Monday, March 29, 2010

Central Michel Ricard

Last night we went to Central with our friends for my birthday dinner.  Of course, the real birthday dinner is tomorrow (minibar!), but Chuck wanted to do something on my actual birthday as well. We decided on Central, the sister restaurant to the famous D.C. restaurant, Citronelle.  The food is amazing at Central, and half the price of Citronelle. Considering the quality of food you get, the James Beard award winner and owner of the restaurant, and the fact that it is in D.C., this restaurant is decently priced compared to many other places in the area (although we all know NOTHING in DC is actually decently priced).

Central is a perfect place to celebrate any special occasion.

We double-dated with our friends, who we might add, deserve a shout-out for braving the freshly shucked oysters we offered them as a pre-dinner meal (we'll post another time on "how to shuck an oyster"). 

Here's a run down of our table's order:

Central offers a great selection of beers.  No need to reiterate what we ordered, but they were very good.  Our friend ordered the very pretty Cinnamon Sweet Tea, a mix of house made cinnamon and mint sweet tea, Lemon Hart Demerara Rhum, and lemon. 

Entrees (most dishes $15-28)
Fried Chicken with Mashed Potatoes:  One of Central's signature dishes. The potatoes were creamy and smooth, and the chicken nice and crunchy.

Cheeseburger and Fries:  Central offers a variety of burgers (everything from your basic beef burger, to a luxurious lobster burger). The burger is very gourmet looking, and has some sort of potato crisp on it. I aim to try all of the burgers on this menu by my next birthday (hint hint Chuck).

Lamb Shank with Creamy Corn Polenta: This was my pick. I originally planned on ordering the braised beef cheeks, but was saddened to find that it is no longer on the menu. Complete shame because I thought I had died and gone to heaven the first time I ordered it. Chuck got the lamb shank before, so I ordered it at least knowing it was a pretty bangin dish. The shank comes with polenta that is oh so creamy, and stringy fried onions.  To be honest, I'm historically not much of an onion fan.  I still don't like them raw, but I'm starting to warm up to them cooked. I was quite happy to have the rest of my huge shank as leftovers tonight.

Short Rib with Pappardelle and Syrah Sauce: Not only is the other blogger taking me out for two birthday dinners, but he also orders with the expectation that I'll ask to try a bite, or be more direct and stick my fork in his dish (my dad and brothers hate when I do this). Chuck ordered the short ribs, and was pretty happy with the turn out.  The ribs were very tender, but he did admit that he wished for a few more pearl onions.

Sides ($7): We ordered a side of macaroni and cheese, which was probably unnecessary considering the amount of food we ordered.  However, sometimes you just feel the need to try something, and we are definitely mac 'n cheese fans.  This was good with breadcrumbs sprinkled over the top, but not an out-of-this world side dish.

Desserts ($6-12): Although we were super full, we decided to order the Chocolate Bar for dessert.  This is one of the most popular desserts on the menu and the best way to describe it is a large, rich Kit-Kat.  It is served with a hazelnut sauce, and small scoop of homemade ice cream.

Breaking news from Chuck:
A quick update on some old news. At That’s What She Fed we pride ourelves on being the last to break DC food news, I appologize in advance for all of the hyperlinks. After two years at Citronelle and a three year stint at Central, Chef Cedric Maupillier parted ways with chef/owner Michal Richard in January to take some time off and open his own restaurant in D.C. Arthur Cavaliere, a Philadelphia chef formerly of the Stephan Starr restaurant, Parc, has been leading the kitchen since January. Stephan Starr is the big name in Philadelphia restaurant scene, That’s What She Fed have been to a couple of his restaurants and all have been exceptional.

The quality of Central is still superb and worthy of all the awards it has collected over the past years and its ranking of 13 on Washingtonian Magazine’s top 100. However, the departure of French Chef Maupiller also saw the departure of some of the French entrees from the menu. That’s What She Fed was disappointed to see that the beef cheeks and rabbit were no longer on the menu. Megan loved the beef cheeks the first time around and was considering ordering them again, Chuck was going to celebrate Easter early by eating his first bunny. That minor disappointment and a brief stay at the table next to the busboy stand were the only hiccups during another perfect meal at Central Michael Richard.

Central Michel Richard on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. Everything looks delicious! You take great photos. I love the fried chicken variation, thanks for sharing.