Denver >Food & Dining > Le Central Affordable French
112 E Eighth Ave, Denver, CO | Directions 8020339.728952 -104.985758
Monday 11:30 AM - 2:30 PM
Tuesday 11:30 AM - 2:30 PM
Wednesday 11:30 AM - 2:30 PM
Thursday 11:30 AM - 2:30 PM
Friday 11:30 AM - 10:00 PM
Saturday 10:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Sunday 10:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Neighborhoods: Capitol Hill, Southeast Denver
Bad meal, rude treatment – Had a bad experience here last week. Nine of us went to Le Central for lunch. I order the "French" Dip sandwich which comes with their "French" onion soup for dipping instead of the usual au jus. The roast beef was EXTREMELY fatty. I had to take apart the sandwich to try to remove the fat and salvage what little lean meat there was. No actual slices of beef but rather small bits and pieces. I was not going to complain, but another member of the party remarked to the waitress that the salmon in his omelet did not taste good, and when the waitress returned and asked if everything else was ok, I told her that the beef in the French dip was very fatty. She ignored my complaint, so later when she came back to my end of the table, I asked her if they were going to compensate me and two others in my party, who by that time had also noticed the poor quality of the beef. She informed me that she had spoken to the manager and that the fattiness of the beef was acceptable according to their standards, and that roast beef is a "fatty meat". I told them that the beef was well below the standard I have found at other restaurants. (I am 55 years old and am no stranger to roast beef.) The manager came over and grudgingly offered me a complimentary dessert. When I told her that 3 of us had the same complaint she said we could SHARE one dessert. I was really offended, not only by the poor quality of the beef, but by the crude way in which they argued with my feedback, after asking more than once if everything (other than the bad salmon) was OK, and then being stingy with comping the dessert. We also noticed that the flavor of the French onion soup was unpleasant (old?). I've had some good meals at Le Central, but unless you enjoy fatty beef, skip the French Dip. Perhaps they should include in the menu description "slow-roasted chips of fatty beef", to assure the customer that is what they will get.
Thursday is Soufflé night! Love...love Le Central!!! – Le Central is my favorite restaurant in Denver. Cards on the table, I eat there twice a week. When I need to entertain clients it’s more frequent. I love their food, prices and service. It’s a true value. I noticed one reviewer mentioned the fact they do not have a Sommelier. So they don’t have a Wine Steward! I don’t care; I’m capable of selecting my own wine. Especially when it’s for less than $6.00 a glass. The service is always amazing. I’ve only had one bad experience with a staff member. I won’t mention names but he’s French. All other waiters are amazing and treat us like royalty. I have taken many of my friends and neighbors to Le Central for lunch and dinner. We are thrilled South Broadway has such a treasure. When my favorite managers left, I was a bit concerned. But no worries, as much as I will miss them, the new staff is just as wonderful. That says something for the ownership. They consistently hire service oriented people.
The food is world class. Recently while describing the nightly special, my waiter rolled his eyes back into his head while describing it. He was right. It was to die for. The portions are not huge but neither are the prices. I typically plan a three course event. Mussels, salad and dessert with wine of course. We end up paying much less than say Cuba Cuba or Biestro Vendome.
Ambiance could be improved by new carpet or cleaning up a bit. But I chalk it off to maintaining the historical flavor. It is perfect for a date, business meeting, or an I don’t want to cook night. Just don’t expect 5 star dinning. It’s a neighborhood restaurant.
I love…love Le and it’s staff!
Denver needs to raise their standards – If ever in the past I have patronized a restaurant with less than stellar food and/or service, I will occasionally return to give the benefit of the doubt. That being said, my first experience at Le Central was unsatisfactory. The staff is uneducated in wine selection (never saw a sommelier) and stomped around the dining area as if in a mosh pit. The food was forgettable. I was not impressed. I was hesitant to return, however it is a five minute walk from my place and convenience won over cynicism.
Again the staff, who still can't recommend or even pronounce the wines served, continue to stomp around (a couple times even sprinting) in such an unbelievably unprofessional manner.
I ordered the escargot. What was presented to me was the thickest bowl of ultra-garlic mush I have ever tasted. The snails were like shriveled raisins. I think the intention was to mask the quality of the escargot with the overwhelming garlic and butter. Now, I have had freshly made escargot and Le Central's "version" is not even a comparison. For my second course, I was served a scallop salad. Ugh. Sand in the scallops and entirely too much dressing. The greens were wilted in a soup of vinaigrette. My date ordered chicken which, upon arrival, was completely cold. He asked for it to be heated. Then of course it was rubbery from the microwave. We left in disgust. When the manager (I suspect, because he didn't introduce himself) asked if we were unhappy with our dishes I didn't bother to run through the list of complaints. I knew after this SECOND visit that I would not be returning. I have since then spoken to many friends (two of which are French living in Denver) about Le Central and no one had anything positive to report. I cannot believe it continues to get decent to even GOOD ratings! On a shallow note, the decor is not charming, it's incohesive and tacky.
Le Magnifique! – My parents are from Lyon, France. This food is authentic to the country-side of France.
I love this restuarant and the patio is beautiful in the evening. I always request to be seated there, even if it makes the wait longer. And a warning: even with reservations there can be a lengthy wait...but just pop over to the little wine bar and pick your favorite French vino, and sip away the time!
The mussels are one of the best dining deals in town: a whole bucket of moules in savory white-wine based broths and endless pomme frites for only $9.99! My favorite are the the Provencal or the Moutarde (with mustard and smoked bacon) MMMMMMMMM! ! The best part is washing it all down with a lovely (and affordable) French red, and sopping up the white-wine and butter sauce with the incredible french baguette and creamy butter!
Oh my! Good thing I don't eat here as often as I crave it, or I'd be 20 lbs overweight! haha!
They also have this amazing Wine-dinner every month, with a 5 course prix-fixe menu and 5 different glasses of French wine with each course for only $35 dollars. This is a regular girls-night out event for my group!
Le Central, le magnifique! Truly a Denver gem.
Tre Terrible! – I keep trying and each time my experience is worse than the last. We had the Julie Child special. The asparagus appetizer was off tasting with bits of the stem, probably the dregs of another asparagus dish served 2+ weeks ago. Learn how to cook!
The post entree salad was a big dish of only lettuce with a mustard dressing. Boring and not worth eating!
The decor is cute but hasn't been updated for years and the patio chairs are downright uncomfortable.
I resolve to never go back.
Also I parked in the lot out back, stuffed in my $5 payment and returned to my car 2 hours later with a ticket insisting on a $40 fine. DO NOT PARK THERE.
ITS A SCAM!
You call this the best French in town? – Words cannot describe my disappointment, where have all the decent French trained chef's gone in Denver? Well, I can tell you they are not working here! I felt like it was 1982, the food reminded me of Regan. At first I was going to eat at that Fernch Bistro on 17th and Clarkson, but to my dismay it closed, so where else can I get a French food? Le Central. Not going make that mistake again.
Excellent!!! – I "re-tried" this restaurant during 5280 week. Hadn't eaten at it in almost 25 yrs as I do not work downtown any longer. After the absolutely creative, tasty and well-priced meal I had during 5280, it most certainly will not be 25 yrs before I eat there again. It is now back on my favorite restaurant list and will eat there often. The quality of the food was outstanding, service was excellent, very authentic French food. I was just recently driving all over France eating in small family restaurants and the quality of Le Central rivaled the best of them.
Le Central is Le Awesome! – I love this place, the food is fresh, their menu is daily, the prices are good, the decor is excellent. Overall awesome, just awesome
Good food on a budget – My first trip to le central was last week. I went there with my two young kids. I was a little leery, since I had never been there, but it worked out just fine. We got there at about 5:15, and the place was pretty empty. I ordered some wine that the server recommended. It was wonderful. I ordered a four-course meal, with mussles, salad, lamb and dessert. The mussels where superb, as was the salad. The lamb was wonderful, perfectly cooked. My wife ordered a steak, which also came out perfectly cooked, and was equally great. The only downside is that my daughter ordered chicken breast from the kids menu, which wasn't very good.
All in all, a great meal. I'll be back for sure.
Horrible mussels & good fries!! – Quaint space but the food was less than expected. I ordered the mussels because they were recommended by the bartender..."That's what we're known for." When they arrived at my table, they looked good, but tasty they were not. Many of the mussels were very small and closed. A lot of the mussels had broken shells & grainy as well and they were not flavorful, just bland. The fries were listed as "unlimited" on the menu but the server never bothered to ask if more fries were needed with only a few left on my plate. For dessert, I had the apple tart tatin, which was disappointing as well. It tasted like an uncooked piece of dough with a whole uncut poached apple on top & a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Next time I go out for french bistro, I will definitely spend an extra dollar or two & go to Bistro Vendome.
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