Central Review: Fancy Cheesecake Factory for People with Food Pretensions
Finally went to Central to see what all the buzz was about. Turned out to be about nothing at all. First the dining room-not particularly warm, inviting or interesting. The noise level is so great that it makes conversation almost impossible. Next the service not bad but indifferent. Finally and most importantly the food-very average. Crab app-way too salty, steak tartare-very odd sort of sweet, mixed salad-mixed baby greens with salty dressing and nothing else. Entrees-Hanger Steak ok but way better at Montmartre, Lobster Burger nothing special and for $29 it should wow, Hamburger good but Palena does it better and cheaper. If you like Cheesecake Factory proportions and want to eat at a place that has the name of a fancy chef, this is the place for you.
Huh - I have been there a few times and dined only in the bar area. The food was great, the service attentive and I think the setting is calming. Chaque a son gout.
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i agree that the lobster burger was pedestrian given the price. way tooo much scallop puree as a binder. fake foie gras was verrrry salty. tuna carpaccio was god. nice clean flavor w/ textural contrast from the small dice of cucumbers. over all, solid but not the hype buzzing meal.....
I wouldn't put it down to the level of Cheesecake Factory, a place I despise...but I too fail to see what all the fuss is about. They could charge 22 bucks for a Ruby Tuesday's bison burger here on a slightly fancier bun and everyone would be raving about the genius of it.
I would disagree on many counts (and agree on some). I had lunch there last week, in a full dining room, and found the noise level to be neglible; it certainly did not interfere with our conversation. The mussel chowder was delicious and a great start to the meal. I thought we would have been served gougeres, but were not (did I confuse Central with somewhere else?). Of the mains, the tuna burger was great, and the lobster burger was better than expected (I had heard it was over-spiced) but not worth $29.
We had the sides of Macaroni and Cheese (a recipe I would love to replicate), Fries (excellent), and Green Beans (with carmelized onions, nothing special).
Finally, a Kit Kat dessert, which was a great way to finish.
The most negative aspect of the meal was the service; while the wait staff were very pleasant, the meal lasted almost 2 hours, which is way too long for lunch. The time it took to order and receive our first order was painful. My only complaint, but a significant one.
I would certainly recommend Central based on my first experience there.