An excellent meal with terrific service in beautiful surroundings.
We arrived a quarter hour early for our reservations and complicated matters by requesting a booth for just the two of us. One of the servers accommodated us while the hostess was taking care of someone else. This was an excellent example of how the entire staff was engaged and involved throughout the night.
After being seated we were greeted by the owner (Victor), who managed to greet and touch each guest that came through his doors. He not only greeted us but stopped by during the meal to check on us and provide an excellent wine selection for my entree. Our main server (Mary) was exceptional. Service was attentive without being obtrusive.
We started with the olives and bread. The olive oil was exceptional and the olives were an eclectic mix. We had the mussels and the mozzarella for appetizers. Both were well presented and prepared. My companion had the pomodoro pasta dish but requested some specific changes that the server (and kitchen) cheerfully accommodated. I had the contadino pasta: wonderfully flavorful.
We were both too full for dessert but the server brought a little taste of the hot chocolate that everyone justifiably raves over.
I was taken here as a fallback choice for dinner by some friends who live nearby and were finding it hard to get a last minute table anywhere else due to the festival.
The venue is a gorgeously high-ceilinged, greek-columned room that must have been an old banking hall or something, with a bar at its centre. The service is so attentive it's almost awkward, as they insisted on brushing up every teeny crumb on the table in between courses.
But overall it was just... fine. The menu isn't exactly imaginative and felt like it was trying to be a swanky Prezzo or ASK - though that might be what you're looking for in which case there's a good selection of pizza/pasta. Portions are also decent, esp the calamari starter which two could probably share.
I've filed it away as a good dinner back-up for fussier eaters, but it just had a bit too much of the overpriced Italian chain feel for me to get excited.
Usually, I try to stick with good local cuisine when I'm on holidays, so I wasn't planning on having Italian food during my Edinburgh trip! But this place came up on my radar when my friend and I were looking for something not too rich and heavy. Also, their menu changes every month, and everything is made fresh daily.
So we ended up sharing the contadino pasta plate - it's normally made with a cream sauce, but the chef substituted it with their amazing tomato sauce. It was delicious, it's no wonder it's never been taken off their menu! We also shared the sardine and monks beard salad, with a spritz of lemon. It was a nice change from the typical green salad, with some sharp anchovy curbed by the lemon. Apparently monks beard is rarely seen in dishes outside of Italy, and the season for monks beard is short - so bonus points for importing special ingredients from the homeland! We also had the bruschetta, which was fresh and tasty but a bit pricey at £5 for the slice of bread topped with toms.
In the end, we were full but really toted by their dessert menu. The tiramisu was alright, I thought it could taste a bit boozier. But my hot chocolate was the star! At 4.75, I had a cup of 55% melted chocolate with fresh whipped cream (it's only an extra 25p to add on cream). On its own, I felt the chocolate needed a bit more sweetness, that's where the cream comes in. Once I stirred in 2 big spoonfuls, it was almost perfect. The catch is that the HC is lukewarm after adding in the cream. I was tempted to ask for it to be reheated in the microwave, but I polished it off pretty quickly.
All in all, I would highly recommend centotre. There is good variety on their monthly menu, including risotto and stews, I wish we had more people there so we could share everything!
Centotre, you are a lifesaver.
The odds were against me: There I was, in Edinburgh for first time ever, and instantly in need of a place for us to rest, recharge, and eat--and not too far from our hotel. To make the situation even more challenging, I was with my parents, who are not easily impressed, and will give up and go with the easiest eating option if there isn't a clear plan in place. But no way was I going to have my first meal in Scotland in our hotel. I had to think, fast. And then, across the street, draped in 4-star Yelp glory, was Centrotre.
Without Centotre (and the Yelp app), it would have been room service and sadness.
Instead, it was warm service and happiness! From decor to dessert, Centrotre was a carnival of old and new, delighting without overwhelming, and definitely different from what my parents were expecting from a seemingly random restaurant in Scotland.
My dad and I are big fans of gnocchi and shellfish, and the saffron-laced gnocchi with mussels had us fighting over bites. My step-mother and our family friend went for lighter options and seemed very satisfied. We ordered several types of bread--a rosemary focaccia and a rustic sourdough with ciabatta--and ate it all.
Moreover, I loved the fact that Centotre's "Love happy food" vision actively stands for exactly what it delivered to us--a happy (and tasty) moment for my family. Moral of the story: When in Edinburgh with your parents, go to Centotre!
Had a great saltimbocca with a spicy red wine and followed up with vanilla gelato and cappuccino. Very good!!
Come on. Seriously. This is crazy. EVERYTHING here is fabulous. The dizzyingly high ceilings, the splendid sense of opulence without ostentation, the chirpy serving staff, the hot ch... hot ch... hot... cho... sorry, I went off into a little dreamland for a moment there. What was I saying? Oh, yes, the hot chocolate! Thick, rich, dark hot chocolate to slide into your tummy on a cold winter's day... Mmmm...
It also plays host to the legendary weekly #EdCM gathering of techy types and social-savvy supergeeks from all over Edinburgh on a Friday morning, the space, light and sheer class of the place perfectly suited to the event.
And finally, there's the toilet arrangement, which is just too much fun to believe. Setting aside for a moment the super-swish decor in that downstairs defecatory dominion, let's talk about the audio situation. Or should I say, let's talk about coffee. Because down in the toilets, you can learn conversational Italian - I can now ask for a coffee with milk, thanks to Centotre's toilet tutelage. But beware. I also spent so long just sitting there saying "con leche" to the stall door that everyone had left by the time I got back up. How do you say "oops" in Italian?
"I believe in miracles, since you came along, you sexy thing (sexy thing you!)"
That's right, Monday night saw the inaugural night of the hunt for Edinburgh's best hot chocolate (that is assuming we don't all declare Centotre's to be the best and stop searching?).
An Italian restaurant isn't necessarily the first place you'd think to find great hot chocolate, and everybody else was tucking into a proper meal. But not us intrepid explorers! We were there for one thing, and one thing only. Delicious molten chocolate with a serving of steamed milk on the side. Our helpful waiter explained to us that the machine they used to serve up the chocolate has a long history of its own, having started out in a genuine Neapolitan restaurant eighty years ago and eventually made its way to colder climes. I've been to Naples, they don't need warming, comforting drinks, it's hot enough as it is (plus they have the best pizza in the world), so it's only fair that us freezing Scots get to use the magical machine nowadays.
And boy was that hot chocolate good! We'd heard tales of chocolate so thick it would stand up by itself, and to be honest that wasn't what arrived. Instead we got a cup of dark, slightly bitter, but oh some yummy chocolate, with a little pot of steamed milk to add as we wished. Some of us (Claire L) eschewed the milk and drank the chocolate as it was, whereas others added the whole jug in one go. I tried a bit of both, and frankly it was good either way.
I should mention too that because Caz had told Centotre that we were coming in for "hot chocolate and cakes" they'd very kindly made us up our own cupcakes, including a gluten free one. These were very nice too, and very well balanced - not like cupcakes that are more frosting than cake.
So far we've discovered that Centotre does a pretty mean hot chocolate, where to next?
First stop on our Yelpy chocolate quest was Centotre.
Our enthusiastic Italian waitor served us ladies a delicious 55% cocoa chocolate range and a cup cake each. I had ordered a large steamed milk hot chocolate with marshmallows. The price £4.95 for the choco and £2.95 for the cuppy cake.
As delicious the idea of pure hot chocolate made by a very old machine imported from Napoli sounds, I personally still prefer the milki version.
Would I go back for hot chocolate?
I guess this is written in the stars :-)
I've often popped in here for coffee at the weekend as it tends to be a bit quieter than the rest of George Street. It is a stunning building and correct me if I'm wrong, a former bank? Anyway I've never been for dinner (yet) but the menu always looks tempting.
Last night a small posse of us trooped in for hot chocolate. It won't be the cheapest hot chocolate in town but it is bloody awesome. A cup full of melted chocolate with milk on the side - I went hardcore and passed on the milk. It was fantastic - pure, lush, melted chocolatey goodness and just the treat on a blowy Edinburgh night. Centotre even made us fresh cupcakes incase we wanted some sweet treats (did you think we would say no?!) and even made a GF option which looked exactly the same as the other girls cakes.
So, fab hot chocolate and after this, I really want to go back and have dinner now, with maybe a wee hot chocolate to round off the meal...
Came here for brunch and have to say I was slightly underwhelmed.
The building itself is beautiful, we came here around about 12ish on Saturday so it was quite busy - a good atmosphere.
We both ordered a coffee and a smoothie - my smoothie was great, my friend didnt get the one she ordered and it actually had something in it she is allergic too. Not ideal.
The service was a little chaotic - seemed to lack an idea of who was going where. Then half way through our meal they all vanished for what appeared to be a staff meeting which again was slightly odd.
Our food was pretty good - poached eggs and smoked salmon is always a winner for.
Came here to have breakfast, which was very good. The staff was friendly but a little bit slow. Also, I have to mention the beautiful building and nice interior.
What to do if it is 9pm and you want dessert and dessert only? You go to Centotre!
On arrival our group was greeted by the owner with his elaborate Italian welcoming gestures. I felt special from the get go. he arranged for a table to be cleaned for the 4 of us and ensured we were all comfortable.
The menu was overflowing with many delicious options and the only niggly bit was that one was similarly named and they brought the one my sister did not want. She enjoyed it, but it should have been pointed out. My wife enjoyed the affagato with gusto -hi hi - see what I did there :o)
My sister was highly impressed with the entertaining way they teach you Italian whilst being on the toilet - yes you need to go there to know what I mean , but I promise you it will be entertaining and useful!
In contrast to the attentive service when it came to paying there was not a server to be found, so that dragged the evening a little. When you are a little tired and satisfied this is a little irritating. But we settled the bill eventually and I agreed with my wife we would return for the dessert alone
Picture a café with a high ceiling and add a few more feet - this is a big space in which to serve breakfasts, lunches and dinners to the good folk of George Street. The work gets done in a central island bar, from which a host of hosts roam the space to welcome and serve the mixed clientele.
As others have pointed out in their reviews this is the venue for a weekly social, the Friday morning 'Coffee Morning' phenomenon which draws a rich mix of talented creative, technical and professional types, plus hangers on like me. We are warmly welcomed, cared for, accommodated and looked after. That's before you get to the food and beverage - they're very strong on their black pudding provision and yoghurt smoothies. As the morning progresses the other tables and booths get taken up by families, business meetings and Friday shoppers taking a break from the neighbouring boutiques. It's usually around this time that I decide I really should head to work.
Can't really fault Centotre. (Except perhaps for the price of their orange juice: proceed with caution.)
Repeat after me: 'chen-toh-tray'. Accent the first and third syllables. That seems to roughly be the pronunciation for this venue. It shouldn't have been to difficult to realize that it's Italian for 'one hundred three', the street address here. Duh. Hey - I never said I wasn't dense.
A shockingly sun-drenched Friday morning found me sitting here, surrounded by various marketers and techies, slurping on a big ol' mug of steaming Americano, and later wolfing down a bacon focaccia.
Considering our party took up one massive rectangular table, then later metastasized to another smaller table or two, the staff was considerably patient and accommodating. Not only that, since #EdCM was ostensibly a networking event, everyone traded seats frequently, yet our final bill came out perfectly - no mystery additions and no missing items.
While the most I can report regarding my food was that it was satisfying (because it was)... I'd suggest that the most noteworthy aspects of this joint are the airy high ceilings, the enormous white pillars that stretch from floor to ceiling, and the free wi-fi. I realize the latter isn't an architectural design element, but it might as well be. To me, it's no weirder asking, "Hey, does that place have a roof?" than, say, "So, does that business have free interwebz?"
And to answer your unspoken question, no... I am -not- a cyborg. I just play one on TV.*
* This is a patent lie. I've only played myself on TV here and there. And once on a Margaret Cho DVD. Truth.
Molto bene! vorrei un caffe....one trip to Centotre and not only are you full of delicious coffee but you've brushed up on your Italian skills. Two birds, one stone, this is my kind of place.
And that's the beauty of Centotre; it's everyone's kind of place. Perfectly suited to early morning coffees, afternoon tea or dinner and drinks, the airy high ceilings and friendly staff make this such an enjoyable venue you'll keep coming back. And I love it. It's classy, without being poncey, or snobby and as a consequence I makes me feel good when i go there. It's not like some places which can leave you feeling grubby, used and occasionally even abused. I can recommend breakfast, lunch and dinner here. And drinks too, the watermelon Cosmo is delish.
Centotre is a great Italian restaurant on George Street, it's at number 103, for those of you who don't speak Italian well enough to realise 'Centotre' is 103 in Italian.
Despite the cavernous size of 103, like so many other George Street restaurants it used to be a bank, it has an air of intimacy too.
The owners Victor and Carina are often found in the restaurant, and if you get the opportunity to say hi, are always interested in your opinion.
The food is always prepared with love and attention, served with a smile and utterly delectable.
As I very often tend to do, I have my staple at 103, generally speaking I have breakfast there and my menu consists of:
Bacon & egg focaccia
Fresh mint tea (or sometimes Amalfi tea)
and a Bosco.
Normally, 'my' waitress, Elise will just ask me "the usual?" and then bring it, that's the kind of service level you get, which is frankly amazing especially given the size and popularity of 103!
103 is my breakfast treat, it used to be every Friday, but since my daughter started nursery it's more like every 3rd or 4th Friday. It is not cheap, but it is a treat.
My Adonis and I spent a weekend in Edinburgh and we stayed at the Rutland Hotel. We asked reception what the best Italian restaurant in Edinburgh was and she said Centotre so that's where we ended up.
Kudos to you receptionist lady, I think you may well have been right! Get herself on Yelp & get reviewing!
Centotre is a beautiful restaurant with stunning high ornate ceilings and pillars. In fact the first thing I thought when I walked in was I need to remember this place in case I'm ever looking for somewhere to get married!
We went on a Saturday night and it was jam packed and the tables were a little too close together for my liking. I felt like we were on double date with the couple beside us! The service was still very quick though despite them being very busy and the excellent cocktails and delicious food more than made up for a bit of overcrowding! We shared an antipasti platter to start and it was simply wonderful. I then had the gnocci which was in a rich, creamy, mushroom-y sauce. It was scrumptious but I didn't manage to finish it all as it was extremely filling. My Adonis had a pizza which he devoured heartily! Unfortunately we were fit to burst by then and couldn't manage dessert but we'll definitely be back one day to sample some of the sweet stuff!
I highly recommend Centotre for dinner and it looks like it would make a lovely venue for a special event too.
Yum yum yummy !
Every time i come here ... I am torn between choices on the menu. The pizzas are always delish and i love when they have the Crispy Calamari in!
The cocktails are nice too as well as the hot chocolate and the almighty bacon rolls that I occasionally get when i toddle along to coffee morning on a friday! I usually opt for a cappuccino and not a hot chocolate as i need the kick to wake me up at that time of morning!!
This is always a firm favourite with me as the staff are always nice and the dishes are fresh and clean.
This is one of my top places for a weekend brunch. The eggs Benedict is one of my favourites with a black Americano. Italian style.
They host the Edinburgh coffee morning meetup group on Friday mornings from around 8 till 10, which is well worth attending if you want to meet creative and digital folk ( no they're not robots ) or even other yelpers.
Centotre was one of the first restaurants in Edinburgh that I actually properly noticed giving the experience of eating Italian food a contemporary and trendy edge. There probably are other restaurants in Edinburgh that are Italian, plus modern and fashionable, don't get me wrong, but with Centotre's towering position, housed in a former bank on George Street, it's hard to ignore.
And it shouldn't be ignored, everything about Centotre is worth soaking up, bread and pasta sauce style. I am slightly biased towards anything Italian anyway, but a meal here is always an enjoyable experience, and the spacious booths, nice high ceilings and stylish environment have a part to play in that. Of course, there's no point in sitting in a restaurant just for the scenery, the agenda is high quality Italian food, which is a mix of traditional and contemporary, and whether it's pizza, pasta, or meat dishes you require, Centotre will serve them up in very tasty form. The portions here are generous, so do note this if you're not an eater of large meals, (not a problem for me, it has to be said).
I've been to Centotre for the infamous EdCM for the last few years, almost every Friday morning and I have enjoyed it immensely. The staff are mostly very friendly and courteous with only a few situations where I've had haughty service, however the management are amazing and cannot be faulted. Always happy to smile and say hello, and they remember a face which is good.
Coffees are well worth it here as well as their red and orange breakfast drinks that I can't ever remember the names of.
Excellent for breakfast and for coffee meetings. Some excellent options on the menu. I would suggest the filled foccacia as they are an awesome start to the day! Especially black pudding and poached egg which is now my standard.
My wife and I went here with our 11 month old twins. They were very accommodating and brought us right in. The food was very good and it is a very upscale Italian restaurant regarding portions and presentation. The inside of the restaurant makes you feel like you are eating in an old bank with huge columns all around. A very cool vibe. We sort of dine and dashed as the twins were starting stir but the food was great.
I ordered a clam pasta which was the perfect portion and very clean. My wife ordered the Gorgonzola gnocchi which was heavy (as expected) but delicious. A definitely must try if you are looking to break away from the heavy traditional Scottish food.
Friday morning, 8AM, this place fills up with the tip-top local entrepreneurs. Geek types. Internet rock stars.
That's why I came here.
I stayed for the coffee. The tea. The bacon sandwiches.
(OK, the tea's not the best you can find in Embra, but it's loose leaf and still pretty damn good. The coffee and bacon sarnies... well, those are pretty feckin' fab)
Super organised friendly awesome staff-types.
I can't speak for much else... but if you can breakfast me properly, I'll trust you with other bits, too.
Centotre is a little style over substance for my liking. That's not to say that the dishes are insubstantial, because they are often quite the opposite, with some particularly rich and heavy dishes on their menu. But while I liked the venue, the quality of food just didn't have much of a wow factor. For me, there are many better Italian's to sample in our fair city.
Overall, we said: "I like Centotre's shtick, the room is super-stylish, but their food still doesn't quite win me over. It's a little over-priced, but you're paying a premium for the location and the stylishness, so I don't have a problem with that. Perhaps it's just that Edinburgh is blessed with some extremely good Italian places, some of which represent my favourite places to eat in the city. Whatever the case, it's unlikely you'll be let down by what Centotre has to offer, but equally it's unlikely to set your pulse racing."
We very much enjoyed centotre and will be back. The food was delicious, the staff was very nice, helpful and the right amount of attentive, and the building is very interesting. Great for a date night or get together with the girls.
There's something to be said about going to a restaurant and being welcomed as a friend. I had been traveling for 6 weeks, and returned to Centotre for the morning event held there ever Friday (The Edinburgh Coffee Morning - EdCM) - and was welcomed by smiles, kisses, hugs and handshakes from staff and owners.
Being recognised by staff at a restaurant is something that takes effort - the staff have to pay attention, and you can't force that. Friendliness can't be forced either. But it also requires something else - longevity. Indeed, I recognise now that there isn't a big staff turnover here - they like working here. That makes the experience even more special.
NOT a BREAKFAST place despite the ranking in yelp for breakfast. I had a salami mozzarella panini which was good but no breakfast items on the menu.
What can I say on top of my other reviews? I really only update a business I've reviewed before because whilst on my first visit my socks were blown off, the second or third time around, even with such high expectations, next it is my shoes. It's like a sumptuous, foodie version of strip poker. Dare I go for dessert to see what might be next?
Anyway...how did that happen? Back to the point. Centotre is an Italian restaurant on George Street, but as I said in my previous review it has something different about it. It's not standard, generic Italian fodder. The owners, Victor and Carina, are supporters of the Slow Food movement. It told me so on April's lunch menu. This means they are all about good food, with only the best ingredients, prepared, cooked and to be enjoyed with the utmost passion. And if you can rise to that final challenge, they'll certainly deliver on all the others.
But wait, April's lunch menu you say? Yep. They must change the menu monthly, but not just hand-writing in on A4 pages. The menus that are presented are impressive A2 sized, printed and beautiful. So they go to this much effort for a paper menu monthly? This is because they have featured dishes reflecting the local Scottish produce at the time. Mix this up with the imported Italian olive oils, balsamic vinegars, lemons, herbs and it makes for a simply stunning dish (whatever you order).
Mine was the sea bass with cherry tomatoes, caper berries, olives. (see uploaded photo). Oh my word. The portion was impressive yet also modest enough that I didn't feel like a pie. Maybe it's because it was mediteranean cooking that all the health folk, doctors, dieters and all the beautiful mediteranean folk themselves advocate. Fresh meat (the fish, oh the first), fresh vegetables, in a delicious mix of olive oil. A lot of olive oil but so light it wasn't 'oily'.
The price for lunch, £15.95, is more than a lot of people might pay for a sandwich. Business lunches and special occasions perhaps? But you are getting every single pennies worth, and then some.
Centotre is hands down one of my favourite restaurants in Edinburgh, and I can't wait to see what May's menu will bring.
Can I review a place having only eaten breakfast there? Well I'll give it my best shot...
Centotre (which is Italian for 103) is a wonderful italian restaurant on George Street, as I've only eaten breakfast there I'm guessing its an Italian mainly due to;
a) its name
b) its Italian owners
c) the fact it has learn Italian audio playing in the toilets.
The breakfast here is amazing. My fare of choice is a bacon and scrambled egg focaccia with breakfast tea. Lunch is unnecessary after eating breakfast here as I'm generally stuffed until at least dinner time. I keep meaning to try the waffles but as our server Elise will usually greet me with 'morning Kelly, the usual?' I'm easily swayed back to bacon and eggs out of sheer familiarity.
Will someone please come with me for dinner so I can try some of the proper Italian food on offer please, its so depressing that I haven't tried it yet.
Great restaurant with lovely, friendly and helpful staff. I haven't had a bad meal in here, though I've only sampled breakfast and some of the most stupendous and spectacular desserts.
Nice atmosphere and stunning building - look at the ceiling to see all the corniced delights and details. It's a very pretty place indeed.
Best kept secret of the entire place? The most incredible hot chocolates. They have the consistency of melted dark chocolate - when you dip your spoon in the chocolate coats it from top to bottom. How many hot chocs from Starbucks do that?! Legendary.
I dunno why I'm leaving off the final star... It's a really good place. I wonder if it's because I haven't had a full meal here?
This place wasn't exactly bad, but I still wouldn't say it's anything to tell your friends about.
I was taken out for dinner here, and although the food was nice, 'nice' is about as excited as you could get about it, especially given the prices. I had a linguine dish, covered in what was essentially nothing more than tomatoes, garlic and chicken, but it still cost almost £11. Similarly, my dad's spaghetti with mussels in a white wine, cream and parsley sauce was nice but not exactly hugely original.
Call me old fashioned, but to me an italian restaurant should have some degree of character or rustic charm to it. If not, it should be really good value, or at least something so tasty that it stands out from all its rivals. When it has none of these things, you can't help think that it's kind of a disappointment - no matter how trendy or 'George Street' it may be.
They have a blackboard outside announcing to the world that they do the best cupcakes and cocktails in the world. Whether or not that's true I don't know, what I do know is that their pizzas/pastas certainly aren't the best. Don't get me wrong, they're good, they're just nothing more than that.
I agree with Fiona - it's not bad, but it's not great either.
Centotre is sort of like the sheepish kid in the back row not really saying much while all the big kids shout and play. How's that for an analogy!!
Everything is very samey samey. The decor is lovely though, they have the circle theme throughout, and bright, bold panels of pink. They have great cocktails though, and the staff take their duties very seriously.
They always have lots to do though - I think they try to make up in entertainment what they lack in va va voom. Check out their website for all the latest events!
The website is brilliant too - they have heaps of cocktail recipes and a good sense of humour.
This place used to be a bank so has those awfully high ceilings and grand scales that many of the properties in the new town have. So ambience is at a high.
They serve clean, fresh Italian food which is priced above average.
However, the service was pretty terrible and the excuse of 'it's the festival' doesn't really work.
Should do better.
Pretty much worst Italian ever. Calamari, seafood selection were terrible and even after we complained a out the lentil soup there was no action taken. Avoid this overpriced joint!
I went here for a relaxing and intimate dinner. Had a few glasses of remarkably good italian wine (the list is almost all italian, bar some Champagnes).
We ordered the calamari and the bufala to start, both of which were wonderfully tasty (they give an ENORMOUS portion of bufala which I, of course, ate the entirety of).
For mains we had the Branzino and the Cod. Again, really large portions-which make the prices very reasonable. I personally preferred the Branzino but both are highly recommended.
Also worth mentioning is that they have an extensive gluten free menu, including gluten free pastas and pizzas (from maize and rice flours if I remember correctly).
Drawbacks: horrifically gaudy decor. They could do so much more with the unique high-ceilinged space they have, but that is not enough to put you off the food :)
i love birthdays! i love friend's birthdays even more! and i love friend's surprise birthdays the most really!! so saturday night, the boyfriend and i headed here to celebrate my friend's birthday by surprising her with a birthday dinner that had been organised by her thoughtful boyfriend.
on arrival we were the first, so had the choice of seats at a long table towards the back of the massive dining area. i do love that this place has huge high ceilings and loads of space with a fancy tiled floor, but the structure of the building does lend itself to being a bit noisy when all the tables are full up. not a problem for our party as we made just as much noise ourselves.
after being seated and a few more friends arrived we ordered some drinks that were swiftly brought just in time for the birthday girl to arrive, be surprised, and sit down! we turned our attention to the menus after this and i found it particulary nice that they appear to change the menu on a daily basis. they had a special offer on for january calling it the 'skinny january menu' both due to the price (£17.95 for three courses) and the lower calorie content of the items available. i'm not down with a skinny january so opted for the regular menu of which i ordered a spaghetti cabonara and a shared antipasti platter to start with. i also indulged with a few glasses of prosecco that was lovely, fizzy, and had just the perfect amount of sweetness.
starters arrived and my shared option was just the perfect size for two! the fresh tomatoes were delightful and the parma ham was tangy and salty and went perfectly with the fresh mozarella that was so incredibly delicious i probably could have eaten my weight in it!! mains were next and my spaghetti cabonara was one of the best i've ever had. it didn't have cream which helped keep it light, but there was loads of parsely, parmesan, and pancetta to satisfy and i happily ate the lot. it was delicious, so much so that i'm craving it right now as i recount this experience!! i also tried a bit of the boyfriend's veal which was lovely and tender.
i was thankful that my main had left me room for dessert and that my boyfriend will always help me indulge by spilting a sweet with me. we went for the apple crumble which was served with fresh whipped cream and was just the perfect pudding for a cold nice. it was nicely spiced with loads of crumble on top, just the way i like it.
the food here was amazing, there is no doubt of that. but i couldn't give this place five stars and that's due to the waiter. when we first sat down we had a very nice obliging waiter that was friendly and helpful. he must have finished his shift at some point because when it came time to order dessert a new waiter arrived who was pushy and arrogant and seemed annoyed that we were enjoying each other's company by talking and not immediately deciding what we wanted from the menu. he basically acted like he was too good for his job which just really annoyed me. so due to his attitude i had to knock a star off as waiters should never be arrogant to a customer let alone a group of customers that paid for a £400 bill.
i will be back to Centotre as the food was just divine! i just hope mr rude waiter has the day off....
Very good Italian food in an unusual high ceilinged restaurant, which looks as though it was probably a bank or similar in the past.
Friendly efficient service and often live music
Not as expensive as you might think.
(The background music in the toilets includes a lesson in Italian vocabulary!)
Popped in for dinner last night (Saturday). Great food (bresaola, gnocchi and pizza), great service, and great grappa. It was pretty noisy but it was peak time on Saturday night. The space is remarkable, high ceilings, cool paint and lighting.
Bloody Mary: delicious
1. Warmed Foccacia w/pork sausage, mushrooms & 2 poached eggs: great dish! Butterflied the pork open & put the poached eggs inside the sandwich. Definitely a fork & knife dish.
2. The full Scottish breakfast (2 fried eggs, ham, sautéed mushrooms, black pie (known as haggis/blood sausage), grilled tomatoes & toast): My husband ordered this as I was a bit skeptical on the black pie portion of the dish, but it was awesome!! We ended up splitting both meals b/c they were so good.
Cool atmosphere & decor inside.
First off, on the expensive side of life. My wife and I shared a starter, had two mains, two coffees, a dessert, and a pint and the bill came to 60 pounds, about $90. Not too bad considering this was the best meal we had in Scotland over the past two weeks. The atmosphere is quiet and the restaurant decor is impressive. The service was great. We shared the antipasto. My wife had the ravioli and I had the Contadino which was a sausage and Orecchiette pasta in a cream and Parmigiano Reggiano sauce. Excellent. I would recommend for that special time.
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