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Our latest DSM dining adventure was last weekend at Centro. We had lunch at the popular downtown restaurant on Saturday and had a great meal.

Centro is such a classy place. The upscale atmosphere makes you feel like every time you eat there it's a special occasion. It's always busy, but in that fun "I'm in a happenin' place" kind of way. Well, you know what I mean.    

Love the style. 

But the food is the real star at Centro. The Italian inspired menu bursts with fresh ingredients and new takes on classic dishes. Choosing from the wood-fired specialities, innovative pastas, coal-fired pizzas, sandwiches or hearty salads is a challenge!

We started, of course, with some of the warm, fresh bread and olive oil.

Grant was in the mood for one of the special burger grinds from Chef George Formaro. He went with the Centro "Black Label" grind on THE Cheeseburger which also included cheddar and pepper jack cheeses on a ciabatta bun - with fresh hand-cut fries. Big and meaty, this burger offers a wide range of deliciousness.

I couldn't pass up the Chicken Caesar Panini. Wood-grilled chicken, mozzarella, asiago, romaine lettuce, Niman Ranch bacon and George's Caesar dressing on South Union Bakery country Italian bread. With some of those hand-cut fries, of course. This sandwich is literally bursting with flavor. If you've never had one, definitely try it on your next visit. Supremely swoonworthy.

I also enjoyed a glass of Willowcrest Pinot Grigio - a lovely selection from Oregon.

Grant's sweet tooth couldn't turn down the dessert menu. From the many decadent offerings including Chocolate Rye Pecan Pie and Chocolate Creme Brulee, he went with the Caramel Apple Tart. Excellent choice! Served with vanilla bean gelato and fresh whipped cream, it was creamy and crunchy and smooth and sweet all at once. And that caramel sauce? I could seriously get a spoon and eat that stuff straight from the jar. Sooo good.

One of the best things about dining at Centro is the service. This place knows how to staff a restaurant. With servers bustling all around, you are given the attention you deserve and no detail is missed. Our server, Colleen, was friendly and accommodating - she had some great menu recommendations and she truly let us know that it was her pleasure to serve us.

On an otherwise gloomy and cloudy day, our lunch at Centro was a little bit of sunshine. If you haven't yet had the chance to dine at Centro, put it up on the top of your list. We're already looking forward to our next visit. 


1007 Locust
Des Moines, IA  50309


Lunch Hours

Mon - Fri:  11am - 2pm
Sat:  11am - 3pm
Sun:  10am - 3pm

Dinner Hours

Mon - Thu:  5pm - 10pm
Fri - Sat:  5pm - 11pm
Sun:  4:30 - 9pm

Pizza & Cocktails

Pizza and cocktails are available in the bar between lunch and dinner service

Menus and additional information at http://www.centrodesmoines.com

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Reader Comments (2)

I have always wanted to try the pizza. Maybe I have other reasons now for trying. Thanks for sharing. Looks delish.

Apr 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCory

Cory, the pizza looked really good, something I also want to try. I tried to get a couple of photos of the pizzas that were by the oven waiting to be delivered but I'm so short that you could hardly see them! Oh well.

Apr 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

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