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Central Review

m
meinNYC Dec 31, 2008 01:02 PM

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.

  1. e
    Ericandblueboy Jan 1, 2009 01:51 PM

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

    1. m
      meinNYC Jan 1, 2009 03:20 PM

      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
        e
        Elyssa Jan 2, 2009 10:27 AM

        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. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/27/din...

        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
          e
          elegantelliot Jan 2, 2009 10:52 AM

          the frog legs appetizer was out of this world!

          1. re: elegantelliot
            e
            Elyssa Jan 2, 2009 12:24 PM

            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. l
        Lauman Jan 2, 2009 06:38 PM

        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. The Chowhound Team Jan 3, 2009 10:45 AM

          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. m
            meinNYC Jan 3, 2009 11:03 AM

            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
              monkeyrotica Jan 4, 2009 04:54 AM

              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
                DanielK Jan 5, 2009 07:40 AM

                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.

              2. m
                Midwestkid Jan 4, 2009 02:10 PM

                My wife and I just returned from a week-long culinary tour of the best NYC has to offer.

                Through the experience we've begun to recognize what great food is, and that DC has little to offer.

                But, truth be told, we've both said that Central is the only restaurant we've been to in DC that could survive in NYC.

                I'm sorry you had bad food, there is no excuse, but I've been there mutliple times for lunch and dinner and I've never had a bad dish.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Midwestkid
                  j
                  jeb Jan 5, 2009 05:13 AM

                  Not to belabor the point but...just had my third meal at Central on Saturday night. As a NYer, I usually cross restaurants off my list quickly. Not this one. Our recent meal was great. I couldn't believe that they had frog's legs. They were really excellent. Husband had fish and chips and onion soup. Chocolate lava cake with chocolate ice cream...to die for.

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