Sunday, March 15, 2009

Central Michel Richard

Last night G, his mom, his grandmother, and I went out to dinner at Central Michel Richard in downtown DC, winner of the 2008 James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant, and sister restaurant to Citronelle, where we went last year. The differences between Central and Citronelle are many: Citronelle is quieter, Central is expensive but still MUCH less expensive than Citronelle, Central does not do prix fixe menus, and Central is much more straightforward and doesn't do the artsy presentations like Citronelle. Oh and of course both are Michel Richard's restaurants. Food quality of the two is quite equal, however. Delicious delicious delicious.

If you would like to see the full menu, it is here, but I will just talk about what we ate.

central

Also it should be noted that when we went to Citronelle last year, we met Michel Richard and that was super exciting but I didn't get a picture. This year, even though he isn't the head chef at Central, for some reason he popped in to check on things! And I STILL didn't get a picture of him because Nancy moved her head at exactly the wrong time. Oh well. Two for two in terms of seeing the master chef in person!

OK so we started with the best bread and butter ever. Then we got appetizers. G's grandmother got a half-dozen fresh oysters. N got ceviche, which smelled wonderful but I am terrified of fish being cooked by citric acid so I didn't try it. G got frog legs, one of his favorite things of all time and something that disgusts me by the very thought. I got some fried oysters with tartar sauce. They were very lightly breaded and tasty. I decided to try them because I am not so familiar with oysters so I figured frying them is a good way to introduce me to them!

Then the main dishes! N ordered sea bass with mushrooms and consumed the entire plate so I assume it was good. G's grandmother got "duck rillettes and fois gras terrine," which was pretty much fois gras and pate with some bread. She was not a fan, but I don't think she knew what she was ordering. Yuck anyway. What did G and I get?

We both ordered this glorious lobster burger, which came with some amazingly good fries. I had been dreaming of this lobster burger ever since I first read about it in a magazine review. It did not disappoint.
lobster

Here is another picture, with N's sea bass in the background.
lobster

For dessert G ordered a "chocolate bar," which was a very soft chocolate, like a mousse, and crushed up hazelnuts, shaped into a big candy bar shape. It had some homemade hazelnut ice cream with it and was yummy. N had creme brulee, which was very thick and exactly how creme brulee should be, yet rarely is. And I had...

bananananas

Hell yes. This deconstructed banana split. In the bottom part we've got some bananas covered in whipped cream, chocolate nibs, pineapple, chocolate syrup, and caramel. Then at the top there was a very thick chocolate ice cream topped with chocolate syrup and more chocolate nibs, strawberry sorbet with strawberry sauce and a strawberry, and the most amazing vanilla ice cream of all time topped with caramel. Amazing.

We had a lot of fun and had some deliciously tasty food. A rare treat for us, but always enjoyable! I think I'm eyeing Bobby Flay's Bar Americain in NYC for my birthday in June... maybe we'll be able to go there!

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