Last night my wife and I went to a new restaurant in Southington, CT on Center Street, which is becoming this small town's "Restaurant Row", and recently has been made more welcoming with brick sidewalks, flowering trees and victorian style benches. The name of the restaurant is, appropriately enough, "25 Center Street". It is in the location that formerly housed "La Piazza". Although they are now serving, their "Grand Opening" is set for Thursday evening, April 22.
Like La Piazza, 25 Center Street's cuisine is largely Italian, but it seems to have a wider selection, including a greatly expanded seafood menu. The decor is similar, but has been toned down and the prices are lower (but still not cheap).
My wife had a tomato and mozzarella salad with prosciutto and a balsamic vinegar reduction for an appetizer and penne bolognese as an entree. The appetizer was huge enough that she declined the house salad that came with the entree.
I started off with clams casino, ate the included house salad and, for my main dish, had their "Everything Tuna", a yellowfin tuna steak crusted with crushed peppercorns, poppy seeds and sesame seeds. It came sliced into neat slabs, nicely seared on the outside and pink and juicy on the inside. It came with a medley of julienned vegetables and your choice of herbed rice or "lumpy mashed potatoes" (their description, not mine). We reluctantly passed on dessert.
Both my wife and I thought the food was delicious, as did some friends of ours that happened to be eating there that night also.There are a number of appetizers and entrees on the menu that are intriguing and that I plan to try on return trips.
The only criticism I had was that the service, while pleasant and attentive, was slightly spotty. For example, our waiter forgot to tell us about the evening's specials. Also, I ordered the mashed potatoes with my entree, but got the rice. To our waiter's credit, however, when I pointed it out to him, he immediately brought me a separate dish of mashed potatoes (which were excellent, by the way). I hope these minor lapses in the service are only startup glitches and will be fixed in coming months. Anyway, I wanted to let all you central Connecticut Chowhounds know about this new restaurant and recommend it to you.
And if you don't know about it, Center Street has become a Chowhound paradise. Besides 25 Center Street, there's The Pepper Pot right next door (fabulous breakfasts and lunches), and across the street is Anthony Jacks Wood-fired Grill, still packing them in two years after their opening. And for dessert, a 30-second walk down the street will bring you to "Pralines", where you can get a great ice cream cone or sundae and enjoy it in their sheltered backyard brick patio.
Come to downtown Southington and enjoy!!
P.S. I'm not a town official, restaurant owner or member of the Chamber of Commerce. Just a Chowhound proud of what my town can offer and who wants to share it with others.