Central Kitchen Gets Big Props From GQ’s Alan Richman

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Mr. Richman Photo: Patrick McMullen

The restaurant may not have made the James Beard long list of Best New Restaurants today, but Central Kitchen landed on another important national list: GQ's Most Outstanding New Restaurants of 2013, as selected by critic Alan Richman. In his introduction, he says that American restaurateurs have finally gotten it right in terms of what the American dining public wants. "We yearn for restaurants that are like us: casual, kindhearted, original, and a little too loud." Central Kitchen is the only Bay Area pick in the dozen, and Richman writes that executive chef Thomas McNaughton is rising up "the ranks of America's least recognized great young chefs." He raves about a dish of beets with brown butter and fromage blanc, and says, "[McNaughton's] composed plates have so many ingredients I couldn't keep track of them all." He also makes note of the restaurant's "eccentric" decor, loudness, and "rock hard" chairs as all positives — which our own Mr. Bauer likely wouldn't do — writing, "The noise level, mostly from rock 'n' roll, is way too high unless you live in New York, in which case it's average." [GQ, Earlier]