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Recap: Beaujolais Noveau at Central

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There’s little that Bitches love more than a chance to kick the holiday season off early. Like all good Americans, we’re totally accustomed to seeing Christmas décor just after Halloween. Americans love holidays. So much so, we’ve even begun borrowing holidays from other countries because we simply don’t have enough celebrations here in the States.

Recently, we’ve witnessed several local restaurants—and locals—celebrating Beaujolais Noveau, the French fête that honors the market release of red wine from the Gamay grape in Beaujolais, France. Now, this is a holiday we can get behind.

When we heard Michel Richard’s Central would be celebrating this momentous occasion with discounts on Beaujolais and Burgundy wines, I made my reservation faster than you can utter, “Table for two, si vous plait.”

I invited my friend Diana, who I had joined in Burgundy, France, this summer in an effort to drink the region dry of its Gran Cru wines. “Let’s go back to Burgundy!” I quipped.

Central was bustling last Saturday evening as we caught up over Gougéres, those delectable cheese puffs that are placed before. We ordered a bottle of Beaune Primer Cru, having stayed outside Beaune at her friends’ home that summer and sampled wines from the region.

Diana knows her wine—and she selected a delightful bottle. I was so enthralled in the wine, conversation and Gougéres that I forgot about the need for dinner entirely.

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Chef David Deshaies created a three-course seasonal menu to pair with the wines for the Beaujolais celebration. The meal began with a crispy pork belly served with braised green lentils. This dish was phenomenal. The pork belly was perfectly crispy and the lentils came in the most amazing sauce, which paired impeccably with the pork.

For the entrée, Central served a filet mignon in a Syrah-shallot sauce, with pommes noisette—fried balls of potato—and Brussels sprouts.

We also ordered a plate of steak frites with peppercorn sauce to share. While we found both carnivorous entrees delicious, we liked the steak frites more. They’re on the menu year round, which is great news for everyone.

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The seasonal menu concludes with Crepes Suzette, set alight at your table in the traditional fashion. The presentation was exciting, as to be expected, but the dish was a bit too sweet for my liking.

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Our sugar fix didn’t stop there, as our waiter prevailed upon us to sample several traditional desserts. Chef Michel Richard began his career as a pastry chef—and Chef David has continued the legacy by making heavenly French pastries and desserts: macaroons, Napoleons, crepes, chocolates, and more.

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We sampled Michel’s chocolate bar, which is like a gourmet kit kat, for lack of a better description. It’s a bar of moist, creamy milk chocolate with a layer of crisp at the base—decorated with crunchy chocolate nibs. It’s perfect for sharing and perfect to order every time you dine at Central.

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The Napoleon was intimidating: French pastry cream sandwiched between layers of crispy pastry and sprinkled with powdered sugar. I’ve never seen or tasted a dessert quite like that.

Exiting the restaurant into the winter chill, we were satiated and fulfilled in a way that only comes from good friends, good food, and good wine.

Because it’s only apropos to reminisce about a summer of too much wine and too much dessert in France over just the same.

Central Michel Richard
1001 Pennyslvania Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C.

BitchBiz: Bitches Who Brunch partners with Central. While this article was written independently by Bitches Who Brunch, we do receive compensation from the company.

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