Review: Centro, Toronto

When I was invited by Centro in Toronto’s Yonge and Eglington neighborhood for a menu showcase I wanted to bring my new friend Linda along for the ride. I had recently been telling her all about my food and travel blogger lifestyle and she was keen to experience a review first hand. I organized the menu in advance so dishes just whirled themselves onto the table. She had no clue how many dishes we would be sampling much to my humour. By the end of the night she couldn’t believe that we had a plate of steak to devour after we had just licked a plate clean of veal. Her eyes crossed and she started to moan when the dessert made its way to the table. She commented “I have never eaten this much in my life.” I responded “I typically do this three times a day when I am on the road.” I always tell my guests that restaurant reviews are a marathon and we both have to pull through…crossing the finish line together. It really is team work.

Centro has been a staple in Toronto’s Midtown since 1986, a year after I was born, holy moley! The restaurant’s distinctive setting was recently updated and features 20 foot ceilings, oversized mirrors, state of the art lighting and double-wide, velour upholstered chairs and banquettes. I particularly enjoyed the private wine storage lockers which the owner, Armando Mano mentioned are rented out for an annual fee for the restaurants most frequent diners. The service throughout the evening was perfection and wine pairings were matched to showcase the flavours and textures of each dish.

Centro is fine dining defined so do expect a stuffy atmosphere, a bit of a boys club rather than the casual atmosphere of say a Terroni’s. The prices reflect this elegant escape and made me think this would be an excellent spot to propose to your bride to be. As you all know, I’m still waiting for Mr. Right. And the beat goes on…

We enjoyed (* notes my favorites)

Pinot Grigio, “La Lot”, Peter Zemmer, Dolomiti, Italy, 2010

Chardonnay, Kenwood Vineyards, “Yulupa”, California, 2010

Gruner Veltliner, Weingut Tegernseerhof, Wachau, Austria, 2011

Chardonnay, Tawse, “Quarry Road Vineyard”, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Canada, 2009

Bandol Rose, Domaine Tempier, Midi, Provence, France, 2009

Chianti Classico, “Péppoli”, Antinori, Tuscany, Italy, 2009

Amontillado Sherry, Emilio Lustau

Cabernet Sauvignon, Charles Smith, Washington State, 2009

Reisling Icewine, Equifera, Niagara Peninsula, 2008


Buffalo Mozzarella & Tomato Salad *
basil puree, focaccia croutons, tomato oil, balsmic pearls

Smoked Chicken Terrine *
pickled ramps, cauliflower, pearl barley, crispy chicken skin

Summer Vegetable Salad
beet stained poached egg, carrot puree, fried taro, beet chips

Carnaroli Risotto *
fava bean, sweet pea, goat’s cheese, fresh mint, walnuts

pancetta, cherry tomato, roasted garlic, chili,  toasted breadcrumbs

Veal Tenderloin *
sweet pea, pearl onion, red pepper, corn bread, smoked onion sauce

potato and gruyere gratin, green beans, breaded onion ring, red wine reduction

Butter Poached Lobster
lobster-mushroom ravioli, garlic sauteed swiss chard, asparagus, with cognac bisque

Frangipane Tart

roasted plum with prune puree
and Armagnac Ice Cream

#339 restaurant reviewed in Ontario since moving to Toronto in 2010. 

Centro Restaurant & Lounge on Urbanspoon

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