Centro, the old-school Italian power restaurant at Yonge and Eglinton, is closing on March 2, and owner Armando Mano is opening up a more casual (and less expensive) restaurant in its place. Executive chef Symon Abad and general manager Jeremy Geyer are staying on, but the menu, name and decor are changing. “After twenty-five years in business and some serious thought, we decided we needed to change to keep up with the changing neighbourhood and the younger demographic,” said Mano. Over its quarter century, Centro’s kitchen saw an impressive roster of Toronto chefs pass through, including Michael Bonacini (Oliver and Bonacini), Marc Thuet (Thuet Fine Foods), Chris McDonald (Cava), David Lee (Nota Bene) and Frank Parhizgar (Frank’s Kitchen), although the atmosphere and cuisine had become a little out of step with the current vogue for mid-priced rustic Italian restaurants. The new restaurant is going to focus on—what else?—rustic Italian pastas, as well as pizzas from the new wood-burning oven, both in the $21–$26 range—a far cry from Centro’s current $36–$48 mains. The new name is going to be announced on March 21, and the restaurant is slated to open on April 8.
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