Central Michel Richard

4.6
6587 reviews
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$31 to $50
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American
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. Private dining room available for up to 16 guest, semi-private for 20 guest.
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Delivery or takeout
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
American, French, Contemporary French / American
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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
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Phone number
(202) 626-0015
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Executive chef
Tony Roussel
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Catering
Order online at Caviar.com or contact us at the restaurant at
pdr@centralmichelrichard.com
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
11th & Pennsylvania Ave NW
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Parking details
Valet at night $10 starting at 5:30pm & Sunday brunch 11am
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Public transit
Walk from Archives/Navy Memorial, Federal Triangle, or Metro Center
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Entertainment
Join us @CentralMR for event and entertainment updates.
Additional
Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Delivery, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 6587 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.4
service
4.3
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Baltimore
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

We were there to see our friends and talk... not just eat... So when our food arrived we weren’t trying to rush to finish it. But rather enjoy conversation with our friends. The waiters kept trying to take our plate even though we didn’t finish it. I was still enjoying my dessert even though everyone else finished theirs. The waiters kept asking me to remove it. There was no one to be seated after us, so I don’t understand the rush. People don’t come to restaurants just to eat but also to enjoy the company and good conversations. Too bad because the food is always great here, and what really makes the restaurant exceptional is the service. They should work on that part.

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R
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely wonderful meal. I love this place.

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AB
Austin
3 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dinner was fantastic - great food and service! Gazpacho and cheese puffs were a highlight and the entrees were delicious as well.

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MK
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great cocktails and experienced servers who don’t know how to be attentive without being annoying. Fried chicken, burger and goat cheese Caesar salad are in a class of their own

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OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 3

Reservation specified business meal. Place was half empty but we were still seated at a very loud and unpleasant table next to the open kitchen and at the far back of the restaurant in the darkest corner with no windows. I sometimes wonder if female executives just get the shaft from hostesses. We were to a slightly less horrible table wedges between two server stations. There were plenty of nicer tables that sat empty.

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L
London
1 review
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

One of the best brunches in DC!! Absolutely delicious and unique food!

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OT
1 review
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

I went to Central with a group of eight, we arrived pretty much at the same time and the hostess was very easygoing and let us wait in the bar a bit, then sat us with an incomplete party. We had the prix fixe brunch which is an excellent deal, and the food was great as well! I have celiacs, and had delicious dishes in each of the three courses which were gluten free without modification. They don't mark GF on the menu but the waiter was knowledgeable, and even went and double checked with the kitchen when I thought there might be an issue with my main. The manager brought out my first course to confirm it was GF, and I felt very secure in their handling of food and their general knowledge of allergens.

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AP
Chicago
23 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Having dinner alone while on a business meeting, I chose Central as I had been there before. Wanted to eat light do I had the Mediterranean Sea bass with grilled book chit. It was exceptional, as was the crusty bread. Service was friendly, efficient and the server checked in to ensure all was good. Will definitely go back next time I’m in town.

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DA
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food, even better service. I’ll be back again soon.

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S
Washington DC
34 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Just a great menu, prepared and served perfectly leaving nothing to fret about.

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A
Washington DC
41 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Love this place. Honestly, been to all the top hitters and they are fun, but Central is solid. Incredible fried chicken (can that be a thing?) and I’m sorry, totally hooked on clams linguini. The bread is worth coming in and calling it a meal-so good. Cheese puffs, oh my.
Surprising, the dessert is eh. At that point you’re so full of bread it doesn’t matter!

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a
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 2

Although the atmosphere is a little sterile, it was lively and as we were seated near the kitchen, entertaining to watch all that went on. The food and service were wonderful, from start to finish, we enjoyed it all!

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JP
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I've been here several times before and always enjoyed it. This time my boyfriend and I brought my parents. We enjoyed sharing the charcuterie tower and the delicious bread before having our entrees of a beet salad with salmon added (which they split in kind fashion), the duck, and French onion soup, respectively. All were very happy with our meals and drinks.

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CV
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

This was one of over a dozen meals at Central and it was a disappointment. My entree, hanger steak, was undercooked as were the soggy fries. I was seated under a vent, so the underwhelming food got cold in minutes. And the entire meal, from being seated to paying the check, lasted less than an hour on a night when the place was less than half full. Certainly they had time to prepare the food with more thoughtfulness. Hopefully this was an aberration and not the new norm.

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OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

The location and food were good. The creme brûlée was incredible. I would go again but would avoid ordering the 3 course lunch and simply leave room for the creme brûlée.

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MD
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fixed prix menu for pre-theater is fantastic. Choices are really quite good and satisfying. Great value for the cost (and service is quick). Enjoy!

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KS
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

food was great. was a great atmosphere for a business meeting

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C
Washington DC
84 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Central was a great place for a business lunch. It has a $25 3-course lunch special, which was perfect for the business meal. The food was decent, and I would go back, but it was fairly standard fare.

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TL
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on August 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

I am a very picky eater, so I was thrilled to see a number of options on the brunch menu that I wanted to try. It's even fixed price for 3 courses. The goat cheese Caesar Salad was delicious. The smoked salmon benedict, which was served on spinach and gluten free on my request was superb!! I never order dessert, but it was my birthday, so I had the creme brulee, which was caramel flavored and also delicious. This is my go-to place now for dining in DC.

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DD
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 4

We’ve dined here so many times. This the first time with poor service. What a disappointment!

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A
Washington DC
41 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Fried chicken to die for. Currently on a clams linguini obsession. Love the cheese puffs and gazpacho.

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AG
Washington DC
36 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 3

I've returned to Central many times. The food is great -- can't say enough positive about the large portion of fried chicken -- worth sharing. However this is the third time that the service was poor. Its too bad since it mars an otherwise great food experience. The venue is loud despite it not being filled -- I suspect a consequence of the decor.

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SC
Dallas
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Central is one of my favorite Washington DC restaurants. The food is excellent as is the service. We met our daughter and boyfriend here. It was the perfect place for casual conversation with great food and drinks! We ate outside, which made it even better!

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JF
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

I was disappointed with the restaurant. I had dined there about 10 times previously and it has gone downhill. The quality of the food has diminished and an empty dining shows many people agree.

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VM
Washington DC
39 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Central is our only recommendation to friends and family visiting DC. Superb food, drinks and service always impresses and never disappoints our guests.

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LQ
Washington DC
43 reviews
Dined on August 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I don’t know how they make the cheese puffs so light and flavorful but they are perfect every time! As always, the staff, service, and food was exceptional!

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VB
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on August 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Took out of town friends to lunch and it was wonderful as always! This is why I Central is my go-to restaurant for lunch, dinner, happy hour, etc. Consistently great food, service and ambiance that can't be beat!

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M
Washington DC
16 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

I haven't been to Central in a while. My boyfriend and I decided to come here for Restaurant Week dinner because the menu looked great. We were definitely not disappointed. The steak and dourade were well-cooked. The goat cheese ceasar salad definitely had a lot of cheese on it, but we like cheese so that's not a problem for us! The farro and summer corn salad was light and tasty, if not super interesting. I had the chocolate lava cake for dessert, and I'm so glad the portion size was small because it was delicious but very filling! My boyfriend had the creme brulee. The dish they put it in was a little too deep, but it tasted great and had a perfect crust.

The service was good, professional but friendly. The pacing was satisfactory too - dinner took about 1.5 hours for 3 courses.

I did forget how packed-in the restaurant feels. I wish it were a bit quieter or that the seating areas were more broken up into smaller sections for a more intimate feel.

Overall, good experience!

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JJ
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The staff, our server in particular was amazing. They helped to make the night a memorable one

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c
Washington DC
69 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

We visited Central during DC Restaurant Week and chose the special menu. We agreed that the food was excellent. We were especially pleased with the yellow-tomato gazpacho, which had some subtle flavors. We chose different entrees; my fish (dorade) was tender and juicy, the creme brulée was a bit too custardy to my taste. We selected a bottle of reasonably priced red Burgundy from the wine list to better match our different entree choices. The service was professional, friendly and accommodating. Unfortunately, the noise level was unbearably high, which made conversation difficult, if not impossible. But maybe another evening than Friday night is a better choice. If you like good food, well prepared and nicely presented, go for it.

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m
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

I was very happy with the service. We were greeted with a smile by everyone. However, the steak that I ordered was a bit chewy and the serving was not copious. I also ordered the crème brûlée. I have a little expertise for this dish as I always order it if it is served. This one was more pudding-like. It had none of the subtlety that I would expect from a real crème brûlée. I was expecting a lot more from a French bistrot-type restaurant. I went for restaurant week and I was happy with he experience but the “rapport qualité-prix” the link between the quality of the meal with the price charged, was underwhelming.

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J
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Central never dissapoints- the best ingredients cooked to perfection, amazing service, and delicious drinks. If you’ve never been, you are missing out...

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D
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

We came for restuarant week. First time visit. Kind of noisy, but excellent food & service. We will all return.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Checked it out for restaurant week. Very delicious. Best waiter and service I’ve had!
Recommend for Vegetarians especially if you don’t mind a kick.

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FA
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 2

Food: 4+
Service: 3-
Abience: 1.5
All the food was wonderful, and the fried chicken as good as I'd heard it was! The service was only fair - not particularly attentive, except for being very rushed in multiple offers to take the bill payment for us. The atmosphere was the biggest problem as the place filled up. The noise level was SO high at mid-lunch time that conversation was not possible. I'd not go there again unless I could sit outside (busses and ambulances and major city street traffic could be no louder, and less constant, and thus intrusive!) or possibly near the front windows inside. Either of those options, though, would deprive the diner of the fun of watching preps in the open kitchen. Perhaps take-out would be the best option overall.

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ER
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

The worst dining experience this year thus far. Ridiculously terrible service and management was no better.

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BS
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 1

Disappointing service in an uncomfortably loud and unappealing atmosphere. Would not recommend. 1/5.

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Y
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Another great meal at Central Michel Richard, where they know how to do Restaurant Week right! All the options were outstanding and really showcased the restaurant's strengths. Can't wait to go back.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 16, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

My friend and I were getting together for lunch today, and as we both work in the restaurant industry, we know how crazy restaurant week can get,but from the first greeting, the host was very cold towards us. When she walked us to the table she practically sprinted. The servicer came over right away, got us water and offered other beverages. Once she came back and we ordered off the restaurant week menu, the service completely changed. When our first course arrived, my friend got the wrong item which wasn’t even on restaurant week menu. We told the server and she said “oh" and replaced it with the correct item. We both had the chicken for the main course, amazing as usual. For dessert, my friend got the creme brulee and loved it. I got the “warm” peaches with almonds and vanilla ice cream, but the peaches were hard, and cold. My friend asked our server if they were supposed to be warm, to which she replied “yeah, room temp, not warm”. I left it alone. Overall the food was good except for my dessert, and the fried chicken is always great but the service was amateur from such a renowned DC restaurant. We get that it’s lunch and that its restaurant week, but service is service, and when we left, the host was on her phone with headphones in, and did not say a word.

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S
Washington DC
110 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Enjoyed my Friday late lunch starting with a great Royal Flush cocktail but sangria was ok. Will go back just for the gazpacho before summer's over. But gougeres were disappointing cold not crispy seemed to have been sitting around for a while. Soft shell crab was nicely done but didn't care for the mayo-based dressing on the buns. Beef tartare was good nothing special. Loved the crunchy crust of the colorful cheesecake with accompanying cafe latte. Service was knowledgeable & gracious with service change at the end of meal.

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