Centre Street Café has just been open a few weeks; owners are the same as JP's Tres Gatos. The new spot is a few blocks up Centre St from JPLicks ( on same side, in block w/ Pigs Fly Bakery.)
Basic white room, understated and tasteful, with no notable décor. Room length banquettes on the left and right walls.
At their Sunday night 5:30 opening, it quickly filled with walk-in parties of 4-6, all including babes and children, a relaxed multicultural populace. We recognized our waiter from Rendezvous.
Chef Brian Rae is from 9 Park and his output feels very confident. Simple but lovely plate presentation; no needless showiness or fussiness, but exuding confidence and a message of "you can trust in me; I won't steer you wrong." He is very talented with Sauces and components that spark his dishes and keep your palate intrigued.
It's a real treat to say that we enjoyed everything we had:
Potato Fritters with Mushroom Aioli
Arancini filled w/ Brussel Sprouts and Cauliflower, w/Marinara
Evoo Poached Swordfish Conserva on Crostini
half portion each of
House made Mafaldi pasta with Lamb Ragu and Harissa Yoghurt** (Stellar dish of the evening)
Whole Wheat Lasagna with Mushrooms and Sunchokes and Fonduta
Arctic Char in a lovely clam brodetto
Side of Sauteed Kale w/ Sunchokes
Limited choice of desserts, all pretty basic (apple crostata, biscotti...)
Very Impressive list of Reds by the Glass. All Italian and each one supple and smooth. No Hard Liquor license. Conversation friendly, but likely gets loud as it fills up.Prices seemed lower than its peers' (esp the pastas; when have you seen an unusual half portion of house made pasta for $12?)
Centre St. Café is both a real neighborhood gem and an experience that we will willingly drive for!