Centro Restaurant and Piano Bar

Centro Restaurant and Piano Bar is the new St. Augustine Steakhouse.  White tablecloths, a baby grand piano and a rose on each table hint at the fine dining experience they promise.  Could they fulfill the expectations they set when I walked in the door?

Centro Restaurant and Piano Bar opens on St. Augustine's plaza.

Elegant without being stuffy... mission accomplished.

Hubby and I popped in late one evening during Centro’s 2nd week open unsure of whether they’d still seat us. Although the last diners were leaving, we were welcomed without hesitation- what hospitality!  Turns out they’re open from noon to midnight daily- it’s nice to be able to order from a full menu late at night.

That dinner menu is short… well, the menu is LONG but only because they used very large print.

Their facebook page describes their focus as a, “chef driven steak & seafood fine dining restaurant. Featuring World cuisine.”  We decided it was too late for a rich Osso Bucco meal -I’ll be back for that- and tried some of the World Cuisine flavors highlighted.

Starter ~ Argentine Empanadas

We vascillated between Argentine Empanadas ($10) and Sicilian Eggplant Caponata ($14) for our starter, finally deciding on the empanadas.  One chicken, one beef, side of chimichurri sauce.

I wasn’t thrilled with these, honestly.  They were both a bit dry.  Though the chicken empanada was more moist and the chimichurri helped in that regard, I wouldn’t order this app again.  Y’all know I hate to say that- but what good is a review if it isn’t honest?

Centro House Salad

My Centro House Salad came next and made up for the empanadas!  I loved the house dressing {can I have that recipe, please Centro!?!} and the presentation was creative- it’s served in a parmesan cheese basket.

protip: Order the Centro House Salad.  It’s tasty! But don’t eat the basket.

I found hubby’s French Onion Soup ($8) to be good but salty.  He raved over it!  He was less thrilled with his beer options.  

Centro has a bar but currently only has their beer & wine license.  They’ve applied for a liquor license and when that comes through, I can see myself relaxing in the “lounge” by the window and enjoying the view of the plaza.  Until then, stick with wine.  There are fewer than 14 beers on the list and not all were available when we were there.

Centro's bar is beer & wine only for now.

So the front of the restaurant boasts gorgeous views of the plaza and the back of the restaurant is dominated by this gorgeous baby grand.  Centro is tagged as a Restaurant & Piano Bar but I’ve been by several times and never seen anyone at the piano.  Growing pains, people.  I’m sure it will all come together… in the meanwhile, if you’re looking for a perfect meal, great service and no hiccups head over to Collage on Hypolita Street.  It remains our fave fine dining option.

When there is a pianist to tickle these ivories, it will add gorgeous ambiance!  Maybe I’ll time my drink in the lounge so I can listen to live music then, too.  Add “people watching on the plaza ” to create a trifecta = guaranteed success. :)

Speaking of people watching... hubba hubba hubby!

Centro is a beautiful restaurant in a perfect location.  It’s nice to have another special occasion restaurant in St. Augustine!  They’re still working out the kinks of a new place, and developing a reliable waitstaff but with warm hospitality and tasty food on their developing menu, I’m hopeful for their success.  We’ll be back!

Centro Restaurant and Piano Bar
17 King Street
(904) 547-2542
open noon to midnight daily 

Centro Restaurant & Piano Bar on Urbanspoon

Comments

  1. Tried calling five times no answer mail box not active. Notary good way to promote a new business

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