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Central Is Softly Open in Newton With a Mediterranean-Style Menu

The restaurant took over the former Appetito space

761 Beacon St.
761 Beacon St.
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A new restaurant has softly opened in Newton Centre, serving a menu of Mediterranean fare. Central is the work of chef Alexander Nagi, who brings to Newton years of experience owning and operating restaurants on Martha’s Vineyard.

Nagi now lives in Newton and said he "got good feelings from the town" while looking for a space for the restaurant.

"We absolutely love the town of Newton for its family-friendly community that embraces its local businesses," he told Eater in an email. "When 761 Beacon Street became available, we jumped at the opportunity to grab it." The restaurant sits at the corner of Leland Street, and there are a number of other restaurants and stores nearby.

"It was a true ‘no brainer,’" Nagi said, and the restaurant’s location inspired its name.

"Newton Centre is truly a central meeting place, and we are honored to be a part of its community. When we designed the restaurant, we were committed to making it approachable," he said. "We felt that in order to find our true center we needed to employ the talents and efforts of those who best represent who we truly are, our families and our dear friends. By reaching out to our people we developed and ultimately found our center, and the name Central was born."

The restaurant features a central bar with a modern feel and a seasonal menu of shareable dishes.

"After gutting the space, and after almost a year's worth of renovations, we are excited to share the restaurant with everyone," Nagi said.

The menu draws upon global influences, with a focus on Mediterranean dishes, and it features a number of vegetarian and gluten-free options. The pastas are made in-house each day, and Central sources its fish locally. There are small and large plates designed for easy sharing, including crispy Brussels sprouts, grilled broccolini, tuna tartare crostini, crispy wings, and lamb kebobs for the small plates, and pappardelle with wild mushrooms, bratwurst, steak frites, and tagliatelle bolognese for the large plates.

Central will use the month of August as a soft opening, Nagi said, "because August tends to be the slowest month of the year in the Newton area." For now, the restaurant is open Tuesday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. There will be a grand opening party in September to kick off full service at the restaurant, at which point it will be open seven days a week, starting at 4 p.m.