45 Central: A Wine AND Dine Bar is Setting the Bar

45 Central: A Wine AND Dine Bar
Setting the bar

By Sarah Murphy Robertson

A well-appointed wine bar tucked into Seaside’s charming town center, 45 Central Wine Bar is another 30A masterpiece from chef and owner, Jim Shirley. This Wine Spectator award-winning restaurant is an intimate gathering spot for lingering to enjoy exclusive vintages and imaginative fare including sushi, small plates, and weekend brunch.

Wine Spectator‘s restaurant awards recognize those who offer a wide variety of selections and pair beautifully with their set cuisine. To qualify for an Award of Excellence as 45 Central has, wine lists must include at least 90 selections from an assortment of quality producers. 45 Central offers 135 at a moderate price point and its strengths include California wines.

Ever-changing with availability and seasonality, the dining menu at 45 Central is a spectrum of selections, all expertly suited for the wine they pour.

Classic companions to wine, the cheese plate and the charcuterie platter are carefully chef-chosen to include a rotating array of artisanal cheeses and delicious cuts of boutique meats.

Creative twists like a queso skillet made with melted brie and fontina, and an Asian-inspired Caesar salad punctuated with Miso, further shows the chef-driven. Vegetarian options are also not your standbys. They include a hummus trio of black-eyed peas, edamame, and chickpea dips; seasonal veggie sushi roll; or their Kale Maharaja – a stewed kale dish comprised of braised onions, tomatoes, and punchy Indian spices.

45 Central’s sushi is another popular guest favorite. Bringing bold flavor and heat, their Afterburner Roll is made with spicy tuna, avocado, freshly sliced jalapeño pepper and finished with Sriracha chili sauce. Make sure to order alongside a crisp and cooling glass of white.

And while known for rolls crafted from Gulf seafood, Shirley never stops innovating. Sushi comprised of filet mignon with a red wine demi glace is perfect for pairing with a Cabernet, and a duck confit roll was made for accompanying a glass of Pinot Noir.

I like using form but mixing flavors,” he explained. “I’ve been playing around with porcini mushrooms and sundried tomatoes for a sushi with an Italian influence,” he shared.

Shirley also hails the talents of Joyce Russell, the master chef behind their much-craved paella.

She worked hard to help get the recipe right. We vary up the sausages and it makes for a really great paella,” he explained. This festive dish is offered on Wednesday and Friday nights. By 5 p.m. the cooking has begun and the smells wafting through town will lead you straight to 45 Central.

Weekends in Seaside are ideal for brunching and they offer a great one at 45 Central between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday. The brunch menu changes slightly with the seasons, but as Chef said, they make sure all the bases are covered, from crispy waffles to fresh fruit parfaits. And what is brunch without a bubbly mimosa? Try them here with orange, grapefruit, or mango juices.

After relaxing and delighting in creative sips and bites, guests can leave with the wines they’ve discovered. All labels are available for purchase by the bottle (or the case) thus making those new favorites ones easily revisited again. Open seven days a week, 45 Central is raising the bar for wine aficionados, foodies, and everyone in between.

45 Central Square is appropriately located at 45 Central Square in Seaside. Phone them at 850-231-4545 or visit online at www.fortyfivecentral.com. Open weekdays 2 p.m. to midnight and weekends 9 a.m. to midnight.