Judging Restaurants – Central

Central is located at 1001 Pennsylvania Ave., NW. I’m gonna have to add this to my special occasion restaurant list… You can see their menus here. For those that have had the good fortune to eat here – are there any must order items? How would you say this place ranks among DC’s “special occasion” restaurants?

24 Comment

  • I personally think this place is completely overrated. It was good, but nothing that made me want to go back or tell people that they have to go.

    Their bar is great, however.

    • I’m with you. This was one of the most pretentious and over-rated restaurants in DC. “deconstructed” banana split? more like a tv dinner tray with separate scoops of ice cream and a sad banana on the side.

      • “Pretentious?” Look, you’re entitled to your opinion about it being “overrated” (a word bandied about so often in regard to everything from restaurants to books to movies as to be practically completely devoid of meaning). But “pretentious?” Central serves variations on mac & cheese, brussel sprouts and “kit-kat” bars. Hardly pretentious fare by any measure. I can understand how you might not like the food, but calling what’s going on at Central “pretentious” is to damage actual meaning. God knows there are other restaurants in DC more worthy of the charge: The Prime Rib or Tosca, perhaps.

  • I love it. Great food and service. Hard to get a reservation sometimes, though.

  • This is without a doubt one of my favorite restaurants in DC. The service and the food is almost always impeccable. It’s the perfect place to celebrate a special event. To read my full review see http://bit.ly/cD1zqB

  • It’s really not a very expensive place. You could drop $35 per person there and be just fine.

  • I went here about a year ago. I had duck dish (which I don’t think is on the menu anymore). The duck was OK, but the side (some cheesy pasta thing) was what I remember and would come back for. The portions were very generous, even the apps were large.

  • I’ve had almost everything on the menu over many, many visits. The bar is great – drinks and bartenders. Some dishes are better than others. They do great fish. The onion soup is wonderful in the winter, as well as mac-n-cheese and Brussels sprouts. I wish they’d bring back their cheese course on the dessert list, though.

  • The ‘faux’ gras is great. Prices are very reasonable for what you get.

  • Sorry – just looked at the dinner menu again, and they have a cheese plate listed under appetizers. Must have returned with the new chef. Time to go back!!

  • Coq au vin was best I’ve ever had. The cheese puffs were a fun appetizer to order. $20 hamburger completely overrated.

  • Had an awfully dry Lobster Burger ($29) there once and never went back. The service at the time, maybe 3 years ago, was awful. I am sure things have gotten better…sounds like people generally like it.

  • LOVE it

  • Ditto the “its not THAT expensive” comment. Its not cheap, but its not expensive. Also, its pretty casual, so it is the kind of place you can go casual clothes (not gym shorts, white sneakers and FBI tour t-shirt, but jeans and a black t-shirt is probably fine).

    I recall that the Brussels Sprout side dish was killer.

  • I like Central and I wouldn’t say it’s expensive for dinner, but I do think it’s expensive for lunch.

  • Love Central. Must get kit kat dessert & cheese puff appetizers.

  • Favorite burger ever.

  • Really like the ahi tuna burger – although I wish the burger bread was a little less puffy.

  • The cheese puff appetizers and pate are great. For the main, I would get the pied de cochon. If you’ve never had pigs feet before, you’ll be in for a treat.

  • They’re known for the roast chicken (which was good). I had the steak frites (excellent) and my girlfriend had the beef tartar (also very good, but a little mayonnaise-y for me). I agree with everybody who mentioned the cheese puffs, too.

    And the cocktails are excellent.

  • Best french onion soup in town (although competition is not steep)

  • Not really a special occasion place as others have commented, as it isn’t exhorbitant like its cousin Cintronelle. I’d echo everyone else, definitely good bang for the buck, reasonable prices and very good quality. Only downside is that it is generally mobbed and requires reservations way in advance. But I’ve enjoyed all my meals here.

  • One of my top three in all of DC, behind Proof and Equinox. I wish it were as awful as everyone says it is, then I could I eat there with more frequency. As it stands, I’m able to get a reservation there about as often as Ward 5 ANCs do something that’s actually beneficial. Excellent wine list. Duck, burger, cheese puffs are all outstanding. And the “Kit Kat” bar, though you no longer can refer to it that way, is a must.

    Captcha: three disproof. Friggin’ weird, man…

  • I dream about their caesar salad. It’s just amazing.

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