Daily Archives: 26 January 2015

Central Michel Richard — Lunch on 26 January 2015

2015 Winter Restaurant Week, Extended,  Day 1

And it continues.

Restaurant Week officially ended yesterday, but a number of excellent places have extended the celebration through the end of the month.

Today’s treat:  Central Michel Richard.


Central Michel Richard

It’s pronounced sen-TRAHL, btw.   It’s named for its location—Central is on Pennsylvania Avenue, about halfway between the White House and the Capitol.

When Central Michel Richard opened, it won the James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant the USA.  Michel Richard himself has a Beard Award as Best Chef in the USA.   Central was ranked 15th in the Washingtonian’s latest “100 Very Best Restaurants” list.

About that list:  Any list like the Washingtonian’s is designed to be at least somewhat controversial, and should be taken w/a grain of salt, he said, working in a culinary allusion. Many of my favourite places aren’t on the list, and never will never be.  I love the Little Fountain Cafe, f’rinstance, which has been serving classic Provençal cuisine for years, but it’s small and non-flashy and rarely updates its menu, so it isn’t “list-worthy.”   Another of my favourites is Vidalia, generally considered one of the best restaurants in Washington.  In recent years, it’s consistently been ranked in the Top Ten, and sometimes the top three or four.  Someone at Vidalia apparently pissed off a Washingtonian critic,  and it’s absent from this year’s list.

So the list is flawed, but it can be somewhat useful in pointing the way to restaurants worth sampling.

Central Onion Soup

French Onion Soup

The good but smallish serving of French Onion Soup inspired me to check out some recipes, so I can make it at home.

Central Chicken

Michel Fried Chicken

Not just “Fried Chicken,” but “Michel Fried Chicken.”  The Washington Post has called this “the best fried chicken in Washington.”  I won’t disagree; it was super.   It was served over…well, I don’t know whether to call it “mashed potatoes” or “potato puree,” but whatever it was, it was excellent.

Central Cheesecake


Be honest, now.  Isn’t this raspberry-topped cheesecake one of the most beautiful things you’ve ever seen?

Appetite Suppressant

As I entered Central, this is what I saw on the other side of Pennsylvania Avenue.  The loathsome “short-fingered vulgarian” has gained control of our beautiful old Post Office Pavillion.

Appetite Surpressant