567 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA | Directions 0213942.364700 -71.102487
Monday To Sunday From 05:30 PM To 11:00 PM Monday To Friday From 11:30 AM To 03:00 PM
Neighborhoods: Area IV
Dark yet welcoming bistro provides Central Square scenesters with a stylish place to drink and dine. – In Short
Perched on the confluence of alternative and yuppie life, Central Kitchen is resplendent in dark wood and copper tables. A long, stylish slate tile bar spans the room, where young Cantabrigians cool their heels over wines by the glass. The menu, best described as Mediterranean-inspired comfort fare, includes items like mussels steamed in Stella Artois and double-thick pork chop with apricot confit.
Ultra cool wine and food joint – An unassuming entrance leads to a dark and elegant bar/dining area that is a total surprise after the walk up Mass Ave in Central Square. The entire staff have tasted the wine list, and their knowledge shows. The list is interesting, and features many wines that you may not have heard of, but will want to get to know. We drank an Alsatian Pinot Gris that was a knock-out. The menu is a mix of classic and creative, and while it is not extensive, what they serve is properly and inventively prepared. The steak frites that I ordered was perfection, as good as any I've had in Paris or Montreal. The frites must have been cooked in goose fat. Our party of four all found the dining experience to be fun and delicious, a place one wants to return to. It is casual and a little funky, but classy in its own way, and they have a large second floor that offers late night socializing. There is a parking lot with meters behind the restaurant, but be careful not to park in the grocery store lot, which is directly behind the restaurant. We liked Central Kitchen and will return soon.
Fine bistro food, warm chic atmoshpere – Central Kitchen was my "home bar" when I was a visiting professor at MIT for about 6 months. The inviting buzzy atmosphere and warm, cozy feel of the place kept me coming back to hang out at the bar after a long day at work. It's busy and a nice spot to chat as you sit nibbling at some great little plates of cheese, olives or charcuterie. The food is marvelous and always struck me as very intelligently put together, covering both the down to earth satisfaction of bistro fare and the inventive twists that surprise you and lift a meal beyond expectations. Execution was always polished - in perhaps a dozen meals, I never had a bad experience. The roast chicken was particularly memorable. I always had the sense that there was someone really thoughtful and professional on the other side of those swing doors, someone with a deep feel for good food, and real food. Everything seemed to work. Nothing whacky or excessively showy, but great presentations that could have you believing you're inProvence for the night. I found several wines on the list to satisfy my picky classic euro-tastes, but there's enough variety for everyone. Service and welcome in the dining section nothing but friendly and efficient. At the bar there was often good conversation with the bartenders, or other patrons. However, I can't say I was ever really made to feel "at home" there, despite dozens of visits. With the exception of one or two male bartenders, there was a certain coolness about the place, which was a little saddening for a loyal and very appreciative customer far from home. But maybe that's Cambridge for you.
Always a Hit! – Central Kitchen never disappoints. The menu always has a variety vegetarian, fish and meat selections in both the appetizer and entree categories. Everything from start to finish is flavorful and perfectly prepared. Special requests or requests for substitutions are handled graciously. The ambience is nice with kind of a NYC feeling, my only complaint would be it's sometimes a little dark to read the menu and they could use a curtain to block the wind in winter. The menu doesn't seem to change very often but the steak and frites are always welcome standby! I would recommend reservations but the staff is always very helpful trying to squeeze you in when they can.
Nothing beats the Kitchen – Nothing beats Central Square and nothing beats the Kitchen. It's become a weekly staple amongst my friends.
extraordinary wines – Excellent atmosphere & service, the food was interesting and very good, the prices were appropriate... and the wine was wonderful.
We had raw oysters, which were excellent. A simple salad, which was thoroughly but not overly dressed with an understated vinagrette. A "parisian" shellfish stew dish with a very intense and wonderful broth. Steak frites was very good, not the best ever, but there were several perfect bites; the fries were excellent.
And now to the wine. The glass list was very good; I had a Barolo which made me very happy. The bottle list contained many attractive and reasonably priced choices. But the reserve list was the real surprise: bottle after bottle of the best wines from famous chateaus, some with considerable age, all priced scarcely above retail! We did not resist. Our vintage Bordeaux was decanted properly and served in appropriately large glasses. We were not disappointed.
Great Spot Awful Service - STAY AWAY!!!! – Special occasion dinner was the setting, nice modern spot interesting menu, the food was as good as the wine selection. We ordered a bottle of red wine, one I was familiar with and love, except it arrived refrigerated, not chilled but flat out COLD, the bottle was sweating from the change of temperature.
When I mentioned it I was told that it is the way they serve red wine there, long story short: this became a series of embarrassing exchanges, scorning comments and looks that was finalized by me putting my foot down and asking them to take it back and them accusing me of trying to get free wine, after I didnt even drink it.
The wait staff and management were so extremely rude that I will never go back, if you love red wine, STAY AWAY!!!
Not worthy the price – Nothing really wrong with this place, but it's just not worthy the price. We had dinner here on a Wednesday night. We waited for 15 minutes at the bar, which was fine. Sangria was quite good; unfortunately they ran out after 1 glass. We had mussels for appetizer that is about $11, but tasted pretty good. The main courses were somewhat disappointing, though. The $25 lamb I had was tiny and full of fat, hardly had any real meat. My friends $24 salmon was a decent size, but taste just about average, no amazing sides either. The place was also quite casual for the price. We had a baby at the next table. So, my suggestion is that use this place for a drink or appetizer, and thats it.
fast and delicious lunch – I was walking down Mass ave the other day looking for a quick and decent lunch, which as I approached Central Square seemed less and less likely. Then I saw a long flag saying "lunch" outside Central Kitchen. I love this place at night and I was surprised they were open, but there were no waitresses just some chefs behind the bar serving sandwiches, soups and salads. I got a carrot soup and a roast beef sandwich, both excellent, with a glass of red wine. The roast beef had a roasted pepper relish on top which was delish. It is european/deli style, no pressure from waitstaff, just get your food and sit down. I think they do take out too. Great alternative to other places in the area!
Vastly overated – I've been on a quest for the best steak frites in Cambridge for a while now and somebody had recommended that I try the one at Central Kitchen. What a disappointment. The food was at most average and way overpriced. Les frites were not julienne cut and were more like something you find in a bag of McCain fries. The steak, although very tender and cooked to my liking, was not a cut that suits a dish of this kind. and it also lacked a bit of imagination; very plain. Last but not least, what is wrong with their liquor prices? It's more expensive than bars that are directly in Harvard Square. I wouldnt mind if the portions werent also 30% less. Overall, I would not recommend this restaurant to anyone unless you have a burning desire to waste your money.
Sign in with Facebook Sign in with Facebook to see what your friends are up to!
Do you have a review of Central Kitchen on your blog? If you include the Citysearch image link (shown below) in your post, we'll automatically link to your review from the business profile page. Here's how our Linkback system works:
The Linkback system is free and automatic. It's really that easy.
To link to our business profile page, copy the html below to your web page.