Nestled in the foothills of Northern California’s Sierra Azul mountain range lies Los Gatos. The statues of stone cats sprinkled throughout Los Gatos’ downtown serve as a friendly reminder that the town is named after big cats (settlers often heard mountain lion growls at night). Today the only growling you’ll hear are the engines of high end cars zipping by on their way to a coveted reservation at Manresa, which recently received its third Michelin star …but Manresa isn’t the only culinary star in this town.
Centonove is a magical spot where the servers know your name after just a few splendid visits. (Amazing staffers, like Carlos and Jose, are just one of the many reasons Centonove is a standout.) As soon as you enter the cozy restaurant, the smell of fire in a wood burning stove greets you. Inevitably fresh warm bread will arrive promptly on your table.
The pappardelle arrives piled high in sensuous swirls of aromatic beef and pancetta bolognese. This is Centonove at its best.
One of the best things about Centonove (which means 109 in Italian after its street number) is its Tuesday night special. Every Tuesday you can snag 50 percent off of all Italian wines Centonove sells by the bottle. Such a steal. Every Monday they have a two for one special on their Margherita pizzas and there are also various happy hour specials available throughout the week.
The atmosphere in the restaurant is buzzy, but well lit and quiet enough for you to hear whomever you’re grabbing grub with. If the tables are full, don’t hesitate to pull up a stool at the chef’s counter where you can watch Centonove’s talented cooks whip up tasty dishes right in front of you.
Whatever you do, save room for dessert. Centonove’s house made pizza stuffed with Nutella and topped with vanilla gelato is amore for your tummy.
It should come as no surprise that Centonove is flourishing in Los Gatos. Both of Centonove’s owners, Lisa Rhorer and Pasquale (Pat) Romano are also the co-owners of Cin-Cin, another popular South Bay restaurant and wine hot spot. Centonove’s menu does rotate from time to time which can lead to a bit of withdrawal. (Each time we visit Centonove we shed a tear for the delicious arancini that used to be on the menu when the restaurant first opened its doors. We keep hoping that one day they’ll magically re-appear on the menu.) Centonove is a staple for us because of its delicious dishes, the warm staff, the great wine specials and its quaint atmosphere. We hope to continue to be regulars at Centonove for many more years to come.
109 West Main Street
Los Gatos, California 95030
Hours: Monday Through Thursday 5:00pm to 9:30pm, Friday and Saturday 11:30am to 10:00pm and Sunday 11:30am to 9:00pm
Phone: (408) 384-4007
Pricing: Pizzas $14.00 to $17.00 each (certain varieties are $5.00 to $6.00 during happy hour at the bar counter from 5:00pm to 6:00pm on weekdays), pastas $13.00 t0 $24.00, desserts range from $4.00 to $8.00, wines by the glass are around $9.00 to $15.00 (and are 20 percent off on weekdays from 8:00pm to 9:30pm), wine flights are $17.00 and bottles can range anywhere from $36.00 to $130.00.