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Michel Richard's Central

DollarBill Oct 12, 2012 03:10 PM

Fourth time at Central and every time has been better than the last. Service is excellent and accommodating; food is outstanding, and desserts are to die for; don't pass up the six inch high Napoleon. The waitstaff has recommended Mon. Richard's famous fried chicken for my next dining experience there. Yes, each time has been a delectible experience.

  1. s
    Steve Oct 12, 2012 05:34 PM

    Glad you mentioned the Napoleon. I've been wanting to try his millefeuille for a long time now.

    1. hill food Oct 12, 2012 10:49 PM

      I had the fried chicken once it IS good, sadly they served the mustard sauce on the side and I didn't see it, still was excellent, but! there were leftovers and the following day noticed the sauce and it moved that dish up to an even higher level.

      1. z
        Zevonista Oct 13, 2012 12:55 PM

        Going again in a few weeks. I've had the fried chicken, and agree it was outstanding. What else do you recommend?

        20 Replies
        1. re: Zevonista
          Steve Oct 13, 2012 08:09 PM

          Faux gras, lamb shank, short ribs, pearl pasta risotto, tuna burger, mac n cheese, brussel sprouts.

          1. re: Steve
            hill food Oct 13, 2012 09:16 PM

            oh yes, the faux gras most definitely. are the duck rillettes still on the menu? they disappeared for a while.

            1. re: hill food
              Steve Oct 14, 2012 06:56 AM

              They are not stated on the menu, only if they are part of the "charcutuerie platter."

              1. re: hill food
                flavrmeistr Oct 26, 2012 02:24 PM

                So...it's not really foie gras?

                1. re: flavrmeistr
                  Elyssa Oct 31, 2012 07:30 AM

                  No. It's made out of chicken liver.

                  1. re: Elyssa
                    reiflame Oct 31, 2012 08:34 AM

                    And a LOT of butter :)

                    1. re: Elyssa
                      flavrmeistr Nov 2, 2012 07:57 AM

                      I see. Should have read further down.

                2. re: Steve
                  Zevonista Oct 14, 2012 03:19 PM

                  Excellent - thanks!

                  1. re: Steve
                    3MTA3 Oct 23, 2012 04:56 AM

                    Is the 'Faux Gras' made of something else ? Or is it ' Foie Gras' ?

                    1. re: 3MTA3
                      drewpbalzac Oct 23, 2012 05:20 AM

                      It is chicken liver - hence the "faux" . . .

                      1. re: drewpbalzac
                        wineo1957 Oct 23, 2012 06:40 AM

                        It's about half chicken liver and half butter.

                        1. re: wineo1957
                          hill food Oct 23, 2012 05:37 PM

                          and heavy cream.

                          I saw a recipe for it once that included shitakes and a good dose of sherry (not the version in his book) and tried it, was pretty good (not as good as his)

                          here's one close to his to give you an idea: http://emilysculinaryadventures.blogs...

                          1. re: hill food
                            drewpbalzac Oct 24, 2012 06:16 AM

                            My gout is acting up just thinking about it . . .

                        2. re: drewpbalzac
                          3MTA3 Oct 24, 2012 05:18 PM

                          I am SO sorry. I didn't know, I'll shut up now.

                          1. re: 3MTA3
                            hill food Oct 24, 2012 09:50 PM

                            oh don't 3MTA3 - this dish is like food porn. "then one night in a moment of wild abandon, for a unexpected twist on the anticipated gelee, we gently aroused fennel on the grill over smoldering hardwood, it was rendered accepting, receptive, smoking with the fever of the moment"

                            oh god I need a life.

                            1. re: 3MTA3
                              drewpbalzac Oct 25, 2012 04:37 AM

                              Also make sure that you either save some of your bread or get more if you get the faux gras. Their bread is fantastic - and the little grilled off pieces you get with the charcuterie plate are not enough.

                              1. re: drewpbalzac
                                wineo1957 Oct 26, 2012 06:12 AM

                                I must admit that reading the love for the Faux Gras is great. To me, it, along witht he 48 hour short rib are the exact things I dislike most about Central.

                                Instead of the Faux Gras, have some real gras... chicken liver at Cork: rosemary bruschetta. Or get the duck liver at Dino as part of the charcuterie plate. Or Mintwood's chicken lover tartine ~ I love Montwood when its simple, not when its too fussy.

                                1. re: drewpbalzac
                                  hill food Nov 1, 2012 10:10 PM

                                  Central and RIS do have about the best bread in DC. hopefully they will someday not be standouts (meaning the quality will become a given).

                        3. re: Zevonista
                          Elyssa Oct 15, 2012 06:00 AM

                          The faux gras is great. If you haven't tried their roast chicken, try that.

                          1. re: Zevonista
                            ipsedixit Nov 1, 2012 07:51 AM

                            Chocolate souffle.

                          2. agarnett100 Oct 15, 2012 01:16 PM

                            Aside from the fried chicken what other dishes are your favorites.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: agarnett100
                              Elyssa Oct 15, 2012 01:28 PM

                              I love the faux gras and duck rillettes (which apparently is now on the charctuerie platter), the roast chicken, skate wing (might not be on the menu now, but it use to be served with a ratatouille I believe...excellent!), frisse with lardons, and 48 hour short ribs. For dessert of course do not miss the kit kat bar.

                              It's been a while since I've been to Central. I really need to go back soon.

                              1. re: agarnett100
                                Dreamworks Oct 29, 2012 08:59 PM

                                I combined the fried chicken with the mac and cheese and had a food gasm. If you're local, get the chicken to go and you get the nuggets and mashed potatoes.

                                1. re: Dreamworks
                                  agarnett100 Oct 30, 2012 07:08 AM

                                  I will have to take your word for it just can see myself ordering fried chicken or mac and cheese at a restaurant when I replicate that at home. I will have to try the faux gras and duck rillettes.

                                2. re: agarnett100
                                  mnadel Nov 1, 2012 01:24 PM

                                  Recently added to the menu is a Chicken Nuggets appetizer. So good.

                                3. d
                                  drewpbalzac Oct 16, 2012 08:52 AM

                                  The faux gras may be the best liver dish I have ever had . . . It crushes my gout but it is sooooo good.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: drewpbalzac
                                    reiflame Oct 16, 2012 10:24 AM

                                    It is so fabulous and there is a good rendition of it in his Happy in the Kitchen cookbook. It's way easier to make than you'd think.

                                    1. re: reiflame
                                      hill food Oct 16, 2012 04:36 PM

                                      I've tried that recipe, and it is easy but I felt it needed tweaking to get close to the restaurant's version. Richard is probably (like most chefs) playing his cards a little close to the chest although it is good as printed.

                                  2. ktmoomau Nov 2, 2012 12:41 PM

                                    What I love and hate about Central is that I love certain things so much- faux gras, skate, all the desserts, onion tarte that sometimes it is hard for me to order new things, although I know the new things will be good too. At one point they had a bucatini with meatballs that was really good.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: ktmoomau
                                      Elyssa Nov 12, 2012 05:40 AM

                                      I have the exact same problem with Central. I always want to order my favorites and also try new things. I end up staring at the menu for 15 minutes!

                                    2. d
                                      DCDOLL Nov 9, 2012 05:39 AM

                                      i guess i need to go back and try it again...we went a few times when it was "newer" and neither hubby nor i was very impressed. Even the little cheese puffs that everyone raves about were cold and leaden... :( Now that i have a list of what to try i will have to give it another shot...and maybe take it off my "i don't get it" list!!

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: DCDOLL
                                        Teddybear Nov 9, 2012 05:46 AM

                                        When I went the gougeres were so salty we did not bother to finish them. I, too, don't get it.

                                        1. re: DCDOLL
                                          hill food Nov 9, 2012 06:40 PM

                                          I have to admit I too wasn't impressed with the gougeres. but that has been my only gripe.

                                        2. k
                                          KeithW Nov 11, 2012 09:55 PM

                                          Decided to post here rather than the “Come on Man / I Don’t Get It” thread. Finally got to Central and was disappointed given what I read as rave reviews on this board.

                                          The good:
                                          The service was excellent.
                                          The champagne by the glass was excellent (at $16 I would expect that, but it was for me worth the price)
                                          The Brussels sprouts were very good
                                          The bread and butter were very good
                                          The portions are large – can’t complain that you’re going to leave hungry

                                          The not-so-good:
                                          Lemon chicken schnitzel. Good flavor but so much butter/fat/grease (literally pooled on the plate under/next to it) that it wasn’t that pleasant as an entrée, and it is huge – at least half went uneaten

                                          Fried chicken. People love this, I don’t know why. I guess I expected too much, I thought it was just OK. And the mashed potatoes it came with were nothing special and only warm (not hot), and they got cold fast.

                                          Crème brulee. Nothing special. Not much caramel crust to provide the nice crunchy/smooth contrast. One of the two fruit coulis on the plate was delicious, though. It was huge and we left it unfinished, not a common occurence.

                                          Cheese puffs (gougères). We didn’t enjoy these much. I have almost no will power yet I had no trouble leaving these alone after trying a couple.

                                          Neither good nor bad. Both salads we tried were fine but nothing special.

                                          Why I might try Central again. First, my expectations were too high so if I go in with more realistic expectations I might enjoy it more. Second, I think I ordered too much based on what others recommended and not enough based on what I like. I can imagine I might have ordered differently and had a better (for me) meal.

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: KeithW
                                            drewpbalzac Nov 11, 2012 10:20 PM

                                            And you didn't have the faux gras. . .

                                            1. re: KeithW
                                              agarnett100 Nov 12, 2012 12:26 PM

                                              I will never understand the whole Central fried chicken thing. Its not like its difficult to make at home

                                              1. re: agarnett100
                                                drewpbalzac Nov 12, 2012 04:44 PM

                                                Ditto - it is good . . . but I like my fried chicken on the bone. . . The supreme make it easy to eat and I'm guessing makes it easier to cook in volume.

                                              2. re: KeithW
                                                dinwiddie Nov 13, 2012 07:28 AM

                                                I would posit that one cannot be pleased if they insist on having such ordinary choices. That said, the burger is pretty darn good.

                                                However, I go there to get what I can't at a lot of restaurants; steak tartar, pork belly confit, frog legs, Skate, etc.

                                                Is the food fantastic, no, but the vibe is pretty good, especially if you are a young 30 something (which I am not) and the service is very good and the food well presented. Wine list isn't bad, but there are better in the city.

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