You can say that Armando was destined to spend his life in the restaurant industry. He spent the first few years of his life in the Kitchen with his aunt in Portugal. She literally spent the entire day in the kitchen with Armando on the floor beside her. Armando credits this emersion in cuisine as the reason for his lifelong passion for food and the hospitality industry.
Armando Mano moved from Portugal to Toronto at the age of 14. His first job was working at his Father’s restaurant on College at Augusta, apply named O’Petisco or the English equivalent of Amuse Bouche.
Armando ventured out of the roost landing at Telfers, the famous King West eatery, where he worked 7 years under the tutelage of Joseph Toonen. He still credits Mr. Toonen for much of his hospitality foundation; even if his teachings were at times unorthodox. After a brief stint at Pronto, Armando landed a serving job at Le Copain, his last before joining Centro Grill and Wine Bar in 1990.
Hired first as a buss person in the main dining room, he was promoted shortly afterwards to server. It didn’t take Armando long to impress Franco Prevedello and the management. He was made ‘Wine Bar’ manager in 1991. After 5 years managing in the Wine Bar, Armando moved into the dining room and eventually became General Manager of Centro Restaurant.
Nearing the end of 2005, Armando and his partners bought the controlling shares of the restaurant. On January 1st, 2005 Armando realized his longtime dream and became owner / operator of Centro Restaurant & Lounge.
A member of the International Sommelier Guild, recently Armando has been travelling extensively in the great wine regions of Italy, his native Portugal as well as California seeking out new and exciting wines to bring to the loyal client base at Centro.
This past April Armando was bestowed the greatest honour of his career by the Ontario Hostelry Institute when he was the recipient of the 2011 Gold Award for Independent Restaurateur.