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Reviewed February 4, 2004   »   32avenue.com   |   justin-cheung.com     

Centro Grill & Wine Bar

2472 Yonge St. - Yonge & Eglington, Toronto, Canada
Champagne Risotto | with forest mushrooms & roasted quail, $20. A little too mushy for a risotto, I thought, and that affected the presentation as well. The champagne taste was very light, not too overbearing, and the quail was superb, very full-bodied flavour, juicy and tender. Portions were above average. Overall, a decent appetizer.

Roasted Butternet Squash and Crispy Quebec Foie Gras Ravioli | with porcini truffle cream sauce, $21. I've become very discriminating when it comes to foie gras. In this case, it was only average. Portions were small, but that's to be expected considering the quality; but I would've expected more stuffing in the ravioli, albeit it was still good overall. The truffle cream sauce gave it a nice sweet taste. A decent appetizer.

Braised Beef Shortribs | with Yukon gold potato puree and organic vegetables, $31. Presentation was nice, but taste wise, this was a little disappointing. Its rough texture and somewhat tangy taste reminded me more of caribou than beef, but at least the portions were decent. Very below average entree.

Lemon Spiced Atlantic Salmon | with crushed potato, shallot confit with a thai coconut emulsion, $37. One of the better salmons I've had, with very decent portions for an entree. It was very smooth and tender; there wasn't much sauce, but you definitely didn't need it - it was already full of flavor. However, the "crushed potato" was nothing more than diced hash browns, which left a little to be desired. Overall, above average entree.

Tiramisu | Trevian dessert of mascarpone cream layered with espress-marsala soaked savoiardi, $10. Very pleasant tasting, light and fluffy, not overbearing in its alcohol content. The strawberry garnishings added to the immense flavour. Great dessert, one of the better tiramisus.

Orange Pastry Cream Tartlet | with cranberry compote and a grand marnier anglaise, $10. An interesting and unique dessert. Definitely one to get if you're into tangy and slightly sour desserts. The sweetness content wasn't too over the top, the cream was very smooth. The shell would be my one complaint, as it made things a little difficult to eat since it was a little too hard.

Conclusion: Service was great, very polite, very attentive to detail, always making sure things were alright, topping up my Perrier glass before it was even half empty. Only one of a very few restaurants that take the detail of wiping crumbs off the table in between courses, which is a really nice detail. However, they did mix up our appetizers, in what was the only blip to the service all evening. Ambience was okay, but the giant pictures plastered on the wall took away from it some, as it definitely did not flow with the restaurant design and was too loud and distracting. They served complimentary flatbread with hummus, which was a pleasant surprise. Even though I was a little harsh when evaluating individual dishes, I have to admit I had a relatively satisfying dinner at the end of the meal. I went in with lowered expectations due to Toronto Life's harsh rating; in fact, Toronto Life had ranked this restaurant on par with Urban, which is borderline criminal. Centro pleasantly surprised me by being a world better than Urban. However, based on the normal dining prices, I would probably not return unless it was a very special occasion. They have valet parking available, but there's a Green P parking lot just around the corner that's cheaper if you don't mind walking 20 paces.

3.4

Justin's out of 5.0

3.8

Adrian's out of 5.0

noteworthy
service


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