My second visit to Central Kitchen was even more rewarding than the first. This place really reminds me of Franklin Cafe. And, to me, that's a big compliment. Sure Central Kicthen has a slightly more Mediterranean leaning than Franklin Cafe, and Franklin Cafe may have a slight edge in the sheer quality of the food, but the two restaurants are quite similar.
To the point: the food. We started with a dish of olives and wild ramps with sopresseta and cherry tomatoes over grilled Iggy's bread. Excellent. It was one of those Mediterrranean dishes where the rich, clean flavor of an excellent balsamic vinegar seemed to tie all the flavors together perfectly. Warning: the ramps are cooked for just 30 second, leaving them crisp -- a surprise for customers who might be more accustomed to the texture of "melted" leeks.
Next we had moules frites, which the pleasant bartender told us was their signature dish. I challenge a Belgian expert on this dish to find a single flaw with it. An extremely solid rendition of the Belgian bistro classic. The fiancee's favorite dish we had.
We also had Grilled Octopus and Shrimp with a salt-cod-and-potato puree. The Grilled Octopus was perfect. There just wasn't enough of it. I would have enjoyed a plate full of just the octopus. Unfortunatley, there were a few too many other ingredients (olives, etc.), which, although tasty, unnecessarily deprived us of MORE OCTOPUS!
A nice crisp Sipp Mack Pinot Blanc chased all of this down very well!