Friday, June 10, 2011

Le Central

For as long as I can remember, Le Central has been delicious. I've been eating there forever. Le Central has long been my mom's favorite French restaurant in Colorado. Even though we lived outside of Denver, special occasions during my childhood often meant we'd trek all the way to Lincoln and 8th for some seriously good French food.

It also must be that everyone in Denver who doesn't live under a rock has eaten at - and loved - Le Central. Any time I mention it, whoever I am talking to immediately starts gushing about his or her last visit and how wonderful everything was.

Last weekend, when looking for a brunch spot for seven people, including two sets of out-of-town family members, Le Central was the clear choice.

If you go to Le Central, get the mussels. Get them in the saffron sauce. Trust me on this one. For a mere $14, you will be enjoying an unbelievably large bowl of steamed mussels soaking in a rich and wonderfully seasoned sauce. The fries are unlimited, but you'll be so full from all the mussels that you probably won't want any more of anything else when you finish them off.

Moules au Saffran

While I've enjoyed the mussels a million times before, I ventured off the beaten path on this particular occasion to try the the Omelette Aux Epinards ($8; from the menu: Three egg white omelette filled with sautéed spinach, roasted red bell peppers, and Brie cheese). I'd never ordered this omelet before, and I really didn't ponder the ingredient list too deeply before ordering it. Once it was in front of me, however, I was puzzled by the combination of healthy, low-fat egg whites and veggies, and the decadent, calorie-bomb Brie cheese oozing from every possible opening in the omelet. Overall, it was good but not great. The veggies were a little overcooked, and the bell pepper pieces were too large to eat easily. Plus, I wasn't too excited about eating the huge pile of mashed potatoes on the side at 11 am. 

We also tried the Eggs Benedict ($8), which had way too little Hollandaise sauce. 

Eggs Benedict

My husband had the seafood crepes ($8), which contain, quoting directly from the menu, Red and white fish with shrimp and scallops in a fresh dill cream sauce finished with a touch of cream and wrapped in a house made crêpe, gratineed with Swiss cheese. 

Crêpes de Fruits de Mer

The crepe was divine. The cream sauce was extremely rich, and a perfect complement to the wonderful assortment of seafood it smothered. I think I even liked this crepe more than the mussels. 

The location, while spacious and filled with closely-packed tables, fills quickly for brunch. Reservations are a good idea.  And despite the cheap prices, the attire is somewhat dressy.

Le Central is a bargain overall. Some dishes, however, are much better than others. The mussels and seafood crepes we had were outstanding, while the eggs benedict and spinach omelet were less impressive. There's room for improvement in the side dishes, particularly the rice and potatoes. 

But we loved it, and of course, we'll be back. 

Casual Dining

(8 of 10)

Pros: Outstanding quality food for cheap. Get the mussels. 
Cons: Dining area can be crowded, some dishes are better executed than others


Le Central on Urbanspoon


  1. I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment-the mussels never disappoint and at such a great price it's easy to experiment with new options.