Sean Callahan Has Taken Over at Centre Street Café
A Jamaica Plain institution has a new chef who is well-versed in the neighborhood: Sean Callahan quietly took over as executive chef at Centre Street Café late last year, bringing experience from six-plus years as executive chef at Ten Tables.
Most recently, Callahan helped open Casa Verde, the taqueria from CSC co-owners Keith Harmon, David Doyle, and Maricely Perez-Alers, located just down the street. Callahan will remain executive chef at Casa Verde for the time being, Doyle says, though he is fully entrenched at the Café.
The ownership trio, which is also behind Tres Gatos and the forthcoming Brass Cat Café, took over the longstanding brunch destination in 2014. They reopened an Italian-inflected Centre Street Café with Rialto alum Brian Rae in the kitchen to much critical acclaim. Rae debuted “classic Italian food filtered through the sunlit lens of iconic Bay Area restaurants such as Zuni Café and Chez Panisse, with streamlined salad-and-vegetable-centric plates… You’ll want [to order] the more-generous portions,” Boston magazine critic Corby Kummer wrote at the time. No word just yet on Rae’s next move.
Callahan will help Centre Street go in a more casual direction, Doyle says. House-made pasta remains a focal point of his menu, with mafalde and spaghetti available at lunchtime with approachable sauces like tomato and basil pomodoro, and walnut pesto alfredo, and dinner dishes like mafalde cacio e pepe, rigatoni with pork bolognese, and garlicky bucatini with pancetta, peas, and uni. The restaurant remains a popular weekend brunch spot, with weekly rotating doughnuts, pancakes, and omelettes, a burger, and more American classics.
“With his significant culinary experience in the neighborhood, maturity, raw talent, love of pasta, and work ethic, we know [Callahan] is an ideal fit for the Café,” the owners wrote in a press release.
Centre Street Café opens nightly at 5 p.m. (with a kid-friendly deal), and serves weekday lunch and brunch every Saturday and Sunday.
669A Centre St., Jamaica Plain, 617-524-9217, centrestcafejp.com.