10 Center Street Newburyport - anyone been?
i think i'm gonna call a downhill alert for 10 Center Street.
on our past two visits (the last being last night) the food was just not that good at all.
at these two visits problems were:
the mushroom and polenta app - mushrooms were as hard as wood.
the fried wonton rangoon thingy with tomatillo sauce- ill-conceived, looked cool but did not deliver. pasty filling and the sauce was more like chili verde, the sauce may have been better on it's own.
mussels- tasted OK but smelled like low tide.
lobster shitake risotto with scallops- the risotto as like wallpaper paste and the lobster meat was very stringy.
butter poached haddock- waaaaay overcooked, somewhat dry, and it had a hard crust (this is not poaching).
to bad too, this was the place that we had been to a few times (and Really liked) and renewed our interest in the Newburyport dining scene. on all visits service and bartending were very good, it just seems to be that the kitchen is dropping the ball.
Too bad. And thanks for the post. I went after my initial post and we did enjoy it then. Regarding Newburyport, despite not so great reviews, in early fall I took a friend to lunch at the Black Cow and it was pretty bad. Next time I go for dinner I want to try Glenn's which I think I've read some good stuff about here on chowhound.
I haven't been in six or seven years, but my impression was, "This might wow them in exurbia, but it wouldn't last in Boston." It struck me as more ambitious than many neighboring restaurants, but the food read a lot better on the menu than it tasted on the plate. I thought it was very expensive for the quality, despite big portions. Have not been back since, so I have no idea if it's the same chef or concept at this point.
re: MC Slim JB
Since six or seven years ago - new owners, new chef, major renovations to the space.
I like the new 10 Center Street, though it is overpriced. (I think every restaurant in Newburyport is overpriced, not just them.) It's a better value for lunch or Sunday brunch, and I really like their Bloody Marys.
I prefer to sit at the new upstairs bar, rather than in the dining room, or the dingy downstairs bar.
And that $15 burger - it was only $10 before the renovations were completed last Fall. IMO, it's worth $10, not $15.
I went a few days ago with a bunch of friends; my overall impression was that food and service didn't merit the prices.
We ate upstairs, and it *is* a really nice space: old beams, original bricks, copper tabletops, good lighting -- very welcoming and attractive. There was clearly some issue with kitchen timing - they got bread and apps out quickly (good caesar salad, decent cheese plate) but then we waited and waited for entrees -- probably about 40 minutes. Our server was pleasant but even apart from the wait there were various minor issues -- wrong salad delivered, although fixed quickly; more bread promised but took ages to come; full order of pasta delivered instead of the half that was ordered. None of these were a big deal, but it did seem like there was some disorganization, more likely at the kitchen end.
The food was fine, but out of whack with the prices. I had the burger and while it was good meat, cooked as ordered, I'd like a $15 burger to blow my socks off. Steak fries alongside were nothing special. Some friends had the lobster mac and cheese -- I tasted the pasta which was fine -- orecchiette in a creamy fontina sauce -- but I didn't dare steal any of their lobster as the portion was so stingy - a half order had about one small claw and a few bites of tail meat. People who had the rigatoni al forno liked it -- prepared with a meat sauce and baked with cheese -- but I didn't have a chance to taste it. We didn't get coffee or dessert.
Overall, the food was solid but not special; if prices were a third lower I would overlook the service/timing issues and the good-not-great food, but they seem to be aiming for a fine dining experience, and they didn't quite hit that target.
Haven't been to 10 Center for a bit, but food was always decent. Service in the downstairs bar is sketchy. If you are not a local, do not expect prompt service. Being in a tourist location, locals take precedence in the bar. Don't complain about the service, you'll never see another drink.
***** Five Stars
Something going on there, I know they have a new chef and you can tell. They have some good stuff there now- I noticed scottish salmon on the menu- I don't think any of the other restaurants in Newburyport even know what that is. The Bang's Island Mussels are ridiculously good...I'm not sure what he does to them. I'm a tough critic but that place is a hidden gem.
I was at 10 Center Street recently and thought they made some nice improvements all around. I'm glad to see this place making a comeback. I really like the downstairs room there and I liked what they did upstairs. Dinners being served looked good but we only ordered appetizers and drinks which were excellent.
It is a nice place... it's been there for a while.
Recently redone. We have friends who we visit that live up in NBPT. They suggested we go there when up a month ago.
Sat upstairs in the new bar area. Very nice... good, fresh food, decent wine list. Service was upbeat and personable. Downstairs has gas fireplaces.. nice on a cold, snowy night.
One drawback: some non-parentally unattended pointy-headed kid kept buzzing us when we were eating. He was rolling on the stairs and staring and singing. Pretty annoying until I told him to relocate his body.
Seems to be happening more and more these days....