Hi there, I’m P3 and am blogging today’s restaurant review.

My friend and I went to Central Michel Richard at 5:30, before theatre (even though they don’t really have a pre-theatre menu) and it was already starting to fill up fast.

  • Food:To start with, I ordered the iceberg and bleu cheese salad which had too much bleu cheese dressing and the lettuce was chopped (instead of the wedge).  Plus, it wasn’t icy cold.  I did like the nuts they added on top though.  My friend ordered the Caesar salad which he said was OK but was nothing out of the ordinary. It was served with a big crusty crouton.  Since Washingtonian had ranked it as one of the best, I ordered the cheeseburger. It came with fries, which were very good and crispy with a nice seasoning spice. The burger was just OK. Honestly, I think Columbia Station (the jazz place in Adams Morgan) has a better burger. But that might be because I like charbroiled burgers and this didn’t have it.  The burger came with crispy wafers of potato on top, which is interesting, but not enough to make me rave about it.  My friend ordered the mussels with white wine and garlic which was also just OK. Not a whole lot of flavor, but it was a very nice portion size. We got a side of creamed spinach which was bland. We kept tasting it and shaking our heads “No.”  
  • Service: When we arrived, I had to leave my car, with the keys, on the street with three other cars b/c the valets were so busy. (Very trusting of me, I know, but we were running late and fortunately nothing happened this time).  Our waiter was friendly, attentive and considerate of the fact that we mentioned we needed to leave in time for a 7:30 show. 
  • Atmosphere: The Web site says “playful, contemporary” — I guess I agree.
  • Attire: Business casual
  • Price: $$$
  • Overall: I’m afraid it was another one of those scenarios — heard tons about it, know it’s the “it” place to go, wanted to like it, but Central Michel Richard was mostly a disappointment.

[Ed. note I haven’t been, but Central apparently has great beer offerings.  They have Blusser (only available on tap in 4 places in the U.S. and DC has 2 of them), a German beer bottled exclusively for Richard.] 

Details:

  • Reservations recommended, though they say they accept walk-ins.
  • Hours: Lunch: Monday – Friday, 11:45 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.; Dinner: Monday – Thursday, 5 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.; Friday – Saturday, 5 p.m. – 11 p.m.; Sunday Hours: Dinner 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Address: 1001 Pennsylvania Ave., NW; Washington, DC 20004
  • Ph: 202-626-0015