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Dec 31, 2008 01:02 PM

Central Review

Do you miss airline food? You know the bit of overcooked pasta, the gray mushy stringbeans, the oversalted everyting? Look no further here it is in your own backyard.
We had the worst meal in DC recently at the highly touted Central. The salad was boring, the "risotto" was overcooked orzo, the scallops with linguine I described above. The steak was a gristly measly shoe sole and at over $40 an outrage . Maybe we were there on an off night, but this was like a bad food joke. And of yes, everything except for the onion soup was tepid. The only positive note was the warm bread. Needless to say we didn't stay for dessert.

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  1. Was anything good? I wouldn't have ordered anything you ordered but that's no excuse for Central to serve bad food.

    1. Nope, the chicken came with dry and oversalted roast potato, the lamb shank was made of subgrade meat. Whoever this famous chef is, he's coasting on his laurels. Wouldn't last a minute in NYC.

      3 Replies
      1. re: meinNYC

        Um this famous chef is Michel Richard and according to your world-famous New York Times food critic his restaurant, Central, is one of the top 10 restaurants in the country outside of NYC.

        I had a totally different experience then you did in terms of the food (and as many people mentioned, I ordered differently). I'm sorry you had a bad experience...I imagine it was an off night.

        1. re: Elyssa

          the frog legs appetizer was out of this world!

          1. re: elegantelliot

            Ooooo I love frogs legs. That wasn't on the menu the last time I was there this past Spring. I think I'm way over due for a dinner there!

      2. We had dinner at Central on Christmas Eve and everything was fantastic. Granted, we ordered nothing that you did. I would describe the cuisine as stylized American comfort food with a French twist. Everyone in our party loved it. And the service could not have been better. We love Central. Frankly, I think it could hold its own quite well in NYC.

        1. Folks, we had to delete several posts about whether the food scene in NYC is better than that in Washington. Please keep this thread focused on the food at Central or other Washington D.C. establishments.

          1. I stand by my review and experience. It was a dreadful meal, we should have sent it all back to the kitchen, but didn't want to kick up a fuss. Waste your money anytime here.

            2 Replies
            1. re: meinNYC

              Lesson learned for all of us: DO kick up a fuss. It's the only way a restaurant knows the food/service is sloppy. And it can be done politely.

              1. re: meinNYC

                I don't think anyone's disputing that you had a dreadful meal. The dispute, however, is whether it's a dreadful restaurant (your assumption after ONE MEAL), or just a bad night at a good restaurant (the opinion of a large number of posters here). IMO, you then complicated the issue by declaring "this place wouldn't last a minute in NYC". By this, you're not only implying the former, but also a bias that NYC is automatically the epitome of everything food.

                Having dined several times at Central, and at similar places in NYC, I can say that I think Central would do just fine in NYC, but it would cost at least 20-30% more there.