Piquillo Peppers ($11)
Stuffed with drunken goat cheese and Marcona almonds: a simple plate of food that Lomonaco and company don't screw around with. There's no reason to. The tangy peppers and creamy goat cheese are the best of friends; this is one of the best things you can eat at Center Bar.
Braised Pork Belly ($15)
There's so much bad pork belly served in this town—and all over the country for that matter—with poorly rendered fat and no crunch at all. When I come across one that's executed perfectly, I want to oink out loud. It had golden brown edges and crust with a little ribbon of fat underneath that gave ways to stripes of porky-tasting pork. It came with a nifty composed salad made with pistachios, aged port, endives, and pear mostarda.
Foie Gras Parfait ($18)
A generous portion of foie bolstered by chicken livers, cognac, and a brittle but fruity port gelée topped with crunchy salt. It admittedly arrived at the table too cold, but once it sat and mellowed it was a fruity, creamy case of good foie done well.
Roasted Mayan Prawns ($18)
The three shrimp are expertly cooked, crisp and sweet, floating in a tart sauce of yellow tomato and red pepper that you could drink as an aperitif—though an extra shrimp or two for the price would be nice.
Slow Roasted Halibut ($17)
The Moroccan-spiced cardamon lentils mercifully liven up the neutral-tasting halibut, and the lentils were simultaneously sophisticated and earthy.
With porcini mushrooms and pecorino; they had a crispy crust that gave way to creamy rice. They came in a pool of garlic mayo.
Diamond Cane ($18)
There's nothing to complain about the apple and herb flavors of Bulleit rye, Boulard Calvados, VEP Chartuese except its price tag.
Gallega Fizz ($15)
The effervescent Mount Gay rum and raspberries are nice, but not enough for this kind of money.
Skip the pricey wine and cocktails here, and order dessert instead.
North Carolina Quail ($15)
Stay away from this bird, which is indistinguishable in flavor and texture from the mushrooms that accompany it.
Ahi Tuna ($17)
The tuna comes in jewel-like red chunks with sesame seeds and sesame oil, accompanied by a little bowl of Bloody Mary sorbet.
The Lounge Area
Chocolate Pot de Creme ($10)
It comes with more than a hint of coffee and a topping of whipped cream. I was supposed to share it with my wife, but somehow I ate the whole thing. The small plate of delicious macerated fruit was supposed to assuage your guilt, but it didn't work with me.
Coconut Panna Cotta ($10)
Surrounded by mango conserve in a five-spice syrup, the panna cotta is light and refreshing in contrast with the rich pot de creme.
Almond Financier ($10)
Crispy and very almond-y; it comes with a small scoop of excellent strawberry ice cream.
Center Bar looks out onto the Time Warner Center's atrium and Columbus Circle.