Eating my way around Fore Street over the course of a weekend was becoming my full-time job. My girlfriend who travels to Portland often for work insisted that I hit up her personal favorite, Central Provisions. She is small, but bossy so I had to listen and found myself there for an early lunch on a Friday. The small, drafty space was already full of what seemed to be a mix of office folk and visitors as myself.
I knew I was in for a treat when I saw this sign posted outside of the restaurant.
I opted for a seat at the bar to peer into the immaculate, working kitchen. It’s always interesting to see how kitchens work and just how NEAT everyone is. If you sat at the bar of my working kitchen, you would definitely not have this experience. Messy cooking for life.
I started with some tuna crudo that was topped with fried shallots and green onion. Pretty delicious.
Then, I had the fried cauliflower which both my friend and waitress insisted would change my life. It did! Crispy cauliflower and chickpeas offset with some tangy apple and all sorts of chopped herbs and a bit of soft cheese. Absolutely divine. I swear to you that I almost ordered a second plate of this, but thought better of it as I had so many spots to hit. Out of this world.
Central Provisions was no bargain, but it sure was delicious. If I was in town again I would certainly return for this salad if nothing else. Or bring a friend to try a few other small plates – rumor has it the bone marrow toast also can’t be beat, but looked to be far richer than one lady can handle.
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