Centro Grille in Robbinsville, NJ
just tried it on Monday...they have only been fully open a week and are still working out the bugs that all new restaurants have. We had younger server and busboy (water filling guy?) who were friendly and eager to please.
Menu is online, nothing terribly unusual, but I think it has potential to be a solid neighborhood place. Saw several young families dining while we were there. Space is noisy, so if that's an issue for you...
We shared spinach and artichoke dip (tasty, big chunks of artichokes). DH had eggplant parm which was described as "stuffed", but wasn't. 3 crispy circles of eggplant served with penne. I had teriyaki salmon sandwich, fish was tasty and cooked well, veggies on top could have been better executed. It was more of a knife/fork than "pick up" sandwich. The fries are double fried, dark and crispy. They were a little cold, but that's an easy fix. Not a fan of the faux newsprint they used to line the plate, it tears up when you cut your food.
We talked to the manager afterwards, she was very friendly and receptive to our comments. The bar seemed to be doing some good business, too.
I've tried it. They still have a lot of bugs to work out. Service was very slow (friendly but slow) and the food was hit-miss. The lobster mac-n-cheese was very disappointing. It came out cold and looked like it was just slopped on a plate like in a school lunch cafeteria. The salmon entree was very well prepared and tasty. The fish and chips were not something I'd recommend. Only three small pieces of fish and the batter wasn't crispy. The chips (fries) were soggy and among the worst I've ever had.
I'll give them another shot in a few weeks, but really slow service and spotty food aren't kinks - they're signs of things that need to be fixed immediately or diners will avoid.
I live near the restaurant. Centro is the 3rd restaurant in that location. I hope it succeeds, but I really think they might also need to rethink the pricing. The food prices are very similar to the previous restaurants, and I think it was just a little too high for that location. The pizza joint in the same plaza has and will continue to do really well because you can get out of there at a reasonable price. That's critical for that location because those restaurants need Robbinsville residents to eat there regularly as much as people visiting the area. If they stick with their pricing and menu, they need to make it a WOW experience. The bar is too loud, takes up too much space, and should have been removed to create more dinner seating.
If someone asked me whether it's worth a drive, I'd say no. If you're just in the area, it's worth a try. I would be very unhappy if I'd driven more than 20-30 minutes. If you do visit, speak to the owner/manager and give your feedback.
Poseidon's food BTW was horrible and overpriced. It, too, was hampered by slow service but it was worse since there was rarely more than a handful of diners at any time.
Oh, I wish they'd remove the tree in the middle of the restaurant. Some people might think it's ok, but I gives a hint of Rainforest Cafe vibe to a restaurant that doesn't need it.
I live in Robbinsville and have been hoping for a success everytime a restuarant has opened in the location. Centro Grille, as it stands now, is not it in my opinion.
What Robbinsville towncenter needs, in my opinion, is a comfortable family friendly restuarant you can go to and enjoy dinner either just as an adult couple or as a family with kids. A place that is comfortable and a neighborhood place. Centro Grille hasn't figured out if it wans to be a neighborhood place or a destination resturant and doesn't succed on wither level.
The current prices and food quality take it out of the spur of the moment category "lets go out to eat somewhere that is not a chain or Italian" category and put it into the "destination/special event" category. But food quality does not back up the prices.
Our family of four, with four glasss of wine and no appetizer or dessert,, paid $140 (incl tip) for medicore food. The menu carries "comfort food" but there was nothing modern or special about each entree making it worth the prices. My daugther had fish and chips ($17), her favorite and go to item on menus, which she said it was not very good and she did not finish the fish or the chips. I snuck a chip and didn't blame her. My husband had the lobster mac and cheese ($19) which he said was okay but not worth $19, my son had the ribs ($22) which,as promised, were huge and very good, he and my husband ate them the next day for lunch and still raved about them. Best value on the menu. I didn't taste them but still think the price was steep. I had the peppercorn encrusted tuna ($22) . The tuna was cooked properly but the crust was not as advertised. I enjoyed it but wasn't wowed. My daughter liked it, my husband did not. We saw a ton of people we know there and got te same reviw it was okay but expensive.
The place has potential. It is a great location with a town that wants it to work. The service kinks will be worked out. The food quality willl become consistent. If the place would drop each entree price by $3.00/$4.00 and it will become THE local restuarant (with a bar). The place would be more profitable based on volume It will become someplace parents will stop on the way home from soccer/football/basketball/wrestling/lacrosse/softball/dance/gymnastics and they want to grab something to eat with a drink where they are comfortable bringing the kids. It will become the place to go when you don't feel like cooking but don't want takeout. Someplace to go for a drink and an appetizer on the rare night we dont have the kids.
EVERYONE IN ROBBINSVILLE WANTS THIS PLACE TO WORK. But to be supported by the town, which is where you will make your money, you need to make it affordable and make the quality consistent. I want to support you but cant as it stands now.
Bookaddict, you hit the nail on the head. Centro isn't hitting the "sweet spot" for a regular neighborhood place, and it doesn't rise to "destination" status. People will patronize a local place as long as it meets expectations, and hopefully they will take the feedback and make some "tweaks" to better fit the community's needs.
It's our 2nd time back since they opened. With my husband and I working day jobs and my young boys both in sports this place has been a godsend. There is literally no place to go for a glass of wine and good food in the neighborhood. The chains just don't do it for me, as everything eventually winds up tasting like cardboard. Our first visit was a little more hectic, in which the service was a bit sketchy, but the food was incredible! My husband wouldn't stop talking about the ribs all weekend and my Pasta with shrimp was delicious. My boys were easy to please, with sandwiches and ribs as well! Last night was round 2, I was in the mood for a salad, so ordered the Greek Salad with Chicken. The yogurt dressing was different but needed a bit more zest. My husband ordered his ribs again. Although I am not a big meat eater, the homemade barbeque sauce alone makes that dish. This place seems to have the perfect combination, which is so hard today, and that is family friendly prices, and a place for foodies. We were also greeted by 3 or 4 different people, young but caring. What I love most about this place, is the colorful energy. We only went to Poseidon once in one year, and we already have been here twice in the first week of operation. Thanks CENTRO!
Gave Centro another try, since they've been open a month+ figured they would have worked out some of the glitches. Sadly, I am not sure I want to try for a 3rd strike. They try hard, they mean well, but they are not executing the most simple thing.
Yet again, the fries with my sandwich were cold. My husband ordered veggie lasagne, which was served in an attractive individual "crock", but it was only warm-ish and he said the veggies were undercooked (I saw zucchini that was downright crunchy).
If they can't figure out how to get hot food to the table by now, it says something about their general kitchen skills. Food is mediocre, some of it rises to "good", I don't feel like it's delivering on many counts.
I agree. Tried it for a 3rd time and the kitchen kinks are still there. The service was still a bit slow in light of the fact that the restaurant was only about 2/3 full, but it was definitely because of the kitchen as our waitress was pretty attentive.
The food? Well, again, hit and miss. The portions were more than generous and fair, but I'm not sure what all the fuss about the ribs is. They just weren't cooked low and slow enough to be tender. The fries were warm, but not hot - definitely seemed like they'd been sitting under a warming lamp for too long. I seriously have had better ribs at Applebee's, and I don't like Applebee's. Nothing more disappointing than a large rack of ribs that I had to take home to finish cooking to enjoy. Others have enjoyed the sauce, but it was just average. I'd rather have well-cooked ribs than tough ribs covered in sauce.
The service kinks are getting better, but the food isn't. Guess I'm still looking for that go-to restaurant in or very close to Robbinsville.
My wife and I plan to try it too, I agree that Robbinsville doesn't yet have an everyday go to place. What Bookaddict3 wrote above is exactly how we feel too. Since we moved to the area about 1 1/2 years ago, and given what else is already less than a 5 min drive away, a Cosi is what always I had in mind for that place. Wonder why it's not a Starbucks already.