When The Central opened just over a year ago in the renovated former ticket booth of the Peekskill Metro-North train station, we were all-in on Chef Zach Moore’s elevated take on sit-down worthy breakfast fare and delectable grab-and-go.
Now that the adjoining bar and dinner space has fully launched, we thought it was high time we gave you our top picks for the must-try menu items the next time you hop off the train.
Even locals would be hard pressed to recognize the old teller booth but one thing’s stayed the same: If you need help, belly up to the bar and ask the experts. With a bevy of spirits and sardonically named house cocktails (we’re looking at you, “Sugar, We’re Going Down Bitter”) it can be hard to pick just one. So don’t. Or, get what our server recommended: The Cashmere — an adorably served but hard-hitting update on the Long Island iced tea, made with green tea and thyme syrup in a heavy pour of rye whiskey.
Leaning into The Central’s Mediterranean inflection, dips and hummuses (“hummi??”) get their own spot on the menu. You can choose from classic chickpea hummus, olive tapenade, tzatziki, and roasted red pepper whipped feta, but why bother: Order all four on a platter loaded up with hot, oil-brushed pita and please everybody at the table.
There’s a ton of great small plates to choose from, like seasonal salads and the savory mushroom burrata toast, but for our money, you can’t go wrong with the patatas bravas — crispy outside, hot and soft inside, slathered in slightly spicy Romesco sauce, drizzled with garlic aioli, and topped with a sprinkle of pimento and a blizzard of robust Manchego cheese.
Between umami-bomb mushroom ravioli, the most beautifully cooked NY strip we’ve seen in a long while, and paella for two, it was difficult choosing just one main course to put on this list. In the end, we had to follow our hearts and pork-clogged arteries to the crispy pork belly rotisserie porchetta. We got ours with EVOO crushed potatoes and Swiss chard, but you can’t go wrong with any of the sides. (Even the simple side salad was bright and bursting with seasonal flavor.) You’ll be absolutely meat-drunk by the time you put your forks down.
If you haven’t burst from the seams, there’s still one dish you can’t leave without trying. Light, fluffy, and custardy, The Central’s bread pudding is the creation of Pastry Chef Sarah Goldfrank-Cariot (whose work you’ve also tasted at Peekskill’s Fin & Brew and Rocco’s Downtown). Topped with rich vanilla ice cream and splashes of caramel and chocolate syrup, you literally will not be able to stop eating this plate until it’s gone. And then you’ll be sad. Pair it with an espresso or tea and it’s the perfect sweet treat to end your night.
300 Railroad Ave, Peekskill; 914.677.2233
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