Central Michel Richard

4.6
7067 reviews
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$31 to $50
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American
Top tags:
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Lunch
  • Good for a Date
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, as well as one of the most popular Sunday brunch destinations in downtown DC. 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 7067 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
4.5
service
4.3
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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DC
Washington DC
21 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

Good food but the service was not great. Not professional or timely/prompt. Also the restaurant was very dated - looks exactly the same as my last visit in 2010. Time for an update.

OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 3food 1service 4ambience 4

The food was not nearly as good as previous times I have been. The short rib pasta and chunks of short rib that were burnt on the outside and crunchy. Not good.

KK
Washington DC
16 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

I've always had a good experience here. The food and service are always top notch. It was the last day of restaurant week and we were trying to find a place not too far from Penn Quarter/ Chinatown for brunch. As we were looking at menus, we saw Central Michele Richard had something for all of us. Did we make a great choice! Between the food and the conversation with the AG, this was a great way to start our Sunday and end summer restaurant week

KP
Washington DC
40 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Central remains one of the best values for a Restaurant Week meal, or actually almost any time. Go for the fabulous fried chicken and discover something seasonal, like the gazpacho with burrata. The service is always lovely. Highly recommended for brunch.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a fabulous send off to college for our son!! Fantastic evening!

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Isabelle is amazing!

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LF
Los Angeles
30 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

Inside of restaurant looks more like a diner and was very noisy. I expected something much more fancy in this location. Outdoor patio was not usable due to afternoon sun and there was no shield (such as plants) from the busy street. Food was not memorable - salmon was too dry and nothing else stood out except for brussel sprouts. Service was very friendly and tried their best but this isn't enough for me to recommend or come back.

F
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I'd read the reviews, but am always skeptical. We (5 guests) had a great meal...the gazpacho, salad, fried chicken and cheese puffs were great!

JK
Cleveland
2 reviews
Dined on 16 August 2019
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 3

Food was very good - came out quickly and hot. Service was efficient but not friendly - although that seems to be a Washington DC thing. It is very loud but some may like that atmosphere.

VB
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 16 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was fantastic with excellent service. The only negative was the noise level. It was extremely loud.

OT
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on 16 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I came here around 1:30pm and it was pretty busy. The atmosphere was inviting with moderate noise. Here’s what i ordered: for starter i had yellow tomato Gazpacho with Burrata cheese and it was delicious i finished it till the last drop. For second course I had medium rare hanger steak with peppercorn sauce pairing with Californian Cabernet Sauvignon, the steak was perfectly cooked and a little kick from the sauce that made it even tastier. It was served with a little salad and fries. For dessert I had chocolate lava cake. My dining experience at this place was perfect. I definitely will be back soon.

OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 16 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Ladies lunch!

KH
Atlanta
6 reviews
Dined on 16 August 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

As usual, the food was quite good. The restaurant week deal was nice. However, it was very loud. Most importantly, the service was sub par. It took a very long time to place our orders. There was a very, very long wait in between each course. My friend asked for pepper from two different servers, and never received it. Finally, it took a while to get our server’s attention for the check. We were both on our lunch break, and returned to work much later than expected. Overall it was disappointing.

TA
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 16 August 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

The creme brulee and mashed potatoes were the most exciting of all the food we ate.

LS
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 15 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

All of the staff were very welcoming and attentive even though it was Restaurant Week and very busy. We started with some happy hour drinks and cheese puffs at the bar. The fig old fashioned was amazing. Our waiter for dinner was enthusiastic and energetic and really knowledgeable about the whole menu and the different cooking processes for each item. The gazpacho was some of the best I've ever had and you can't beat their fried chicken!

M
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on 14 August 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

I love this restaurant so much that I’m going back on Saturday night! It’s restaurant week and the menu/value are fantastic. Only problem was the service, very spotty. Also it was my birthday and the hostess and server promised my companion that something wonderful would be done- not. When we were ready to leave the server came over with the tiniest macaroon with a candle in it. That was fine and I appreciated the thought but underwhelmed. Truly LOVED the food though!

AL
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 14 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was excellent, although I seem to have gotten a smaller salad than I have had before since I did not go with their special for restaurant week. It was good and they do cater to your dietary needs as well.

A
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on 13 August 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

Good not great.
I did not do enough research to understand the food choices and ambiance.
It was more casual and much noisy than I expected.

JF
1 review
Dined on 13 August 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

I visited Central Michel Richard with two friends for restaurant week. I was somewhat disappointed with my gazpacho and avocado toast, but my friends (who got the steak and fried chicken) loved their meals, so I think I may have ordered wrong. The desserts were all excellent. Very cute restaurant with a great happy hour, central location and beautiful outdoor patio. I would definitely recommend the restaurant, but could not recommend my meal.

PG
Washington DC
82 reviews
Dined on 13 August 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

The famous fried chicken is enough of a big meal by itself -- if you're ordering more than that, share or expect leftovers.

C
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on 13 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Reliably wonderful!

OT
New Mexico
7 reviews
Dined on 12 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Simply perfect. The service was special!

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 12 August 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

Waiter got my order way wrong.

o
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on 11 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delish brunch... steak frites for me crab benendict for my parrtner with gespacho and onion soup. Lovely shady outside dining.

JJ
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on 11 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Central Michel Richard was an absolutely fantastic choice!!! Went for brunch for my friend’s birthday. Service was excellent and food was very, very good. We had the gazpacho, onion soup, avocado toast, the sorbet trio and the lemon curd in eggshells (forgot the dish’s name). Everything was divine!! Can’t wait to go back.

JF
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 9 August 2019
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 5

The place was nicely decorated and great for a date. The food on the other hand needed a bit more work. The shrimp risotto was undercooked. Also apparently it's part of a pre and post dinner option so they have tons of plates of risotto just waiting at the pass getting cold.

SR
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on 9 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dinner was fabulous!!! It was noisy where we sat by kitchen, but was also neat to see them prep dinners in front of us. Staff was extremely attentive.

DC
Washington DC
66 reviews
Dined on 9 August 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

We went to celebrate our birthdays (my goddaughter and I share a birthday) and were disappointed it wasn't acknowledged, especially since I saw other people get candles on their dessert. And we did order dessert. The food was very good, and the beef bourgignon was outstanding! The meat was extremely tender and the gravy was flavored perfectly.

B
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on 7 August 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Server cleared the table before everyone was finished eating.

PD
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 6 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great hostess and wait staff! Reliable quality all around.

m
29 reviews
Dined on 2 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent meal all around!
As always food was delicious...impeccable service!

c
Washington DC
195 reviews
Dined on 2 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Whether you decide to spend a lot or just a little, you'll eat very well in a beautiful space right on Pennsylvania Ave in DC. One of the best examples of an open kitchen, too. Walk over and watch Chef Tony and his crew work their magic while the servers pick up dishes for excellent service to the guests! A wonderful bar, too!

JT
Washington DC
234 reviews
Dined on 1 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I LOVE CENTRAL. We have been going there for years. I have never had a bad meal. Even after Michel Richard passed, food and scene stayed vibrant. Isabelle, General Manager, is wonderful. She walks the floor to make sure everyone is happy. She is wonderful. Our server, Boris, is excellent and highly recommend him. He has so much passion when he describes the dishes and drinks. He seems to care deeply about the restaurant and what is being served. We started with the cheese puffs (of course). You cannot go to Central without getting them. You can't go wrong with any of the salads as a starter. You might want to split one because they are so large. The gazpacho that Boris suggested was so light and delicious. You could taste the cucumber. I love the natural saltiness. It was an excellent suggestion. I usually don't like cold soups but I loved this and would get it again. My friend got the scallops and shrimp which he really enjoyed. My husband got one of his favorites, the short rib. It was a little lighter for summer. They used egg noodles on the base instead of the mashed potatoes or polenta they use during the winter months. I love the mac and cheese. I always take home the leftovers. The mashed potatoes are so creamy. I was especially happy that they had the bourbon peach iced tea. I love it. We ended with the banana split which we get each time. It is large enough for 3 people. It is so good. Not like any other "split". Central is special to me.

T
Washington DC
302 reviews
Dined on 1 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Took a friend for her first Central visit and she thoroughly enjoyed it. Just the gougeres alone are worth a visit. Lovely meal with the food we've come to expect at Central along with excellent service, as always.

TE
Washington DC
78 reviews
Dined on 29 July 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Central is consistently one of my DC favorites. Great menu, great service and definitely great food! Also a great location, close to the White House and to Federal Triangle Metro. Always a great choice when you are in the District!

I know everyone misses Michel, as do I, but this is still one of DC’s best!

OT
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on 28 July 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

My absolute favorite brunch in DC. The staff is always attentive and knowledgeable about food preparation and ingredients. Additionally the food at Central is beyond delicious!

VW
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 27 July 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

The food was great and the French waiter fun. But way too much noise - a real cacophony. No privacy between tables, air conditioning blasting if you happen to sit below the vents, very small tables for two people, uncomfortable. We felt like we were at the mall for black Friday. This type of food should come with a place where you can enjoy it and relax. Not the case unfortunately.

MC
Washington DC
86 reviews
Dined on 26 July 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great restaurant food consistently delicious food. Our out of town friends were de lighted with it

BT
1 review
Dined on 25 July 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Just to say my noise level rating was reflective of sitting outside where it was easy to hear others. Inside when we checked in was noisy as usual. Everything was very good about the lunch though. I had the set 3 course menu. The servings were generous and the food of excellent quality. My table mate had the fish and chips which similarly was generous in size and good quality. Well done Central!

MT
New York Area
22 reviews
Dined on 24 July 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Friendly active place. Good service and food was appetizingly presented. Chung was attentive and helpful. Tables for outside dining.

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