Central Bistro and Bar reopened last Tuesday after a week off to retool the decor and the menu. While the LoHi eatery hasn't even hit its third birthday, owner Isiah Salazar wanted to address issues with the noise levels in the dining room so took the opportunity to update the colors and textures, adding warm orange paint, more natural woods and historic photos of the neighborhood. The eye-catching "HOT" sign — originally part of the Regency Hotel owned by Salazar's family — is still there, although its red glow has been toned down to mesh better with the rest of the decor.
Other changes include new wallpaper in the bar area, patterned fabrics on dining room chairs (that had previously been swanky white leather), and prominent restaurant logos on the ceiling and walls. Bright yellow circular panels have been attached to the ceiling to help with acoustics.
The menu has also been updated with new spring dishes with splashes of color from baby greens, radishes, blood orange, cucumber and baby carrots. Chef Matt Selby, who came to Central Bistro last spring, has added playful, chef-y touches with bold and unique flavor combinations: Think foie gras robed in white chocolate, charred octopus with carrot harissa, candied lemon and olives, and seared monkfish with deep purple Okinawa sweet potato and blood orange.
Central still offers its great happy hour all night every Tuesday, from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Special events include this Thursday's five-course dinner featuring an exploration of butter paired with whiskey from Laws Whiskey House. Scroll on down for more food and restaurant photos from photographer Danielle Lirette.