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Center Cut

Note: Ka-Boom! Jeffrey Chodorow fails again: Center Cut closed in August 2009. Ed’s Chowder House, from chef Ed Brown of eighty one, replaced it.


I dropped in at Center Cut a couple of weeks ago for a pre-show dinner. I wasn’t feeling very hungry, so I ordered the $39 prix fixe. You choose four dishes, served in pairs on rectangular plates that look like two normal dinner plates fused together.

An heirloom tomato and mozzarella salad was very good, but so-called five-alarm chili tasted about three alarms less bold than it should be. Despite the standard advice about non-steak entrées at steakhouses, I ordered shrimp scampi, which turned out to be excellent. But a side dish of Balsamic Caramelized Cippolini Onions misfired: I gave up after a few cloying bites.

The prix fixe comes with a cookie plate as a standard dessert. The cookies looked terrific, but I was full and didn’t try them.

The bread service is wonderful—a fluffy roll the size of a large brick, served hot. The rest of the service was also very good—a significant improvement over my last visit. The only Chodorow Moment® was the attempt to upsell a Wagyu steak for $10 more.

There have been some menu tweaks. The “Flintstone Ribs” I had last time are no longer available. So too the Glazed Korean Short Ribs that Gael Greene had. Those, unfortunately, were two of the more interesting items on the original menu.

Business was much more brisk than I expected. Center Cut isn’t selling out, but I suspect they’re more than covering the rent.

Center Cut (44. W. 63rd St. between Broadway & Columbus Ave., Upper West Side)

Food: *
Service: *½
Ambiance: *½
Overall: *


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