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Nearby points of interest
About Central Michel Richard
Michel Richard's modern American brasserie and winner of the 2008 James Beard award for best new restaurant. Located on the corner of 11 St. & Penn. Ave NW with a great central location, walking distance to the White House, Capitol, The Warner, National Mall and theaters. Central is Michel's tribute to great American cuisine, both modern and classic, with a French accent. A vibrant bar scene with a great wine and beer list as well as modern & classic cocktails.
Washington, DC 20004
American, French, Comfort Food
Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:30pm Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10 pm Friday: 5:00-10:30 pm - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:30 pm
Sunday: 11:00am - 2:30 pm
$31 to $50
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Valet at night $10 starting at 5:30pm; self parking during the day
walk from Archives/Navy Memorial, Federal Triangle, or Metro Center
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Special Events & Promotions:
Perfect for business meetings, cocktail parties, with a great downtown location. Private room seats up to 16 guest, semi private room 20 guest
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Central Michel Richard Ratings and Reviews
It seems I always order the same two dishes when I dine at Central: the frisee salad followed by the mussel chowder. Both are reliably tasty, though this time the salad dressing was lacking in salt while the chowder contained too much of it. Service can be hit or miss, and the noise level tends to drown out the voices of others at the table. But on the whole, the restaurant continues to hit more high notes than low ones.
We enjoyed the 3-course lunch special, even though a bit too salty. Our major disappointment was in the service. We waited 20 minutes for a server to approach us to take our order and finally got the attention of a server who was not assigned to our table. A request for a second beverage was ignored; again we had to get the attention of a different server. Fortunately the quality of the food helped compensate for the inadequate service.
Used to have a fantastic ambience, however as it has gotten more and more popular, you can't help but feel rushed in and out. The menu has also undergone an unfortunate reduction in quality over the past two years -- though the preparation of the food is still fantastic. The wait staff hardly paid any attention or made the evening special at all, which particularly left me wondering why I was paying $29 for a lobster burger (at least it isn't $32 like in the good old days). We won't be back, and our dollars can be much better spent elsewhere.
Central knows what they do best for the menu taking american classics like fried chicken and mash and making it fabulous. The atmosphere in here was great and only the special on the menu was slightly under par. Everything else the entire group found superb.
Good place for a group - lots of choices on the menu. Our server was not very personal - and we had to ask for water glasses to be refilled. We were also not asked if we wanted more drinks after we had placed our initial order. We would have definitely ordered a second round or another bottle of wine if we had been asked.
Overall, we really enjoyed our dining experience. Highly recommend the charcuterie platter and the lobster burger. My husband had the cheeseburger, and said it was good, but not excellent. The chocolate bar is fantastic, and actually a perfect size to split if you have already had an appetizer and main course. The only disappointment was the banana split. For one, it is huge. Also, nothing really special, and ice cream flavors were fairly bland. But, other than the one dessert, we were very happy.
Service was prompt and courteous, but not overly welcoming. For us, it was fine, but some might find it a little off-putting.
Our experience was very good, just shy of five stars. The asian-style tuna carpaccio was sublime, the mussels in garlic wine sauce delicious, and the molton chocolate lava cake was decadent. Service was slow at times, but when the waiter was present she was very attentive, knowledgable and enjoyable. She had a very large table to attend to which drew her away from ours at times. The hard surfaces of the dining room and the open kitchen made the noise level high and reduced the overall ambiance. Still a wonderful experience and worth the expense.
Everything was great except for our waiter. He was a rude french person that was so rude and arrogant. He took forever to take our order and when someone else took it, he embarrassed the other waiter that was just trying to help out. Everyone except for this one waiter was really nice, its too bad i didn't get his name. The worst service ever from this guy, its too bad because everything we ordered was excellent except for this experience. Food was prepared really fast, it seemed that this guy really did not want us to be there.
PRO: The food was well prepared. When food was delivered to the table, the food temperatures were pretty much perfect across the board. Nothing was too salty or sweet. The restaurant is lovely--clean, simple, and comfortable.
CON: I think there is too much food on a plate. The portions seem sized for 2 people. I also didn't personally care much for the brussel sprouts as prepared. I feel their flavor and texture is lost when they are cooked so much. Mushy brussel sprouts with not-crispy bacon came across a little bland.
The bread, onion soup, lamb shank and mac & cheese all got raves. The french fries were no better than good fast food, not crisp, nothing special. But the lobster and chicken pot pie violates every principal of "truth in menu". The dish was huge, but it was mostly very good puff pastry crust topping a filling comparable to Swanson's chicken pot pie. Three of us ordered it, and none of us got more than two pinky-nail size pieces of flavorless lobster knuckle meat. No claw, no tail, not even the full knuckle. So for $96 we got plenty of supermarket quality pot pie. The pearl onions were too large and weren't caramelized, there was very little carrot and the chicken had no discernible chicken flavor, although there was about 3 oz of it.
Went twice within two weeks and we were delighted both times. Creative treatments of Bistro favorites, nice wine list, not overly extensive, well chosen, but a little pricey. Second time we went we ate at the bar and had great service from Nicki the female bartender. She was very personable and did a gerat job fixing drinks but still giving us excellent service for drinks and food.
I had steak tartare both times (excellent!) my wife had fried chicken and then frogs legs, again both excellent.
We'll go back when we are in DC again.
We had a wonderful meal Friday night! We had an excellent server - attentive but never pushy (and part of our group was late) - he helped us select a great bottle of wine. My hanger steak was amazing, as was the fried chicken. We finished the meal sharing deserts - lets just say, the banana split by itself will bring our group back!
I've eaten here a few times and it seems like each successive visit is a little less special. The food is good, but it's starting to seem tired. The folded paper menus were crinkled, food stained, and shopworn. Why not replace? But most notably, the service is aloof - not exactly bad, just disengaged. Few smiles, little input, nothing to make you feel like it's a special place. Additionally, the tables are close together and we had a party of four next to us, including a 6-year-old who was restless - this perhaps isn't the best restaurant for a child, but the fact that we were sharing banquette seating made it worse. You'd think the hostess might have seated them at a stand-alone table. It'll be a while before I'm back.
The food was very good, however, our server was overwhelmed and unable to pay adequate attention to each table. Also, the server spilled wine on my clothes and did not offer dry cleaning or compensate my glass of wine.
I have dined at Central Michel Richard once before and had a much better experience.
The chicken and lemon burger with bleu cheese was delicious -- and the banana split was about the best banana split I've ever had (and huge). I loved the bits of fruit in the topping as well as the trio of ice creams to the side. The service was not as attentive as I prefer, but not bad.
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