I love all of the varied activities of Manhattan that keep its streets filled with an ever-rotating list of festivals and parades. However, one thing I often hate about Manhattan? The festivals and parades that take over the streets, limiting the slice of the city available at your fingertips. In the end, guess it all events out depending on your mood and the day!
Halloween night, I decided I was going to just walk and see what I came across to try out for dinner, deciding I plan out my meals often times too much. I learned though with the baracades going up around me, the East Village it would be!
I happened upon Cafe Centosette, a little French restaurant I have passed many times and never felt the urge to stop in. Tonight was the night. It was very dimly lit, with only two other tables occupied. The server was at my table without hesitation, quickly trying to serve me a glass of wine or something else along those lines. As I took my seat, I watched the occasional trickle of trick-or-treaters who would make their way back through the restaurant to the bar, where there was a large bucket of candy waiting for them.
The menu is quite extensive and I did not know what to choose. Two gentlemen walked in and quickly took a seat, nodding knowingly at the other servers and the owner who was serving double-duty as candy master for the evening. Both did not even open the menu and chose their chicken parmesean, or as the menu titled it “Petto Di Pollo alla Parmigiana”. Figuring they knew the highlights of the options, I went with their selection for myself.
At $12.95, the plate which arrived was filled to the brim. There was a large-sized chicken fillet, ever so lightly breaded, with a hearty layer of tomato sauce – but not enough to make the chicken too soggy. The tomatoes tasted fresh and the cheese paired with the dusting of fresh pepper really brought out the flavor of the chicken. I couldn’t even finish half of it, and it was not due to not enjoying it.
Seeing as it was an Italian restaurant, I had to try their tiramisu. What emerged was a nice sized portion, not enough to make you feel as if it should have been a group dessert option only. The espresso flavor did not hide in this version, and I have to say I really enjoyed that it did not get lost in the heavy custard.
I was impressed with my random selection, a restaurant I knew nothing of by name and had read zero reviews on beforehand. I would recommend this for a nice dinner perhaps on a date or catching up with old friends. It’s cozy and you can actually hear other people around you – novel concept, right?
Cafe Centosette – 160 Second Avenue (between E10/E11th Streets) – 212.420.5933