Washington , D.C.
Tel: 202 625 2150
Concierge.com's insider take:
You don't necessarily expect a Puckish sense of humor with such serious food, but because superchef Michel Richard originally trained as a pastry chef, appearances are important to him—and so is magic. His "Virtual Fettucini" turns out to be slivered cuttlefish accessorized with summer vegetables and trout caviar, and the rice in a flavorful paella is actually finely chopped squid. Underpinning the culinary sleights of hand are exceptional flavors in exquisite arrangements, such as poached salmon with crab risotto and rack of lamb in a white-bean jalapeño sauce. There's a chef's table in the kitchen, and a big picture window in the elegantly understated dining room gives guests a view of the wizardry. It's near-impossible to get out the door for less than $150 per person here; for a taste of Richard's magic at more reasonable prices, visit his newish bistro, Central.
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