Bars The barbecue chicken pizza from Centro. On Monday night enjoy half-price pizza and Peronis (an Italian beer). Zach Boyden-Holmes/Juice

The barbecue chicken pizza from Centro. On Monday night enjoy half-price pizza and Peronis (an Italian beer). Zach Boyden-Holmes/Juice

Best night at Centro’s bar

Published on October 8th, 2013 | by Joe Stych

Why Monday is the best night at Centro’s bar: Centro stands out as one of Des Moines’ tastiest special-occasion restaurants; everything on the menu is drool-worthy. On Mondays, though, you can enjoy some of the eatery’s tastiest offerings for less thanks to their half-price pizza and Peronis (an Italian beer). That means Centro’s pie selections drop to Pizza Hut prices for seven times the quality, and they offer you a cheap Italian beer to go with it.

The bargain doesn’t make your decision any easier, though: There are 12 house pizzas to choose from, in small and large sizes, or you can create your own using ingredients like red peppers, capers, basil, prosciutto and olives. Any way you slice it, this deal is too delicious to pass up.

The scene: We arrived around 5:15 p.m. to an almost-full bar area, but managed to snag a two-person table to the right of the entrance. Our server stopped by almost immediately with a drink list and pizza menu; she knew exactly why we were there. The beauty of Monday’s after-work timeslot at Centro is that the specials don’t stop at pizza. We made it in the magical happy hour window when martinis are $5 from 3 to 6 p.m., too.

From an atmospheric perspective, Centro’s bar area is more laid back than the regular dining room. Rather than large parties or intimate date-night dinners, the lounge plays host to groups of three or four young professionals, generally co-workers or close friends, meeting up to unwind with a drink after a draining day in the office. It’s a nice change of pace from the regular Centro crowd.

What we got: I ended up with a Peroni, and my guest opted for the Bellini-tini, which mixes Absolut Peach with Prosecco and peach puree for a sweet-and-fruity martini twist. Then came the important decision: pizzas. After narrowing it down we chose to split a small pizza bianco and a small barbecue chicken.

Cheese lovers dream of the pizza bianco. It’s topped with ricotta, Parmesan and mozzarella, and enhanced by an olive oil base and fresh garlic. If you’re into lighter, white sauce pizzas, this is your pie.

The barbecue chicken was just as tasty, topped with caramelized onions, cilantro, chicken breast, barbecue and mozzarella. We managed to scarf down three-fourths of our feast — although we wanted to keep eating — and boxed the rest up for later.

When else to go: Yes, it’s phenomenal, but if you’ve only tried the pizza at Centro you’re missing out. With offerings like handmade cavatelli, ribeye and seared scallops, it’s tough to go wrong on a special night. Or, if an early dinner sounds enticing, you can grab the $5 martini special weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m.


Where: 1003 Locust St., Des Moines

Hours: Lunch: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday through Friday; 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. Dinner: 5-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 5-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 4:30-9 p.m. Sunday

Go Monday for: Half-price pizza and Peronis from 4 to 10 p.m.

Info: 515-248-1780;

About the Author

Joe is a contributor to Juice Magazine.

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