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Boston Area

Central Kitchen - review.

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Restaurants & Bars

Central Kitchen - review.

jacinthe | Sep 27, 2004 03:10 PM

It was chosen in large part due to its relative proximity to my apartment. My friend and I had a 7:30PM reservation there Friday night, and upon arriving, were told that a large large party was going to be seated later that night, so if we could perhaps be done by 9:15, 9:30 at the absolute latest, that would be great. Generally, I do not like it when I have time limits placed on my meals - it makes me feel rushed, even if the majority of my dinners nowhere approach 2 hours.

In any case. We were seated, menus were distributed. It's a very dim place, which I personally find rather annoying because I hate squinting and not being able to see anything. A long list of specials was recited - mainly appetizers, and many of them I forgot. Eventually, however, my friend and I settled upon the brie as an appetizer, and then the roasted chicken panzanella salads as entrees.

A wedge of brie was brought out on a platter, accompanied with some apple chutney, micro greens and a small baked potato, split infours. No bread was served, so we had to ask for some. A simple starter, but nice and elegant in its simplicity.

Then the panzanella - it wasn't the traditional one one imagines when thinking of this dish. Actually, it wasn't what I imagined when I ordered. Rather, it consited large wedges of tomato atop a layer of jamon serrano, some greens, olives and large cubes of bread fried in olive oil mixed into the bunch, with what must have been oven-baked fried chicken - 2 pieces - both the drumstick and the breast. It was very good. The chicken was nice and moist, the skin crispy. Tomatoes were nice and juicy, not mealy, and gosh, I fell in love with the croutons. I would love to have this dish again.

For dessert, we got a brownie served with a scoop of ice cream, some caramel sauce and candied pecans. The brownie was rather dry and crumbly, but that was masked in large part by the ice cream. Not outstanding, but it was a satisfying end to the meal.

Service varied - it took us forever to get our wine and bread to go with the brie. While the same person took our drink/dinner/dessert order, drinks/dishes were brought out/cleared by a varied number of people. It's somewhat confusing, because you don't know to whom to make your requests. Do you wait for your order-taker, or do you just ask whomever happens to have stopped at your table?

I know that reports regarding this restaurant vary on the board, but I, for one, have to say I was very pleased with my meal. The tab, for 1 appetizer, 2 entrees 1 dessert and four glasses of wine came to around $50 each, including tax and tip. I'd gladly return to this place. It's casual and cozy - perfect for friends - yet swanky enough to impress a date.

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