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“Outstanding Food and Atmosphere”
Review of Centro Restaurant

Centro Restaurant
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Ranked #2 of 574 Restaurants in Des Moines
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $30
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions, Local cuisine, Business meetings, Large groups
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: 10th Street
Description: Conveniently located in downtown Des Moines lives one of the city’s most popular restaurants, Centro. The urban eatery specializes in delicious Italian-inspired food featuring fresh ingredients and masterful preparation by Chef George Formaro. Whether you’re ordering a multi-course meal or grabbing a drink and pizza at the bar, Centro’s lively, casual yet upscale atmosphere makes it perfect for dining with friends, family, clients and business associates.
Rockford, Illinois
Level 6 Contributor
146 reviews
95 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
“Outstanding Food and Atmosphere”
Reviewed September 2, 2013

What a spot! Downtown Des Moine really has a gem with this restaurant. We dined here while visiting our kids in Des Moine, and of course we wanted to take them someplace that I could pick up the tab.

First, great atmosphere - very "big city" for the middle of Iowa. Nicely greeted by the staff, and we found the street level bar and cocktail area very appealing.

The wine selections were very good, as was the menu options. i could have chosen 4 or 5 items I would have like to order. We were a party of 4 and we all had something different, which was fun. In addition we had a antipasto platter as an appetizer, and it was delicious. All of our food arrived very timed, which made for a wonderful evening of family, food, and drink. Our waitress was very good, and seems to recognize we were in no hurry, and tended to the needs of our table very well. Of course desert was outstanding, and we topped it all off with espresso as well.

Wonderful evening, and the only thing I would have done different was to try and reserve a sidewalk table - it was a gorgeous evening, and I wish this restaurant was in my town.

- Warm and friendly atmosphere
- Incredible food
- Great wine selection, and nice pour size

- none really
- not really a con - portions are big, so bring an appetite!!

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank David T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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764 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
South Georgia
Level 6 Contributor
237 reviews
162 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
“Lovely Des Moines Gem”
Reviewed August 31, 2013

I ate here with some girlfriends and was really very pleased with everything!
There is a lovely bar when you first enter with great tables by the window for good people watching. It is also a comfortable place to wait for friends if you are waiting solo.
When we were seated I found the main dining room very pretty and excellent lighting.
The service and food were outstanding. I had been told it was loud in Centro but I did not find it to be a problem. I will go back again when I am in Des Moines.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Bookwoman44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
169 reviews
92 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
“My go-to favorite in Des Moines”
Reviewed August 29, 2013 via mobile

As always, the food, drinks, and service was impeccable at my visit to Centro.

What I love about this restaurant is the fact that they have many many choices, and both casual food (and prices), all the way to "foodie" food, with higher prices.

We started in the bar for happy hour. ($5 martinis before 6:00PM.) The drinks were good, and good sized.

Their pizzas are great, but this visit was more of a special occasion, so my wife & I had the scallops (cooked perfectly), & the breaded Niman Ranch pork chop with fettuccine Alfredo. The pork was a little bland this time, but a great choice, nonetheless.

We had the chocolate marshmallow sundae for dessert---don't miss it.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Midwesternmember
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Des Moines, Iowa
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Great, simply great”
Reviewed August 28, 2013

I found this restaurant here on Tripadvisor. The reviews were right on. My meal was excellent.
I had the crab burger and choose the Centro salad. The crab cake was all crab with a some chopped up veggies and light breading served on a homemade bun. Be sure to order extra aioli sauce, it is fabulous. The salad was a mixture of greens, with pecans, blue cheese, and onions with a house dressing.

The décor is modern. Tables close to one another, industrial pipes showing, but nicely decorated.

My waitress was very efficient and nice and other wait staff were polite and helpful too. I was there just after 1pm, so it was not busy.

And the best surprise of all, was the moderate pricing for the above average quality of food.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank madtravler711
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
567 reviews
231 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 407 helpful votes
“Good atmosphere and decent food”
Reviewed August 26, 2013

We visited this restaurant after spotting it from the free Trolley Bus while visiting Des Moines and after checking it out on TA, decided to return for dinner that night. The restaurant is big and quite noisy but in a good, atmospheric way! We were quickly seated on a busy Friday night and all of the staff were friendly and attentive. As it was the beginning of Des Moines Restaurant Week, the three of us opted for the special menu, which consisted of: 1) Goats Cheese Salad. 2) Loin of Pork on a bed of Potato Mash and some pretty weird, unshelled nut type side dish. 3) Crepes with Pecans. With the exception of the side dish with the main, we enjoyed the meal and the accompanying wine and would return if in Des Moines.

Visited August 2013
Thank travelpassion
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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