Trouble With Toast

Central Michel Richard | December 8, 2007

My boyfriend and I dined at Central for the first time last night, before a trip to the National Theater (to see “Avenue Q,” which I highly recommend). Our reservation was at 5:30, so I was a little worried about being rushed. However, our server read us very well and paced our meal impeccably; we walked out at 7:30, which was exactly what I was hoping for.

We ordered a bottle of Malbec, which was perfectly acceptable and reasonably priced (translation: the markup wasn’t as ridiculous as it is at other establishments) at $38. For starters, I opted for the mussel chowder–delicious, and I am not even the biggest mussel fan! The broth was creamy without being heavy, and the mussels were plump and flavorful. Yum. Boyfriend had the onion soup, which was decadent to say the least. They certainly don’t skimp on the cheese!

For the main course, I chose the braised rabbit, largely because it came with spaetzle. The meat was very well-cooked, though it was nothing out-of-this-world. The spaetzle, however, and the “glazed” carrots that accompanied the meal? Fan-frickin’-tastic. If we hadn’t been off to the theater, I would have asked for a doggie bag–the food was incredibly delicious, but it was too rich for me to finish. Boyfriend got the fish and chips, and he said that the fish was really good. He was NOT a fan of the frites, though, despite the fact that many DC foodies have been raving about them since the restaurant opened its doors. He also ordered a side of the mac and cheese, which he said was the best he’s ever had. I only tasted a bit, but I agree that it was top-notch.

We split the kit kat bar for dessert, and it lived up to its hype–how can you go wrong with chocolate and hazelnut (in the form of both mousse and ganache) atop a delicious wafery base? The malted vanilla ice cream that accompanied it was also a pleasant surprise. In the end, we left only $155 lighter in the wallet (after two appetizers, two entrees, a side dish, a dessert, a bottle of wine, a glass of some sort of Port-like drink, tax, and tip). For that price, Central offers some of the best food in town without the pretentious price tag. We’ll definitely be back!

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