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Centro -- Haven't Been in Years. Should I Return?

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My husband just informed me that he purchased a couple of Groupon coupons for Centro. I believe they are $50 for $100 worth of food and beverages (alcohol included). After reading several threads about The (questionably Organic) Butchers and their coupon fiascos, I'm a bit worried about coupons in general, especially since I'm not really a coupon kind of gal. All that said, we'll go to Centro one of these days and give it a whirl. I've been to Centro three times, but not in the last dozen years or so. The last time I was there with my family, the service was inattentive and there were problems with a couple of dishes. I vowed that I wouldn't return for such overpriced food, pretentious plating and crummy service. I recognize that a lot of time has passed. Centro has been around for many years. They must be doing something right, at least in theory, as lots of people frequent neighbourhood haunts regardless of food quality. Has anyone dined there recently, with or without a Groupon coupon? What does Centro do well and what should we avoid? We love fish and seafood, pasta, pizza and game meats.

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Centro
2472 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M4P 2F5, CA

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  1. I think Centro is currently renovating their space. Better call ahead.

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    Centro
    2472 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M4P 2F5, CA

    3 Replies
    1. re: Yongeman

      Thanks for the heads up. I suspect it will be late April or early May before we get there. We don't live in the GTA right now. I will most definitely call well in advance.

      1. re: Yongeman

        I thought the reno has been complete for a little while

        Centro has a newish chef and a new reno and has gotten some positive comments from
        some people who have been recently, haven't been myself but also never went to the original as it wasn't really our thing.

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        Centro
        2472 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M4P 2F5, CA

        1. re: bytepusher

          LOL! I'll be making reservations whenever I decide to go, so I'll verify that they're open again post-reno.

      2. Kates of the Globe and Mail gave it a very good review in March 2010 after the reno.

        1. They have been closed for Spring cleaning. I have dined there twice in recent months and the food has been excellent with the service only slightly less so.

          1 Reply
          1. re: taterbrandy

            Centro has been reopened for a couple of days now.

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            Centro
            2472 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M4P 2F5, CA

          2. I wish I new about the groupon. We went the other night and had a very pleasant experience. I had never been to Centro and was interested since they had changed chefs.
            The space is beautiful and it feels like a grand room, more so than any other restaurant I can think of. Service was accomodating, knowledgeable, very attentive and performed primarily by one person. Possibly some of the best in the city, it seems Centro is known for this.
            The bread was warm, had a nice crunchy crust, a soft crumb and was served with soft whipped butter. We had the cauliflower soup, white asparagus, gnocchi, lamb, and trout. The soup had a silky texture but, my feeling, was the garlic in the soup and the blue cheese garnish overwhelmed the delicate cauliflower flavour. The white asparagus was a very simple dish with honey glazed prosciutto and a soft boiled eggs. The dish could have used a little more seasoning, but the egg was perfectly timed with a firm white and a completely running yolk. The gnocchi had that balanced texture of both firm yet melt in your mouth and the sauce had a well judged amount of lemon, present but not overwhelming. I'm told the trout was delicious and the plate was licked clean. My heart kind of sank when the lamb came, the presentaion was almost no presentation. It consisted of three chops with a half place of potato on each chop and some snap peas sprinkled around. My perception changed once I bit into the dish. The lamb is cooked sous vide and obviously very tender, the flavour deep and complex without being overly gamey or greasy. The potatoes and snap peas were perfectly cooked and the sauce was complex and complimentary. We shared the beet side dish which was paired perfectly with coconut. This was the only point in the evening where we suspected Susur's influence. We ended the meal with the chocolate cake and budino, both very basic. The bill, with several glasses of wine, before tip was $240, which I found surprisingly low. Decent wines are offered by the glass and they hover around the $12 range which helps keep the total down.
            Overall the food is straight forward and unfussy with the focus being perfectly presenting quality ingredients. Competent cooks might complain that this meal could be duplicated at home, but one has to ask themselves what is it they are looking for when dining out. This style of food and level of service is perfectly suited for business meetings which I imagine is a large part of their business.

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            Susur
            601 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V1M5, CA

            Centro
            2472 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M4P 2F5, CA

            1 Reply
            1. re: dubchild

              Happy to hear it was a good meal. Really should get around to trying Centro one of these days.