.

S
Washington DC
211 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The gougeres were a fabulous start-almost lighter than air. Salmon and rotisserie chicken were both outstanding, and we shared a decadent chocolate mousse to end the evening. Superb service as well.

CW
Washington DC
84 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Restaurant Week is usually a nightmare, but Central had it down to a science. Solid menu to choose from, timely and efficient. The servers were fine, but the standout was the manager Boris, who exemplified gracious hospitality. He clearly cared about every step of our dining experience and went above and beyond to make sure that we were enjoying ourselves. I will definitely be back, and very soon. Thanks, Boris!

OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great fun, great service and good food. The personal attention was unexpected and great!

M
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food4service5ambience5

I love this restaurant. The menu is great and the “hook” of traditional American fare prepared by a French chef unique.

I would recommend it.

JS
London
8 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great value with restaurant week lunch!

J
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Perfect meal in every respect.

ME
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Food was delicious, service was prompt, professional, and friendly. Great value for the quality you get.

AK
Washington DC
29 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience3

The fried chicken and rotisserie was outstanding! The snowman dessert for our anniversary was complimentary from the management that was superb! 4 instead of 5 because of the ambience that was a little too loud. Our waiter was rather uninformative when my husband asked about the Osso Bucco. He read him the description on the menu and nothing else. He did not expand on it or at least say that he would ask the Chef.

We will return!

AA
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

From the moment we were shown to our seats, the excitement of the culinary delight before us was evident through everyone who greeted us - the person pouring the water and serving the bread to our server, the manager, and the head chef himself. You could tell it was a special place with special food and a huge legacy to continue. And the food was exciting and exceptional, as always, fulfilling the legacy of one of our favorite chefs, Chef Michel. Thank you for this wonderful culinary experience.

MM
Washington DC
18 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Good food. Service a bit slow . Some drinks were not available from the bar . Overall a good meal but a bit pricy .

MD
Atlanta
4 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful experience and great food! Service was outstanding. Highly recommend this restaurant. As a solo diner, I was never overlooked.

A
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on January 8, 2020
Overall2food3service2ambience3

Host/Manager was very pleasant. Wait Staff was Rude, slightly abrupt. I noticed our Server was visibly displeased when we did not order from the wine list, which we ended up with another server taking care of us for the 2nd Half of dinner. Presentation of food was great, but extremely Salted all around. Great food should be well-seasoned, not over seasoned. Seating was near kitchen which was of no issue, but their service area where food is put out contained garbage such as empty water bottles and empty gatorade bottles. Love the concept of an open kitchen, but is not visually pleasing compared to other options available in the area.

R
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 8, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience3

Excellent drink optiond, great fried chicken, very tasty steak tartare, delightful deconstructed lemon meringue pie dessert , and great service, but ... the crabcakes were not good. Don’t normally write reviews. Wrote this one only because I like this place and would go there more often if it had better crabcakes!

PD
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

No matter how busy they are the team at Central always makes me feel at home. And whenever possible they put me at one of the back tables because they know it makes it easier for me to hear.

One of my all-time favorite dining experiences :-)
Thanks, Peter Prowity

OT
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fabulous experience and tasty food!

J
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall3food2service3ambience4

We use to love going to Central and even hosted my husband's 40th birthday there many years ago. This was our first time back in a while, and unfortunately I was disappointed. The bread and french fries were great as always, and the appetizer special beet carpaccio was also good. However, the main entrees were a bit of a miss. The filet mignon was overcooked and the salmon was undercooked, and the branzino was described as a "whole fish" but was just a filet and was nothing special. We're sad that one of our old favorite restaurants seems to have changed.

DL
Washington DC
49 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Service was excellent!!

RO
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall4food3service4ambience5

We were a party of six on a Saturday evening. The atmosphere was very nice. We had reservations for 6:00 pm and were seated moments after arrival. Since we are all very close friends and do love the experience of trying new dishes, we all enjoyed bites of each of the dishes placed before us. We stared with soups and appetizers. The special appetizer of the evening was Beet Carpaccio. This was a wonderful dish with a very light flavor and a wonderful presentation, a definite re-do if it were on the menu again. The crab cake was good but overly mixed when prepared by morning prep, as there were no distinguishing lumps of crab. The smear of sauce underneath the crab cake had a very interesting taste complementing the cake, but a bit too much salt. The mushroom panini and tomato bisque soup was not very exciting. Although the panini was not presented with the soup, we didn't realize it was missing and it's presence, presumably, would not have helped with the lack of uniqueness and over salted taste of the soup. during the main course, the dish that exemplified the capabilities of the chef would have been the bouillabaisse. the tender bits of seafood were heightened by a marvelous delicate sauce topped with a piece of fresh bread smeared with what tasted like hollandaise sauce. The fried chicken, moist and tender, was fried to perfection. The hanger steak au poivre, although not a large portion, very tender and cooked exactly as ordered. The short rib bourguigonon had a delightful sauce, but again, with a bit to much salt. All in all, we would definitely return.

EH
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful dining experience. We got Michel's famous fried chicken again. The best. Wine selection was perfect. Chris, our server, was helpful, attentive and warm. Will definitely return.

BL
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall2food2service1ambience3

Inattentive service. Long waits despite emptiness of restaurant. Incomplete drink orders. Inconsistent food quality. Salmon bland. Philly cheesesteak tough.

CC
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

My husband and I had dinner here before a theater show. Decor is casual but food is outstanding. We were served quickly and got out the door in plenty of time to make our show. I had the salmon and hubby had the wild mushroom stroganoff. We kept looking at one another saying “this is so good!” Not cheap - we had entrees only and no alcohol and it was $80 with tip, but we will definitely go back.

J
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 2, 2020
Overall4food2service4ambience4

Some changes to the original recipes

A
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall1food2service1ambience2

We had a reservation for 9:30pm and arrived on time. We were kept waiting by the bar approximately 45 minutes.... At table we were kept waiting for the food to arrive.... At a given moment we were told of "an accident" in the kitchen. The food finally arrived and we received the apologies of the manager, who announced that the dinner was free of charge. We appreciated the gesture but our New Year's dinner was already spoilt. For the record, the food was not very good. We wont be coming back... Pity

RH
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience3

Very slow service on NYE

OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience1

My wife and I unfortunately booked a reservation at this disaster of a restaurant on NYE. Our reservation was for 9pm, we showed up 15 minutes early and were told it would be at least 45 minutes until we were seated... Since we had another event to get to, we sat at a bar table hoping to grab some bites before having to leave, and began looking at the "Dinner Menu" that was sitting on the table. After about 10-15 minutes, a bartender finally came over, and treated us like morons because we mistakenly tried to order food off the "wrong menu". She took the menus from us and never came back.
After eventually being seated at a table, we ordered as quickly as possible off the completely uninteresting pre fixe NYE menu. 30 minutes later, we had our first course, tuna tartare and crab cakes. Nothing special. We waited another 40 minutes, and our main course never came. Thankfully, after requesting bread a couple of times, we did eventually have some brought to our table, and to our surprise it was actually warm!
The manager and GM kept interrupting our conversations to awkwardly apologize to us, and told us that our next meal would be comped, but there's ZERO chance we'd ever waste our time with that.
Bottom line:
Terrible, rude service
Mediocre menu
Outback Steakhouse probably has a better wine list
Another reviewer described the decor as "upscale Dennys"---spot on

MB
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Central treated us great on New Years Eve. It was busy but still excellent across all the courses. My husband love the foie gras and thought his steak was cooked perfectly. I had the rotisserie chicken and started with scallops, both were heavenly. The service was wonderful by being professional and responsive, even on one of the busiest nights of the year. It is no wonder this place thrives and is a DC mainstay. I am looking forward to going back for a cheeseburger soon!

OT
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall3food4service2ambience2

Caveat to all of this review was that it was NYE.

Food is excellent, service not so much. Host staff pushed us off to the bar even though we were on time and tables were ready. Bartender was an absolute jerk, ignoring us, then taking an order, and not filling it. Had to ask a second bartender and it took 10+ mins for two simple glasses of champagne. When we got to the table, no waiter, no bread, no water. Finally a really nice waiter came along and said he wasn’t our waiter but he wanted to help us. He ultimately was the only person to help us all night and he did a good job. All through the meal managers and host staff stood around the tables and had conversations and argued with one another and ordered the waiters and bus staff around...customers don’t need to be part of that process but were.

All that aside, the food (when we got it) was delicious. Tuna tartare with avocado and wasabi and gnocchi first courses both extremely tasty. The lamb and steak mains both cooked perfectly and had great flavor. The dessert was set at a chocolate tower filled with fruit. Not the most memorable dessert but good.

Need to try this place again soon. If the service come close to the food, Central would be a top 10 place in my book.

F
Richmond
6 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall3food5service1ambience4

The food was great but took forever to arrive.

P
Washington DC
19 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding kitchen. Excellent bakery. Wine pairings hit the spot. A new year's eve tradition.

SW
Washington DC
18 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fabulous pre theater dinner on New Year’s Eve. First time for my mother and she loved it! Oxsana gave us excellent service. The meal was delicious and the wine pairings perfection. We will definitely return.

SB
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Not to sound like a "broken record", but the evening, food and service was as usual great. From wine, entrée and dessert we truly enjoyed ourselves. It was also a nice gesture the next day to receive a personal telephone follow up. Keep up the good work. Cannot wait for our next visit.

AL
Washington DC
21 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience3

The food and service were excellent. We had the calamari, spaghetti Bolognese, gnocchi and chicken-lemon burger followed by the enormous banana split and all were delicious. The decor is odd and dated looking, which is a little surprising.

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