Quick look: Centro Bar & Kitchen

Given a choice of sitting in a parking lot of cars due to a big rig accident or finding something to do to kill a couple of hours, I opted to turn around and have dinner in Reno. Sometimes I am in the mood for the casino buffets, but not this night. Instead I asked my friend, Eileen, for a recommendation. She goes to Reno often and has a good knowledge of the Reno dining scene. She sent me to Centro Bar & Kitchen near downtown. 

part of the menu

Centro is on California, a smaller business street. It occupies a medium sized space that has roll-up garage doors to take advantage of great weather. It has an industrial feel of brick walls, wood, and metal surfaces and furnishing. The bar area is backed with an open kitchen with additional kitchen space hidden toward the back of the restaurant.

The menu features small plates that were hard to choose from. I was by myself, so I could only order two, but so many others interested me. My only thought is I would have liked to seen more vegetable items, like Brussel sprouts or spiced edamame. 

The first choice was the Sticky Ribs. They were fried and then tossed in a thick, sticky coating of a sriracha style sauce and then topped with pickled carrot and chimichurri. I was warned they would be spicy and they were, but nothing I couldn't handle. They were definitely messy, but super tasty and meaty.

My second choice was the Octopus with the black garlic sauce and greens and orange slices. The octopus was cooked well, but I found the garlic sauce overpowering and I would have liked less of it. The salad and orange did help to cut it a bit, but not enough. 

I still needed to kill some time when I checked the accident status of Google maps, so I opted for dessert. I chose the lemon sponge cake with vanilla ice cream and berries. The presentation is lovely, but the sponge cake was dry and dense. Sponge cake makes one envision something light and airy. Not here. 

Now these two last items might make it seem that I wouldn't recommend Centro. In actuality, I'll happily return. I had gotten there early for a Friday and found the staff to be really friendly and great service. As I lingered the place filled to capacity and I was able to watch other dishes be prepared from my bar seat near the kitchen. Every dish I saw pass by looked delicious and people seemed to be enjoying their selections. And, as I mentioned, there were many other items on the menu that interested me. So yes, I do plan to return on a future trip to Reno.