I hit Central Bottle a few weeks ago and my initial impression was that the place was a tad precious, and pricey... but many chimed in to counter my impression. I promised to revisit and in so doing attempt to maintain an open mind.
I hit it again on Wednesday after work and I must say, my impression hasn't changed.
Gruet Rose, from a New Mexico winery, generally available far and wide, was $18.
On teh internets it can be had for as little as $11.99 here:
In Boston I generally see it for around $14.
I won't bore you with the details, but I did some other price checking and not all of their prices are quite that bad, but generally expect to pay 15% or more over Boston's more reasonable wine stores.
On the precious/absurd front, they have spice mixes for cooking shrimp, steak, etc. up by the register in insanely small bottles. About the size of a large tub of Carmex lip balm. I noticed Spicey/Salt for seasoning shrimp, and Cumin Meat Rub, both for $2.75 each. While this may not sound too silly, the bottles probably held 2, max 3 tablespoons of goo. You would have needed 4 to 6 of the meat rub bottles to flavor a decent sized steak to feed 4 people; SERIOUSLY, no exaggeration.
My initial vibe on the cheeses being with one exception being in the $22-34 a pound range was correct.
Also, when I was in the store there were several people working there who all seemed too busy fussing behind the counter to pay too much attention to me. When I finally essentially barged in and asked for some help picking out some wine they hesitatingly left their projects behind. I decided to try two Italian reds unfamiliar to me... when I get a chance to crack em I will report again.
Bottom line: the most fru fru, precious, and pricey aspects of the South End have arrived in Central Square, if that rocks your boat, run, don't walk to Central Bottle.
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