About Cento

122 W. Mifflin St.
Madison, WI 53703
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Chef Giovanni Novella focuses on local ingredients and authentic Italian preparation methods with a modern twist. Translating to “100″ in Italian, the significance behind Cento’s name (pronounced Chento), lies in our location.

Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Italian, Wine Bar, Pizzeria

Hours of Operation:
BRUNCH: Saturday & Sunday, 10 am - 2 pm

DINNER
Sunday, 5 pm - 9 pm
Monday-Saturday, 5 pm - 10 pm
[Bar opens daily at 4 pm]

LATE NIGHT
Thursday-Saturday, 10 pm - 12 am

Cross Street:
Fairchild

Dress Code:
Smart Casual

Price Range:
$31 to $50

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(608) 284-9378

Website:
http://www.centomadison.com/

Catering:
For catering inquiries, please contact Jordan Bright at jbright@foodfightinc.com.

Parking Details:
Cento’s central location on the corner of Mifflin & Fairchild Streets ensures easy access to convenient downtown parking. Two public parking structures adjacent to Overture Center offer more than 1,400 parking spaces. Additional parking ramps can be found on State Street and the Capitol Square, and on-street metered parking is also available for short-term parking in the downtown area. www.cityofmadison.com/transportation/parking.cfm

Executive Chef:
Giovanni Novella

Private Party Facilities:
At Cento, we pride ourselves on hosting spectacular private events. Whether you would like to entertain a select small group, or host a large reception throughout the entire restaurant, Cento offers a number of options suitable for any occasion. We tailor each event to suit your needs, and a dedicated staff will ensure that every detail of your event is attended to.

Experience Cento from within the intimate atmosphere of our second dining room, which can accommodate up to 35 guests. Our second dining room is equipped with a private bar and is perfect for any occasion, whether it"s a business function or a celebration with family and friends, and is situated a few steps up from our main dining room. For larger groups, exclusive use of the restaurant can be arranged for both luncheon and dinner events, with the front lounge and bar as the perfect setting for a reception in advance of a seated event.

Private Party Contact:
Jordan Bright: 6082849378x

Additional:
Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Private Room, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar

Cento Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.5

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.5

service

4.5

ambience

4.5

value

4.0

noise

Moderate

95% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Italian
Wisconsin
Most Booked
Wisconsin
Best Overall
Madison
4 More
Best Service
Madison
Best Ambiance
Madison
Fit for Foodies
Madison
Most Booked
Madison
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Special Occasion (139)
Fit for Foodies (122)
Romantic (71)
See All
Notable Wine List (68)
Good for Groups (53)
Hot Spot (48)
Neighborhood Gem (36)
Great for Brunch (24)
Vibrant Bar Scene (20)
Great for Lunch (17)
Late-night Find (17)
Scenic View (8)
Great for Outdoor Dining (4)
Kid-friendly (2)
Good for Birthdays (1)
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The food gave me food poisoning. Really ...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined 3 days ago

The food gave me food poisoning. Really disappointing

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food2
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First time at Cento and my husband and I ...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined 4 days ago

First time at Cento and my husband and I both enjoyed it very much. The server was engaging, knowledgable and friendly but gave us our space. We had the fried artichokes and tuna for appetizers. We would highly recommend the artichokes but the tuna was too salty. We enjoyed both the Bolognese and the pork pasta dish very much. If you are looking for a bit of privacy and a a lower noise volume, ask for a booth, which is what we did. Only complaint is that our martinis were only 2/3 full. Overall, nice experience.

Tags: Good for Birthdays
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food4
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value5

Food was spot on and dinner experience w ...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined 5 days ago

Food was spot on and dinner experience was great! The four of us desired an after dinner drink in the bar area however, after a 10 min. wait we left and went elsewhere....

Tags: Special Occasion
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food5
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We have dined at Cento multiple times an ...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined 7 days ago

We have dined at Cento multiple times and have never been disappointed. This was the first time that I ordered a pizza and it was beyond yummy! We also enjoyed appetizers . . . dates and the cheese board . . . and both were a perfect start to the meal. We shared a bottle of wine . . . I can't recall the name other than it was a red blend and very tasty. My husband had a pasta dish and cleaned his plate. We ate outside (very urban . . . my only comment is that Thursday is trash night in downtown Madison and the odor was, let me say, obvious). It's too bad that Madison isn't more friendly to outdoor dining . . . it's not Cento's fault but the City could be more friendly and accommodating as to its sidewalk "rules." Otherwise, we enjoyed Cento, as always!

Tags: Notable Wine List, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion
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food5
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Our server was very knowledgable of the ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined 7 days ago

Our server was very knowledgable of the food and wine menu.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Special Occasion, Notable Wine List
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food4
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Our group of 5 ate prior to a concert at ...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on August 16, 2016

Our group of 5 ate prior to a concert at the Overture Center. We were able to get a few drinks off the happy Hour special menu which ended at 6, just before we were seated. W had a booth in the center and our server was unbelievably awesome! She knew her stuff, and the manager made a point to stop at each table and have a genuine conversation. Our server had a great sense of humor, and was quick to return to our table to check on our meals after we were served.

We had 5:45 reservations an it was a relaxing dinner while still getting out on time to get to the show. The noise level was a little high but it was just the acoustics in the building. NO loud music or crazy people shouting- just a lot of excitement of friends gathering- very nice.

Tags: Special Occasion, Great for Lunch, Fit for Foodies, Hot Spot, Good for Groups, Vibrant Bar Scene, Notable Wine List
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food5
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Cento was outstanding! The restaurant wa ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on August 15, 2016

Cento was outstanding! The restaurant was beautiful and the food was delicious. Would highly recommend it.

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food5
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This was not my first time at Cento, and ...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on August 15, 2016

This was not my first time at Cento, and it didn't disappoint. I took some clients there for a business dinner and they loved it.

Tags: Hot Spot, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Romantic
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food4
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Every time we come to Madison from Washi ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on August 15, 2016

Every time we come to Madison from Washington, DC to visit our UWM student, we come to Cento. The food is top notch fresh and well-prepared - really first rate. I especially love the pasta and vegetable dishes. We also always get the butcher board, the charcuterie and cheese selections and fresh, warm bread are delicious and hit the spot after a day of travel. My favorite "nice" Madison restaurant by far.

Tags: Special Occasion, Romantic, Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
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WE HAVE ALWAYS ENJOYED CENTO. THIS WAS ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on August 14, 2016

WE HAVE ALWAYS ENJOYED CENTO. THIS WAS OUR FIRST TIME EATING OUTSIDE. OUR WAITRESS MUST HAVE BEEN NEW EVEN THOUGH SHE WAS NOT YOUNG. NOT ATTENTIVE, NOT REALLY PROFESSIONAL EVEN. SLOPPY WINE POURS AND POURED IN AN UNUSUAL ORDER, OLDEST WOMAN LAST, HUSBAND WHO TASTED THE WINE WAS FIRST. OH WELL.. THE FOOD WAS GREAT, OUTDOORS WAS FUN, ONLY ONE WINE SLOP ON MY PANTS DUE TO THE POUR.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Great for Outdoor Dining, Fit for Foodies
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Beautiful restaurant. The food was okay ...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on August 14, 2016

Beautiful restaurant. The food was okay for 2 diners and not good for the other two guests. The Risotto was awful and regretted not sending it back. No taste. It was a bad description of the dish on the menu and had no taste. Very, very disappointed. Our server was not very attentive and really didn't give us any extra information to help our food selections. Don't think we will be back and sadly when asked about our visit we have mentioned the food wasn't good.

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food2
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We've dined at Cento several times and e ...

vip
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on August 13, 2016

We've dined at Cento several times and enjoyed the best meal yet. Fun atmosphere.

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food5
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A little loud on the main level; if you ...

 
 (Minneapolis)
·Dined on August 13, 2016

A little loud on the main level; if you want it a little quieter ask to be seated upstairs. Pricey but really good food. Great and personalized service.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Good for Groups
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food4
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Sleek, modern decor; friendly, efficient ...

 
 (New York Area)
·Dined on August 13, 2016

Sleek, modern decor; friendly, efficient service from hosts to managers; excellent food and a laid back but sophisticated atmosphere made this a truly wonderful place for a dinner out with girlfriends! Would recommend this to anyone!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Late-night Find, Hot Spot, Romantic
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food5
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Loved the pasta dishes we came for. Ste ...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on August 10, 2016

Loved the pasta dishes we came for. Steaks very expensive given the environment. Server was novice but enthusiastic. We will go back and try other dishes.

Tags: Good for Groups, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies
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I was told there was a new Italian chef. ...

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined on August 9, 2016

I was told there was a new Italian chef. While the pasta with seafood was acceptable, it was not exceptional as I expected it to be. The salad was a real disappointment, as the tomatoes had been refrigerated… A real sin in the culinary world. Also, the lettuce and greens were not very fresh and the dressing was unremarkable. The desserts were slightly above average.

Tags: Hot Spot
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food3
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We visited Cento during a brief stay in ...

 
 (Nebraska)
·Dined on August 8, 2016

We visited Cento during a brief stay in Madison on business. While the decor and finishes of the restaurant were high-end, our meal was not. Beautiful space but it was incredibly loud. I dined with one other person and even at our intimate two-person table, it was difficult for us to carry on a conversation. Larger parties that would be seated with a greater span between guests would not be able to hear each other at all. The service was polite but slow with long periods of time where we wouldn't see our server. We ordered four separate menu items that we asked be brought out individually, however we went a long period with no new dishes, followed by two dishes being brought out together. The wine was tasty but overpriced. The beet dish were fine but nothing special. The fried squid was well cooked and tender, but the paired aioli was too heavy in comparison. The bread was disappointingly not included with meal, but was tasty at three additional dollars. The peak of disappointment occurred with our risotto dish, which was overcooked and flavorless. The notes of walnut and butternut squash mentioned on the menu were relatively non-existent and the rice just turned to mush in your mouth. To boot, it was under seasoned, which only added to the blandness. Despite leaving the majority of the risotto untouched, save for a few bites, our server did not explore any inquiry about its quality. While we had hoped to sample from the dessert offerings at the start of the meal, the quality of food, lack of attentive service and noisy ambiance lead us rather to cut our meal short without any sweet finishes. Overall a very disappointing evening when we had expectations it would be otherwise based on a high rating on OpenTable. I would not return nor would I recommend this restaurant to others who enjoy a tasty and well-executed fine dining experience.

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food2
ambience3
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value1

I can only afford Cento on special occas ...

vip
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on August 7, 2016

I can only afford Cento on special occasions, but it is well worth the wait. I fast most of the day so I have room for their yummy warm olives and homemade sourdough bread, AND one of the great salads (mmmmm roasted brussels sprouts), AND some pasta (Gnocchi just like Nonna used to make!), AND a side (I love the carmelized Fennel), and wrap it up with Affogato. Perfect! Just like dinners I've had in Tuscany.

Tags: Special Occasion, Romantic
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food5
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The food was exceptional, really worth t ...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on August 2, 2016

The food was exceptional, really worth the prices. All the staff was friendly and accommodating. I'd definitely recommend it to friends.

Tags: Good for Groups, Romantic, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot
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Great evening out. Even though heavily b ...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on August 1, 2016

Great evening out. Even though heavily booked the hostess volunteered to move our party to another table if we were not pleased. As it turned out our seating was perfect. I liked the fact that our satisfaction was important......a great start. Our server Lauren was very professional and friendly. As we had dined at Cento previously we knew what to expect food wise and were not disappointed with our great meal. The manager Melanie visited our table to check on us. Again a nice touch to check on our satisfaction. Two of the things we like about Cento are the beautiful ambiance and the affordable wine list. Cento is definitely one of our Madison faves.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Notable Wine List
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food5
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3rd visit to Cento and amazing food. Wa ...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on July 30, 2016

3rd visit to Cento and amazing food. Warm olives are a fav of ours to start with. Artichokes for starters was also a great start too. I sampled almost everyone's dish 😊 and not one dish would I not order from pasta to fish entree. The dessert options were shared and again .....yummy! Blueberry bread pudding to gelato with espresso. A completely enjoyable gastro-phenomenal dinner, plus sharing it all with family and friends puts the cherry on top !!

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food5
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Cento manages to maintain an upscale vib ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on July 29, 2016

Cento manages to maintain an upscale vibe without being intimidating. Food is consistently excellent – the tagliatelle is mind-blowingly good – and the service is outstanding. If you need to move through a meal quickly, they’re very accommodating, but otherwise there’s no rush to clear the table. Cocktails are unique and tasty, so even with a big group, there’s something for everyone.

Tags: Great for Brunch, Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Romantic, Special Occasion, Hot Spot
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food5
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Excellent food as always. However, the w ...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on July 29, 2016

Excellent food as always. However, the waitress didn't bring our sides until after we were finished with our entrees. Great atmosphere and decor.

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Based upon reviews, we visited Cento dur ...

vip
 (Tampa)
·Dined on July 28, 2016

Based upon reviews, we visited Cento during a recent stay in Madison. We have mixed feelings on the overall experience.

We arrived a little early for our reservations, hoping to grab a cocktail at the bar prior to being seated. It was a Friday night and the place was packed. We were very glad we had reservations because we may not have been seated for hours otherwise. We made our way to the bar which was packed as well. It appears a lot of people opt to eat at the bar rather than a table so bar stool options are very limited.

The atmosphere was not what we expected. It was very loud and tight. It almost felt like we were sitting with other tables due to the closeness of our two –top to the 4-top next to us and the large party behind us. Conversation was difficult due to the volume.

We had a little incident where a server walking past me with dirty dishes dropped a spaghetti sauce drenched fork on my back. The manager, Jordan, was helping bus a table nearby and we brought it to his attention. Jordan was appalled at the incident and could not have been more apologetic. Offering to pay for dry cleaning or replacement of my blouse. In the end he actually comped one of our entrees – not necessary but a very nice gesture. He did everything he could to rectify the situation.

Anyway – the food. This is where Centro shined. It was a delicious meal. We started with the Butcher Board – a nice arrangement of meats and cheeses. For entrees we had the Casarecce (lamb dish) and the Orecchiette (sausage). Both were excellent. We also had a nice bottle of wine. Nice selection and very reasonably priced. The sommelier was friendly and knowledgeable and helped us choose a wine that paired nicely with our meal.

So, while we really loved the food, and though the service was good, this just missed the 5 start rating due to the atmosphere and noise volume. That being said, I know we would visit again if in the area.

Tags: Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
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the noise level was very load but the fo ...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on July 28, 2016

the noise level was very load but the food and service was great

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion
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The food was absolutely delicious. Our w ...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on July 24, 2016

The food was absolutely delicious. Our waitress was very sweet and efficient. We very much enjoyed our dinner at Cento!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Special Occasion
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I went to Cento with my wife to celebrat ...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on July 23, 2016

I went to Cento with my wife to celebrate our 6th anniversary. The food was really great, and it was a nice atmosphere (not very romantic, but a nice ambiance none the less). Our server was attentive. It was very cool to see the appetizer prep station out in front of the kitchen. Our meal was very well priced, with a shared appetizer, two pasta entrees, and a shared dessert coming in at around $40.

It would be a great place to have a large get-together (of people that are all at least 10 years old - no kids menu here).

Tags: Great for Brunch, Special Occasion, Hot Spot
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Friendly staff, great location, amazing ...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on July 23, 2016

Friendly staff, great location, amazing food and a fenomenal experience.

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Loved this place... Can't wait to go bac ...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on July 22, 2016

Loved this place... Can't wait to go back! I am still dreaming about the artichoke appetizer, gnocchi and chocolate cherry dessert! I went with several friends and we ordered a bunch of things and shared them. There was one pizza that wasn't our favorite but everything else was outstanding!!

The atmosphere was gorgeous but not too fancy. Can't wait to go back and sit in one of the big velvet booth The atmosphere was gorgeous but not too fancy. Can't wait to go back and sit in one of the big velvet booths!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Brunch, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Special Occasion, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food4
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Great place to meet friends for really g ...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on July 20, 2016

Great place to meet friends for really good food. Nice service, prompt seating.

Tags: Fit for Foodies
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food5
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Very close to the theatre so that was th ...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on July 15, 2016

Very close to the theatre so that was the attraction but also good food and great service.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Hot Spot, Notable Wine List, Special Occasion
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food5
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We thoroughly enjoyed our dining experie ...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on July 13, 2016

We thoroughly enjoyed our dining experience at Cento. The waitress was very friendly and helpful, the food was fabulous and it's right across the street from the theater! We will definitely recommend this place to others.

Tags: Romantic, Special Occasion
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Cento's has it all; excellent service, a ...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on July 13, 2016

Cento's has it all; excellent service, amazing food, terrific & lively atmosphere, and great wine/spirits list! A truly lovely experience.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Hot Spot, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Special Occasion, Vibrant Bar Scene
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We enjoy dining here before Overture eve ...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on July 12, 2016

We enjoy dining here before Overture events. Service is always good and we love the food.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion
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food5
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The food at Cento is top notch! Excelle ...

 
 (Minneapolis)
·Dined on July 10, 2016

The food at Cento is top notch! Excellent ingredients paired with fantastic preparation. We love the pizzas and pasta. For brunch, the smoked pork Benedict is SO good!

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My boyfriend and I came to Cento on an a ...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on July 10, 2016

My boyfriend and I came to Cento on an anniversary! I had been here for a friend's birthday about a year prior and I suggested that we go. I was a little nervous that he wasn't going to like it because he can be a bit picky but the minute we got in he said that he "loved the ambiance." Our food was so delicious and I was just as impressed as I had been the first time I went!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food4
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service5
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Loved it the food the service the atmos ...

vip
 (Chicago)
·Dined on July 9, 2016

Loved it the food the service the atmosphere. All great. Highly recommended. The pizzas and pastas were wonderful. Salads also very good. Great wine list

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Hot Spot, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion
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food5
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I dined at Cento recenlty with a friend. ...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on July 8, 2016

I dined at Cento recenlty with a friend. We shared the Brussel Sprout Salad to start and it was delicious. My friend ordered the risotto but found it be much cheesier than expected and too much so for her taste. I had the lamb pasta which was very tasty. Our waitress was on top of us too much at the beginning of the meal but then was MIA after that -- fortunately the manager stopped by and was able to get us the bread that we'd requested about 15 minutes before -- I could see the bread and had been tempted to just go get some myself! Granted it was a Friday night but still ... plus, beware, the acoustics are not great and it was VERY loud at our table (perhaps the booths are quieter?).

Tags: Fit for Foodies
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food4
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The risotto was excellent, the huge side ...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on July 7, 2016

The risotto was excellent, the huge side of sauteed mushrooms elevated it to sublime. Good pizza, the pasta sauces rich and layered with flavor.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Hot Spot, Special Occasion
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We always enjoy dining at Cento. Everyt ...

vip
 (Los Angeles)
·Dined on July 4, 2016

We always enjoy dining at Cento. Everything came out quickly and at proper temp. Only criticism I have is that everything was a little under seasoned for our liking. Service was cordial and professional. Menu is very diverse. We keep saying we need to come back more often....and we will.

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