"A tavola non-si invechhio."—Italian proverb
Translation: "At the table with good friends and family you do not become old."
We had dinner over the weekend at Centonove with our dear friends, Nelson and Susan Bye. Only in Italian does a street name sound so lyrically romantic and sexy. The word Centonove is a fusion of two words: "cento" means hundred and "nove" means nine or 109.
It was given the Award of Excellence for their wine collection in 2015 by Wine Spectator. Nelson was kind enough to bring a bottle of Andronicus, a Napa Cab blend from his own collection and the waiter, Carlos who served us well was nice enough to waive the corkage fee. The ambiance was lovely. Brick walls, a deli, display of wines, an open kitchen, a beautiful red wood-burning pizza oven, and the place was packed. (see photos).
Centonove sure lives up to their Mission Statement: “... rooted in a passion for transporting our guests to Italy and bringing people together through wine and food.”
It is the creation of Restauranteur Pasquale (Pat) Romano, who holds an undergrad degree in computer science from Harvard and an M.S. from MIT. He made his bones
in the high technology sector in Silicon Valley. You can check out his impressive resume on www.centonovellosgatos.com. His love affair
with food and wine—much like my own—began with his Italian upbringing (his father is Italian-born) that included annual trips to Italy.
His wife Andrea runs the day to day operations of this bustling authentic Italian cafe and retail shop.
Cecile and I shared a Barbabieto: Mixed greens, beets, ricotta, pine nuts, oranges with a vinaigrette dressing. She had salmon
with saffron risotto, fresh vegetables, and gremolata (chopped herb condiment classically made of lemon zest, garlic, and parsley.
Susan and Nelson shared Caesar’s salad and for her entree, Susan enjoyed 2 wood-fired beef & pork meatballs with marinara, fontina, and ricotta.
I’m not much of a red meat eater, I usually order some type of pasta dish but taking our cue from our waiter, Nelson and I each had the special of the day: a 20 once bone-in Rib eye steak with fresh vegetables and, roasted fingerling potatoes. The lean and tender meat is imported from Piedmont, in the northwest, Italy.
Carlos couldn’t have been more charming and entertaining. He really seems to enjoy people “and" his job. He had a nice and clever way of introducing dessert. Instead of asking "would you like to have some dessert," (I think we may have leaned towards saying no, we’re full,) he handed us the dessert menu and said, take a look at our dessert
specials: maybe yes, maybe no…” We said YES and shared a Tiramisu that is made in house and it was out of this world. It was substantially large enough to share—which we did.
Centonove has seven varieties of pizza and a lovely selection of pasta that we can’t wait to try the next time. We walked off our meal in our charming little community of Los Gatos and called it an evening—fully contented.
Ciao and Buon Appetito