Homey and Inviting

Central Park offers delicious taste and value

Thursday, April 24, 2014 | 1:07 am

Delicious kale salad begins the evening.

(Pasadena Now is highlighting some of the many restaurants participating in Pasadena’s Fourth Annual Restaurant Week next week. Here, Candice Merrill walks us through Central Park.)

Central Park Restaurant sits across from, well, Central Park, in a 100-year-old former flower warehouse. With an enclosed patio and exposed brick walls, the restaurant is homey and inviting. During Restaurant Week (Sunday, April 27 through Friday, May 2) they will be offering a special lunch and dinner menu at an inviting price. Always doing the hard work so you don’t have to, I had a taste of their Restaurant Week dinner menu.

For $35.00 there is a choice of an appetizer: Roasted Red Bell Pepper Soup, Baby Kale Salad, or Salmon and Rock Shrimp Cakes; an Entree: Braised Boneless Short Ribs, Saffron Primavera Risotto, Parmesan Crusted Pork Chop, or Atlantic Salmon Provencal; and a Dessert: Carrot Cake or Key Lime Pie. To start, I chose the Baby Kale Salad and my companion the Salmon and Rock Shrimp Cakes.

The Baby Kale Salad was to die for. Filled with assorted greens, candied walnuts, brandied cherries, fresh mozzarella, and tossed in a citrus mint dressing, it was a little bit of heaven on a plate. Earthy, sweet, and tender, the kale and mixed greens melded with the creamy mozzarella. Kissed with a touch of mint that sparkled on my tongue, I ate every bite of this delicious salad.

My companion sampled the Salmon and Rock Shrimp Cakes, which were accompanied by a chipotle cream sauce and mixed greens. The cakes had lots of salmon flavor with bites of rock shrimp. The chipotle cream sauce had a slight kick with a smoky finish. It’s a great appetizer choice for fish lovers.

I chose the Braised Boneless Beef Shortribs as my entree. The shortribs were accompanied with caramelized vegetables and creamy cheese polenta. Fork-tender and topped with a red wine sauce, the shortribs were delicious. I loved the supper-cheesy polenta and the caramelized vegetables were slightly sweet and just tender.

A large pork chop crusted with Parmesan and topped with a tarragon brandy cream sauce full of mushrooms, was my companion’s choice. The pork was cooked until just tender and tasted great with the cream sauce. The plate was finished with creamy mashed potatoes and tender asparagus spears.

Both the Carrot Cake and Key Lime Pie were delicious, however, if forced to choose a favorite I would have to say I like the Key Lime Pie the best. The recipe, is from a former-chef whose family is from Florida. This is the real deal, made with sweet condensed milk and plenty of tart limes.

Central Park Restaurant is at 219 S. Fair Oaks. They are open for Breakfast: Monday – Friday, 7:30 – 11:30 a.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. For lunch they are open Monday – Saturday, 11:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and for dinner they are open Sunday – Thursday, 4:00 – 9:00 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, 4:00 – 10:00 p.m. For more information call (626) 449-4499 or visit www.centralparkrestaurant.net.

 To view copies of the Pasadena Restaurant Week menus go to www.pasadenarestaurantweek.com/restaurants


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