Central Bistro: Inspired French/Italian

by Mike Hunter

Central Bistro


At Central Bistro, the new modern French and Italian eatery located at 32nd Street and Camelback, it’s all about handcrafted pastas, fresh-made dishes and quality foods to please the most sophisticated palette.

Built to suit its owners’ concept of a comfortable, modern space, warm with the latest in décor and an open kitchen floor plan, Central Bistro sits in the spot of the famed Zen 32, which was such a popular sushi night spot for years. Completely redone and featuring the latest trends in design and restaurant/bar floor plans, Central Bistro will, no doubt, become the local upscale hang out.

For lunch, diners can rely on a menu dedicated to flavor and comfort, made up of local purveyors’ ingredients and creations that have long been favorites among foodies. Starters include fried calamari, tuna tartare, steak tartare, a fois gras mousse and other French-Italian goodies. The main dishes include wood-fired pizzas made in the Mediterranean tradition of thin and dense crust with ingredients that come together to delight. Try the Gorgonzola & Prosciutto with white sauce or the Duck Sausage with red sauce. Paninis are a favorite at lunch as well. The Croque Madame is based on the classic Monsieur with a twist. Pastas are handmade and are inspired by authentic Italian recipes. The gnocchi with fried sage is a light yet creamy dish that has become a house favorite. Other delicate but intense dishes include the tagliatelle with forest mushrooms, white wine and truffled cream sauce.

The atmosphere is sophisticated casual with a warm simplicity that makes the space very airy and inviting. The dining room is open to the exhibition kitchen replete with modern accoutrements, and the sense of openness in the bar area is accentuated by the windows surrounding it. A spacious terrace is built off of the bar, making for a fun space to gather. Servers are well trained and, at lunchtime, work hard to get patrons through their meal feeling well-served and informed.

Central Bistro
3160 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix
(480) 646-8560

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