An affordable taste of true Paris
Authentic atmosphere, great food at Le Central
Published: Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 01:09
The French atmosphere will hit you the second you walk into Le Central, with charming seating areas, tons of French culture decorations, LED lighting, and a friendly staff that makes you feel like you actually matter to them.
Of the five different rooms, I prefer to sit in the improvised veranda. Big windows and flowers and plants give this airy room-turned-patio an outdoorsy impression.
Even if you anticipate eating a lot, don’t refuse the joy of their bread baskets. The bread is baked in-house every day and is a perfect combination of extremely fluffy and fresh inside, and crispy outside.
Le Central makes sure to bring you only the freshest ingredients and dishes, so the choices vary every day. The menu is limited to just one sheet, and the abundance of French names may be overwhelming for people not accustomed with French cuisine. But don’t worry, all that French jargon is explained in English underneath.
The Roti de Porc au Jus ($15), pork loin stuffed with goat cheese, spinach and red pepper mousses, brushed with olive oil and rosemary, slow roasted, and accentuated with a roasted garlic jus, was too great to pass up.
When it arrived, the portion was bigger than I expected. However, the pork was exceptional and delicate. But the best part was the stuffing, the goat cheese, which was absolutely amazing and savory. This culinary creation came with a side of flavorful sauce that wasn’t heavy. I would not expect pork and goat cheese to go so well together, but they certainly complemented each other to create one smooth sensation.
Mashed potatoes, a side dish accompanying almost every dinner dish, were good, but nowhere near as good as the meat. Although it was covered with aromatic basil, it was slightly salty. The broccoli didn’t sound sexy at first, but ended up being a nice addition to a hearty portion of meat. It was an exquisite meal.
Another meal, Magret de Canard a l’Orange ($14), pan-roasted duck breast with orange sauce, overcame even the pork. The duck was so velvety and juicy, the texture didn’t feel like meat. The orange sauce made me skeptical at first, but wasn’t overly sweet and went with the duck pleasantly.
Le Central lives up to its slogan, “affordable French cuisine.” The food tastes authentic, and it is affordable taking into consideration the ingredients and quality of the food.