I was introduced to Citrus in Los Angles by my brother, who worked at another of its owner, Michel Richard's, other restaurants. Michel invited the family for lunch, and though he chided my mother for her children's bad French speaking skills, he was a real charmer – smart, forthright, and simultaneously cherubic. But it was his Frenchified California cuisine he offered that really inspired me, leaving me lots to think about. Later I interviewed him here.
Fast forward some decades later and I re-visit Central Michel Richard in Washington. Stylistically the restaurant kitchen is the stage, and fortunately I was seated front row center.
This restaurant is busy for lunch and features a menu of Americana; hamburgers, fried chicken and some familiar chopped salads. But such dishes are constantly tweaked with hints of French, from a quasi onion bacon tart, frisee salad with bacon lardon and a poached egg.
I went for teh fried chicken, which was hearty rich, a perfectly cooked poulet!
The restaurant has a great staff, back to front. And again, the food is deliciously memorable. Even if the lunch menu lacks Michel's famous faux gras, it lacks nothing in the flavor department, including desserts like his "chocolate bar." With now three restaurants in Washington D.C., it'll be nice to visit the others to sample Michel Richards other magic touches.