Stating the Obvious: Michel Richard Is D.C.’s BMOC

20071220_MichelRichard.jpgWashingtonian’s annual “100 Best Restaurants” issue just hit newsstands, with Santa-resembling Michel Richard (how festive) on the front cover. Juggling a lemon, no less. His modern French culinary gem Citronelle inside Georgetown's Latham Hotel took first, a repeat from last year, when the magazine first started issuing formal rankings. Before that, Citronelle consistently won four shiny stars on the four-star scale.

It’s been a big year for the big man, who opened Citronelle’s baby brother, the jeans-approved brasserie Central off Pennsylvania Avenue. Central didn’t make the magazine’s competitive cut, but their fries ($7 an order) sure wow-ed the magazine earlier, and their burgers won a "best in the city" nod from the Post. That might change given recent competition, which we'll have a full bite-by-bite analysis on soon.

Washingtonian chose the “Mosaic" as Citronelle's stand-out dish, a stained glass-looking plate of “razor-thin" slices of raw beef and fish that might as well be in a Christian basilica’s window. If Richard hasn't seen himself on the cover, we’ll assume he already knows how on-fiyah he is. And what he looks like. Central’s dining room’s décor includes a huge modern artsy close-up of his cheek-pinchable face.

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