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“Nice night at Central”

Central Michel Richard
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Ranked #92 of 3,666 Restaurants in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$25 - US$100
Cuisines: American, French
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Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Bar Scene, Local cuisine, Special Occasion Dining, Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, After-hours, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighbourhood: Downtown / Chinatown
Cross street: 11th
Transit: walk from Archives/Navy Memorial, Federal Triangle, or Metro Center
Description: Central Michel Richard Restaurant in Washington DC.
Reviewed 29 January 2010

Right away, we appreciated the relaxed atmosphere, it was just what we expected from a French Bistro. We were seated right next to the kitchen. Some people might not like this for the traffic and bright lights (the whole place was noisy in that bustling sort of way, I don't think any worse where we were) but we liked watching all the food come out --- made it even harder to decide what to order!

We started with a cone of gougeres. We REALLY enjoyed these, and they went well with the bottle of red wine we ordered, which was the special for the night.

We shared the smoked salmon with corn brioche appetizer. The salmon was lovely, but we were both disappointed in the brioche, which we felt was too dry, and you didn't really get any 'corn' flavor, which is too bad since I have had smoked salmon with a sweet corn cake in the past, and found the combination delectable.

My husband had the pied de cochon, and I had the lamb shank. I would not have been happy with the cochon, but my husband loved it ... for me, the sweetness of the onions was overwhelming. I thought my lamb was cooked perfectly. I thought the jus was a bit too much ... lamb jus is strongly flavored, and there didn't need to be so much of it as there was on the plate. I also wished that I had more polenta, which was a fantastic sweet accompaniment to the lamb. And, I just gotta say, what is with the fried onions piled on top of everything?? This is a trend I just don't get, and since I had no interest in eating them, I pushed them to the side, losing some of the precious polenta in the process.... restaurants really need to stop with the unnecessary garnishes.

Shared the bread and butter pudding to finish. . . great, no complaints at all! The strong flavor of the rum (? we assumed?) was a surprise, but not disliked.

We loved this place. It is just our style, to he honest. I read some complaints about staff, but we had great service all night. The man himself stopped by to check on the kitchen while we were there, and gave me a little wave and a smile. I am sure his regular oversight has a lot to do with the restaurant's success.

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Thank thefourskis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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734 - 738 of 861 reviews

Reviewed 12 January 2010

enjoyed this restaurant although found the acoustics to be bad and the restaurant loud. started with the $18 tuna/salmon carpaccio appetizer, which was very good after a little extra salt and pepper. the cioppino was very creative with squid sliced very thin to mimic linguini. enjoyed the dish but found the sauce a little heavy. one complaint is that they ran out of martini glasses and served our martinis in a cordial glass. the bill with tax, tip, for 3 was around $300. At that price i like my martini in a martini glass.

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Thank dudoldve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 2 January 2010

The rabbit two ways was incredible, as was the 'faux' grois (chicken livers), rilletes were fabulous but too small of a portion, and the only slight disappointment was the lamb shank - just needed something...salt?

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Reviewed 23 December 2009

We really enjoyed the food at Central. We split both the Crab Cake and the Lamb Shank. Both were delicious as was the Chocolate Bar dessert. The crab cake had a tasty sauce; the lamb was perfectly cooked falling off the bone. The dessert was very sweet and chocolatey. The prices were very reasonable for such tasty food. The wine list was also reasonably priced. My only complaint was the noise level when the place was full.

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1  Thank finsth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 December 2009

We went there for dinner. The restaurant is decorated in modern style, the kitchen is open and it is possible to see your food being preparated. Service friendly and food very good. Similar in cost or even cheaper then the surrounding restaurants.

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Thank Fil-Troubadour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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