Josh: Centro is the best restaurant in Des Moines. You don’t need a reason to go. You just do it.
Grace: Centro is…incredible. Also, it was the weekend before Valentine’s Day. Also also, it was the weekend before our 6 month wedding anniversary. Unlike Josh, I feel the need to relentlessly justify spending this much money on a meal. So there you have it. Special times.
Josh: We started off with free bread. You know you’re in a fancy restaurant when they give you bread…for free. I also love that they give you olive oil to dip the bread in instead of butter. Olive oil > butter. Easy.
Since it was a fancy date night, I had to order a drink. I ordered my favorite drink (besides fruity, frozen drinks of course) and got a Jack and Coke. It was refreshing and wasn’t watered down like some unfortunately are. It was good and I only had one. Responsible driving is sexy, people.
We then ordered Crab Cakes for an appetizer. Our great friends Nick and Megan raved about them and these cakes lived up to the hype. They were so good and they were sadly better than the crab cakes we had on our honeymoon in Florida. Damn tourist traps…
I ordered Chicken Francese which included two battered chicken breasts, lemon butter sauce, and fettuccine Alfredo. This is one of my favorite meals in Des Moines. Everything about it is so good and I’ve ordered it almost every time I’ve come here. I honestly need to try something new but I keep coming back to this. The flavors are boastful and the lemon, chicken, and Alfredo sauce work so well together. It’s fantastic.
I usually eat all my food. What are leftovers? But it was Valentine’s Day weekend and I needed to save room for some action later on.
Dessert Action! We NEVER order dessert (mainly because I stuff myself until I can’t move because quantity > quality) but I decided to take one for the team. It was date night after all.
I ordered Creme Brulee. It had a chocolate filling and had an orange flavored biscotti with it. The biscotti wasn’t great (though I think all biscotti is total garbage so don’t take my opinion literally). Otherwise, the Creme Brulee was fantastic and I’m glad I saved room for dessert. It was a kickass meal.
Grace: Fancy dinner = W I N E T I M E
Really, any dinner = wine time, let’s be real, but I digress.
I enjoyed a Malbec. I don’t remember what it was called (I’m a bad wino) but it was very delicious. I’m trying to learn more about wine so that I can speak about it in an articulate way. I’m not there yet, but I will say this: I really enjoy South American wines, and this one was good.
Josh covered the bread – who doesn’t love bread? Especially when it’s South Union Ciabatta bread. Mmmm…
We shared an appetizer of crab cakes, as you read above. I agree with everything Josh said. Most of the food we had on our honeymoon was out of this world, especially the seafood, but my first experience with crab cakes was a deceiving touristy bar and I’m pretty sure they were frozen. Sad!
These were incredible; flaky on the outside, warm on the inside, with a delicious aioli to dip it in. They managed to be fresh and light, even for their size, and I didn’t want them to end. PLEASE get them when you go, and thanks again to Nick & Megan for the rec!
My main dish was Chicken & Prosciutto Pasta. Ohhh baby. Penne pasta, chicken, prosciutto, tomato, and parmesan cream sauce; it was truly so delicious. It’s easy to dry out chicken when you’re cooking with it, but this was wood-grilled and so tender. The portion was also very generous and I wound up taking about half of it home.
Because, I, too, enjoyed a dessert…
This MONSTER is George’s Marshmallow Sundae. The best way for me to describe it to you is to say that it is a fancy Peanut Buster Parfait (and that is not a bad thing). It had layers of vanilla ice cream, chocolate brownie, and peanuts, with chocolate ganache drizzled inside the glass and a marshmallow brûlée on top. I ate it all.
Atmosphere, Service, Price
Grace: Centro is sexy. There are white-clothed, candlelit tables, a swanky lounge, vintage prints on the walls, and low lighting. It’s a great date night spot. We don’t get to go that often (it ain’t cheap!), so it’s a fun treat, and you definitely get what you pay for. The service is excellent!
If you are planning on going, I’d recommend saving up (or just being richer than us, good for you!) and going all out – drinks, apps, desserts, the whole 9 yards. It’s a great experience and a chance to try a lot of great offerings.
Josh: Like Zombie Burger and Gateway Market, George Fomaro has some of the best restaurants in Des Moines. In my opinion, this is his best. The food is outstanding and the venue and staff are top notch. This place is a tad pricey but it’s worth every penny. Though I think Centro is the best restaurant in Des Moines, I’m always hoping something else will “wow” me just as much.