Centro Will Be Reincarnated In All Its 1990s Glory

Rosebud Restaurants, the original owners, are bringing Joe Farina in for Italian classics at State and Hubbard.

photo: Marcela Hudson 

Joe Farina, executive chef of Rosebud Restaurants.

Like an Italianate Doctor Who, Centro (6 W. Hubbard St., 312-988-7775) is returning. The onetime River North hotspot, originally at 710 North Wells Street, will be reincarnated by its original owners, Rosebud Restaurants, in a space that housed the short-lived Eatt and Bar Umbriago. (Careful Dish readers will recognize Centro’s reappearance as the recto to Domestic’s verso.)

Joe Farina, the executive chef of the Rosebud group, has designed a menu of Italian classics, marrying Rosebud staples such as his eggplant salad and Mama’s Meatballs with new creations along the lines of a meatball in white bean-escarole sauce. An airline chicken breast pounded thin to cover a plate can be ordered parmigiana, milanese, cacciatore, or oreganato.

Big (190 seats inside, 25 outside) and open late (kitchen until 1:30 a.m. daily), Centro will shoot for the sceney atmosphere it commanded two decades ago, complete with some of the decor, including a print of a still from The Godfather. Weekend brunch and weekday breakfast will keep things rolling in the mornings. “There is no place in River North where you can get an egg after 10 a.m. on a weekday,” says Yvonne Contreras, a Rosebud spokeswoman.

Well, a few counterexamples spring to mind, but we’re guessing she really meant “an egg plus a giant picture of Marlon Brando.

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