Thursday, December 3, 2009

Nel Centro

My first visit to Nel Centro was a couple months ago, just for drinks with some colleagues. We sat outside in their patio area in large comfy chairs gathered around a raised fire pit, filled with colored glass stones. Imagine a long, skinny, 3-foot-high planter, except emitting colorful fire. I recently had the opportunity to return when I received an assignment to do a shoot for a review of the restaurant. The interior is warm, with soft chocolate and ivory tones throughout. The main dining area is lit with wonderful hanging colored glass globes and lamps, and the large windows of the corner space give it a very metropolitan feel. Executive Chef Paul Hyman's large and open kitchen boasts a brick pizza oven, as well as a fire rotisserie rack. The Herbed Rotisserie Chicken dinner was a favorite on my visit, moist and uniquely flavored. During lunch the pizza oven fires up classic pies and daily specials featuring local and specialty ingredients. They also do great breakfast and brunch services, with hearty dishes like Steak and Eggs, and a delicious twist on Eggs Benedict. Hitting the marks with good food, a cool and comfy interior, hip bar (with fire), and a great location, Nel Centro should definitely be on your "next downtown spot I'm gonna check out" list, and high up.

Cozy booths and colorful lighting gives patrons a warm and relaxed dining experience.

Executive Chef Paul Hyman sauces a plate of Herb Marinated Rotisserie Chicken with Roasted Potatoes and Cauliflower.

A New York strip steak, grilled to order, eggs just how ya like 'em, and oven-roasted potato hash.

Pollenta and Cured Pork Loin Eggs Benedict with Sage Hollandaise and oven-roasted Potato Hash.

A house special pizza with Lamb Fennel Sausage, Red Onion, Rosemary, and Buffalo Taleggio.

Herb-Marinated Rotisserie Chicken with Roasted Potatoes and Cauliflower.