Food & Drink

LoHi gets a sparkling new hangout

It's tough to pin down exactly what it means to be an American restaurant, what with our identity as a melting pot, and -- wait, doesn't that just mean it should have fondue? Well, anyway, Central's here, and they're claiming all-American status even without the smelly cheese.Chef'd by a CO native who's worked the lines at Linger and Wynkoop, Central plates "clever, deeply nourishing" eats inspired by the technique/ presentation of the nation's best chefs, and provides bustling LoHi with a colorful modern space, accented with bric-a-brac from the owner's "massive collection of vintage Denver finds", so go if only for the chance to cameo on Hoarders. The menu clearly states... the states from which all ingredients are sourced, so grab fried oysters from WA, white gazpacho topped by basil-lime sorbet and CA grapes, and the carnivore-friendly corn & IA bacon risotto (w/ WI cheese curds), or blue crab mac 'n cheese fresh from LA. Colorado's also on the map with a lamb shoulder, and our nation's coasts are well represented with seared scallops aside corn/ tomato/ celery and Alaskan halibut drizzled in tomato aioli, which cheesily answers the question "why would anyone move to Alaska?" (..."for the halibut"). And beers? You bet beers, like Abita Turbodog, Uinta Monkshine, and Titan IPA on draft, along with bombers of Oak Aged Yeti, Odell's Myrcenary Double IPA, and the barrel-aged Cockeyed Cooper -- try 'em all with your frattiest friends, and then find out which of you guys is the hardest to pin down.