So many factors go into making a restaurant experience a genuinely special event: menu selection and quality; consistency; atmosphere; attention to detail; professionalism; and listening.
It’s how Centini continues to earn its 17-year Calgary-area reputation for excellence while transforming every private or corporate experience into a memorable special event.
“Centini is different,” says Chevonne Miller-Centini, co-owner and dynamic driving force behind the popular and iconic Calgary restaurant on Stephen Avenue, “and we work hard every day to achieve that difference…. Aside from the exceptional kitchen and the Centini reputation for exceptional handmade pasta and surprisingly serving more fish and seafood than tenderloin, one of the key aspects that sets us apart is our staff of 20. We’re proud to have the best of the best and our staff is empowered to make the customer happy.”
From king crab sushi wrapped in prosciutto di Parma with spicy mayonnaise, balsamic reduction and leeks; seafood linguine with calamari, prawns, scallops, clams and mussels in lobster broth; potato gnocchi Gorgonzola; 14-ounce milk-fed veal chop; AAA Angus beef tenderloin; black-and-white sesame-crusted ahi tuna; the aroma of the cream, black pepper and vodka of the Romanoff sauce for pasta; to the spectacular risottos, the innovation and culinary skills of co-owner Fabio Centini and the chefs set the incomparable high standards of Centini excellence.
Miller-Centini credits the casually elegant decor, including the eclectic collection of important Canadian art, and is enthusiastically proud of the constantly updated and award-winning wine selection, but points out Centini’s uniqueness is an intricate combination of various factors because creating a mood is a vital part of the dining experience.
“Maybe it’s a casual foursome, a larger retirement party or one of the private rooms being closed off for the privacy of a board of directors dinner meeting, this is an ultimate people business,” she points out. “Our menu is outstanding and our staff are attentive and experienced culinary professionals who work as a team. But so much goes into making absolutely sure that every guest has a special event.
“Whether it’s an intimate, private table for two or a corporate event, service is the key. And part of our secret, special sauce,” she laughs. “To be attentive but minimize interruptions. It’s all about the guest enjoyment. It may be subtle but it matters, a lot. Unobtrusiveness differentiates professional service. It’s a must that we listen for the guest’s needs and details, be attentive and efficient in all we do, not disappear but also not hover. Our professionals just have a sixth sense.”
Miller-Centini acknowledges that as the Centini reputation for menu and service excellence continues to grow, there are important new aspects when it comes to the consumer-driven art and science of food, service and the tricky but critical aspects of making special events happen. “There’s no doubt about it,” she adds. “Social media keeps driving trends and styles and Instagram and Pinterest keep setting the bar high.
“Besides, people have every right to expect that their private or corporate experience be a flawless, special event.”