Central Newton

4.4
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420 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Tapas / Small Plates

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Casual
We are a lively, modern American restaurant and center bar, offering a seasonally inspired, global menu of small plates to share with your favorite people.
We host live music every Thursday starting at 8pm.
http://nesn.com/2017/02/dining-playbook-central-newton/
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What 420 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.3
service
4.2
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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JS
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

We always enjoy the food, although the menu basically hasn't changed in months and months, which is starting to be a negative. As folks who live in the neighborhood, we would come more often if there were new things to try, but except for a couple of pasta specials, almost every item, good as it is, is unchanged from 6, 9, 12 months ago. The cocktails are good, the service is good, and the room is very noisy.

C
New England
133 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 4

Rib eye skewers, tuna tartare, and overall great food. We sat at the bar and were disappointed that 3 chosen bottles of wine were not available.

R
New England
32 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Central is a nondescript storefront from the outside, but reveals itself to be minimalist and pleasing inside. Booths and tables cling the the peripheries, orbiting around a central bar. The entrees are small and meant to be shred...I recommend ordering 3 each. The menu is a creative mix of greens, lamb, chicken and fish. I highly recommend the lamb sliders. There is a large selection of beer, wine and cocktails. The dessert is standard issue, but enjoyable. The only negative thing I can say about the wait staff is they asked me too many times how my dinner was...the plates were clean. Overall, I will add Central to my regular list of haunts.

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

Asked to leave by waiter as soon as we paid check because there was a wait. Very disappointed! Never had that happen before.

OT
New England
6 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Nice atmosphere although a bit noisy and the band adding to the noise level didn't help. Overall a really nice dining experience and we plan to return. Heard the morning breakfast was good. Going to try that too

B
1 review
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great restaurant with wonderful drinks, amazing food, and great service

D
New England
20 reviews
Dined on September 10, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

Overall, we were very disappointed with Central. Our waiter was just lovely, helpful and experienced. However, the food was poor and overpriced for what you get. We eat in tapas restaurant often, but Central's tapas portions and are out of line. We ordered the brussels sprouts $10, and 4 pieces of grilled corn $12, both tasty. The scallops were tasteless and cost $ 15 for 3 very small scallops. The arugula salad with watermelon and pecans was inedible $12. To end the meal we ordered rice pudding. The pudding was good BUT was a very small bowl and cost a whopping $10!!! Really, it cost NOTHING to make a big pot of rice pudding! I make it all the time.

OT
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is our third time dining at Central and it was by far the best experience. We loved everything we had - shishito peppers, tuna tartare, scallops, fish tacos, etc. We were with a couple who are dairy free and they were delighted with the many available options. Our server was very gracious and helpful with the menu and wine offerings. We will be back again soon. Hopeful we will have another great experience next time...

LK
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

The jazz music on Wednesday evening was marvelous, capping off a yummy meal (go for the mushroom toast!) and wonderful service. Great addition to Newton Center restaurant options.

l
New England
27 reviews
Dined on August 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely and yummy!

KC
New England
1 review
Dined on August 13, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 3ambience 1

It was freezing cold and we asked twice for the air conditioning to be turned down which it wasn't. The food was good but WAY overpriced for the amount that you get. We will not be returning.

KH
New England
32 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

Very mixed results eight the service - this dinner the woman who brought us drinks spilled on me- I had to ask for something for the stain twice and surprisingly, didn’t get the drink (or anything comped). Waitress also left dirty plates for way longer than normal. Food is usually good but honestly need to up their service game.

L
New England
5 reviews
Dined on August 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great local place with good food and excellent staff

NB
Washington DC
22 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Delicious food and great menu

e
Charleston
3 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 2

Definitely give this place a try. For us, I felt the food was over 'prepared' and the noise was too much. However the drinks looked good and it had a nice bar area.

L
Naples
10 reviews
Dined on July 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

One of my favorite restaurants. I love the small plates. We had a group of 8 and shared everything. My favorites were bang bang shrimp and the cod. Also the artichoke beignets. I wish they brought back the fried green tomato sliders.

AM
New England
8 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

It was over 100 degrees in Boston this weekend so being outside was not a option and it was very uncomfortable. When we arrived at Central we noticed it was very hot. We got a few different answers as to why. The hostess first said they were working on it. Then the waitress said that the ac was broken and then someone else said "it was always like that". I assure you that isn't true because I have bene there before. We ended up deciding to leave after drinks because it was so hot. I understand it wasn't Central's fault but feel like they should have called people to give them some warning that there was no AC when the whole city is in a heat advisory.

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on July 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The place has a very cool vibe and their menu is diverse and delicious. Their small plates are fun to share but they also having some portions you could order individually. Great cocktails too.
The vibe is great and I can't wait to go back.

K
1 review
Dined on July 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My favorite place to be whenever Im in Newton.
The staff is amazing and always so helpful. Drinks are spot on, the best Old Fashion and made proberly (means the bartenders care) Great place to be with friends, loved ones and for date nights. Food is delishish, filling and everything comes out quicky. Will be back soon!

J
New England
2 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

The food was excellent. The restaurant is smaller than I expected from the web site, but not unpleasant (cozy). Service was a bit slow and messy, but overall, no real complaints.

AR
New England
1 review
Dined on July 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Delicious food and very accommodating with food limitations.

l
New England
40 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

small plates with big flavors. enjoyed the seared scallops, artichoke dish and other choices. excellent servers provide great advice. White/peach sangria is a treat. Restaurant mgmt. has tried to reduce noise vibration but needs to do more.

D
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Great restaurant with very good food and drinks. Can enjoy a meal with small children or also have a good time on a date... friendly and helpful staff nestled in a convenient location in Newton Center.

N
New England
2 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food!!!

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 2

The food seemed good, but I was sadly ill later that evening.
The place was pretty empty, so the ambience left us wanting.

Nice staff.

DT
New England
3 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The food was simple but with a lot of flavor. This is not a fine dining experience, but a perfect place for a relaxed enjoyable evening

JS
1 review
Dined on May 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Good food, great menu and drinks, music is great too. Good place to bring anyone

P
New England
27 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Late night stop on our way home. Everything was great thank you!

FG
New England
19 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Great location, great service, tasty food and drink. We'll be back!

A
New England
18 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Our waitress was unbelievably good. We asked if the volume of the music could be lowered, and she did it cheerfully. She noticed my friend wiping a food stain off her white blouse, and brought over seltzer water to help. I wish I knew her name, for she exemplified attentive, non-intrusive but perfectly attuned service. Thank you!

OT
New England
6 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Food was really lovely and quite tasty

DB
New England
4 reviews
Dined on May 15, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 5

I had dinner here a few years ago and I remember an excellent meal. This time I was very disappointed. Crispy brussel sprouts were actually soggy and served with a tomato sauce (why?), the mushroom on the mushroom bruschetta were also soggy and tasteless, and the shrimp were just so-so. No bread was served before or during the meal.

OT
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Wonderful experience!

m
New England
5 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

overall experience was good. the only reason why it wasn't great or outstanding is that they had a fruit fly problem near our table and one ended up in my drink and we had to swat away from the food and our faces the whole time.

MB
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Food was very good; not special occasion, but more than good enough for a night out to eat. Atmosphere is simple but contemporary. Service was not polished but fine. It is tapas/small plate - portions were good although pacing of the plates was a bit uneven. Wine list is relatively small but reasonably priced and tasty selections make it punch above it's weight. Overall, a fine choice for a dinner night out with a couple friends or a weeknight date.

EK
New England
4 reviews
Dined on May 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and service. Loved the live music. The John Frazee Trio is worth the visit.

V
New England
4 reviews
Dined on May 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always dependable high quality offerings. They mix up the menu as well to keep it fresh.

MR
New England
82 reviews
Dined on May 8, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Food is always good. Service is uneven. The restaurant doesn't time plates or courses, so you end up with an onslaught of dishes simultaneously. Not a great way to eat. Also, the service staff is pleasant but not well trained in the finer details of service. Very pub like service, but fine dining quality food.

J
New England
16 reviews
Dined on May 6, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 4

It was probably the noisiest restaurant I have eaten in. so unfortunate as the food is very good, but I will not return as my dinner companion and I could barely hear each other.

LD
New England
9 reviews
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Ever since Central opened a few years ago in Newton Ctr, my family and I have dined there on several occasions. It's a wonderful addition to our neighborhood. Plenty of space but always crowded and buzzy (reflection of its continued popularity), warm and friendly service and terrific food. I have no idea how they have managed to retain their high quality so consistently. We were there on Fri night. Ordered the burrata, lobster risotto, mushroom toast, seared scallops. All done to perfection. We've always loved their beef sliders but they were out of them by the time we placed our order:-(. So tip -- go early if you want to enjoy their sliders.
Shout out to the Central folks for running a GREAT restaurant.

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