The Other Critics

Bauer Impressed By Central Kitchen, Can’t Handle the Music; Hirsch Calls Dixie ‘Manly’ But Balanced

The Bauer review of Central Kitchen arrived in Sunday’s Chron, and it begins like it’s going to be a three-star review, but, alas, it is not meant to be. He’s impressed with the casual look and feel of the place, but the first thing that puts him off is the music — refined restaurants that crank up the rock and roll have never been his thing. Also, he seems miffed that tables are so hard to get already, and he could only dine at 5:45. As for the food, he notes that “the theme of rustic food and modern presentation is a hallmark of the kitchen,” but that sometimes “the presentation is more tantalizing than the taste.” He’s more into the a la carte menu than the tasting menu, and likes a couple presentations of squash blossoms he tried, as well as a dish of sea bass and eggplant. But, he says, something “hasn’t quite jelled” about this place. All told: two and a half stars. [Chron, Earlier slideshow]

Over at the Examiner today we have Jesse Hirsch providing his thoughts on Dixie, Joseph Humphrey’s new restaurant in the Presidio. He finds the setting, the soundtrack (think guitar-rock) and the predominantly male staff to lend a pretty masculine air, but Humphrey’s takes on Southern food tend toward the surprising, “light,” and sometimes even “dainty.” He likes the fried quail and garlic waffles, and the corn and abalone soup, but says to skip the salmon salad and the tortellini. [Examiner]

Bauer Impressed By Central Kitchen, Can’t Handle the Music; Hirsch Calls