Brandwein to Open Centrolina in CityCenter
Chef Amy Brandwein will open Centrolina, a 4,075-square-foot Italian market and restaurant at 974 Palmer Alley in CityCenterDC next spring. Centrolina, Brandwein’s first solo restaurant, will be open daily for lunch and dinner.
Brandwein was chef de cuisine at Alba Osteria in Mount Vernon Triangle. Prior to joining Alba Osteria, she launched her own consulting company, Chef AmyB, and served as executive chef at Casa Nonna. Previously she served as executive chef at Galileo, Laboratorio, Osteria del Galileo and the Galileo Grill. She is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier and Women Chefs and Restaurateurs.
The restaurant will have a 52-seat dining room, 12-seat bar and 32-seat patio. The market will offer a selection of imported Italian specialty items along with meat, fish and produce from local farms, a selection of house-made items and a coffee program.
“Centrolina is directly inspired by a specific type of shopping and dining establishment that I have come to love on my travels through Italy,” said Brandwein in a press release. “From major cities to small country villages, you can find small, combined markets and restaurants, where a huge part of the charm comes from a blurred line between the dining room and the market. I remember enjoying a meal and watching the chef walk from the kitchen to the market to get a scoop of pomodorini for burrata. The magic was in the proximity to both the materials in the market and the craftsmanship of the chef. We’re going to capture that at Centrolina. It’s not going to just be an Italian dining experience or just an Italian shopping experience; it’s going to be a chef-minded Italian food experience.”
Centrolina will feature a frequently-rotating menu of regional Italian with about 15 dishes. The menu will showcase regional dishes depending on the season and what is in the market. Market availability will be the guiding principal of the menu. The market will reflect Brandwein’s own experiences with Italian cooking and the products and produce she loves and uses.
The beverage program will feature an all-Italian wine list that combines imported Italian greats with the best of Virginia, a beer selection that skews local and a short list of classic Italian cocktails given a contemporary twist.
The market will stock imported cheeses and specialty items beside local produce, meat and seafood. Grocery items will include dried pasta from Italy as well as Centrolina’s fresh-made pasta, accompanied by up to a dozen house-made sauces. Italian specialty items will include anchovies, olives, capers, vinegar, olive oil and sweets. Wine and craft beer will also be sold.
The market will include a barista-serviced coffee counter as well as grab-and go lunch offerings like sandwiches, pasta, meatballs and salads.
Brandwein is working with D.C.-based architecture/design firm CORE to create Centrolina’s look. The mainly neutral color palette combines white, cream, grey and blond-wood tones with punches of turquoise, terracotta and fuchsia. Smooth, white metal finishes will join white-painted brick, leather, light wood and polished concrete to create a light and easy Californian aesthetic.
The quick-stop counter and coffee bar will be the first thing customers see when they walk into the market. As they browse the fresh and prepared-food displays, they will find the restaurant and bar space nestled behind. Restaurant guests, with views of fresh market produce, an open kitchen and terracotta-clad pizza oven, will be immersed in the cooking experience as they dine.
Jack Rose to unveil fall menu on Monday
Jack Rose Dining Saloon, 2007 18th St. NW, will unveil executive chef Russell Jones’ new menu at a “Friends of the Saloon” fall dinner menu preview on Nov. 3 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The preview will include a four-course meal along with cocktail and whiskey pairings, specials on popular Southern bites and more. Guests will be served a seasonal fall tasting menu, featuring an amuse, appetizer, salad, main course and dessert for $25. The menu will include new fall creations such as fall root vegetables with baby greens and truffle vinaigrette; shrimp and crab perlou, a hearty jambalaya-style Low Country dish filled with stone crab, shrimp and housemade sausage over dirty rice; grilled venison loin with ratte potatoes and shallot jam; and to finish, pumpkin ginger pie with vanilla ice cream.
Guests also have the choice to add a beverage pairing for only $20, which will include a punch, glass of wine, new fall menu and whiskey.
Snack specials will include paprika and lime-spiced fried chicken skins; smoked whiskey wings glazed with honey, habanero and Old Crow bourbon; fried chicken and Yakitori-glazed liver and onions; clam dip with homemade potato “ruffles” and more.
The restaurant will also offer its a la carte fall menu, featuring seasonal new dishes like Manchester Farm quail with foie gras stuffing, bread pudding and pomegranate molasses; oxtail and bone marrow with marrow beans, parsley salad and a homemade buttermilk biscuit; and the beer brined Amish chicken with pumpkin, spaghetti squash, pumpkin seeds and chicken jus.
Rosa Mexicano celebrates Day of the Dead
Rosa Mexicano is celebrating the Day of the Dead, the traditional Mexican holiday, honoring the dearly departed, with special menu items through Nov. 2.
Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, is a long-standing Mexican custom where families honor their passed love ones with food, drink, decorations and gifts. Rosa Mexicano’s special menu, which is available during dinner only, will celebrate the spirit of the holiday.
The special menu items include guacamole de otoño with pomegranate and toasted pumpkin seeds; enchiladas de mole poblano, two tortillas filled with shredded chicken and topped with mole sauce, onions and queso fresco; buñuelos rellenos, deep-fried vanilla ice cream coated in cinnamon buñuelo crust and served with whipped cream and guajillo-raspberry sauce; and the flor de mezcal cocktail, made with Del Maguey Vida mezcal, agave, orange and lime with a chile de árbol and guajillo chile-salted rim ad garnished with a traditional marigold for Day of the Dead.
Rosa Mexicano has three locations in the DMV: 575 7th St. NW in Chinatown; 5225 Wisconsin Ave. NW in Chevy Chase; and 153 Waterfront St. at National Harbor.
Daikaya celebrates Godzilla’s birthday
Daikaya izakaya, 705 6th St. NW, is celebrating Godzilla’s official birthday on Nov. 3. The restaurant will feature Godzilla-inspired dishes and three specialty cocktails from Nov. 3-Nov 9. Also, on Nov. 3, guests will be able to watch the film beginning at 6 p.m., and it will loop throughout the evening until closing at 10 PM.
Executive chef Katsuya Fukushima’s monster birthday dishes are Gozira Karaage with marinated alligator lightly tossed in potato starch, deep fried and served with a fiery dipping sauce for $9; Bambi meets Godzilla “Tsukune” with grilled elk and pork meatballs dipped in yakitori sauce for $5, and Godzilla’s Pretty Cool, a fire-breathing soft serve Snickers ice cream with Snickers pieces, doused with Japanese whiskey and flamed for $4.
For the perfect pairing, new beverage director Jamie MacBain has created three cocktails for the birthday celebration: King of the Monsters with Nishi Yoshida “kintaro” shochu, Cocchi Americano and Chinese five spice bitters served on a large ice cube with a grapefruit twist; Alpha Predator made with Nikka Taketsuru 12 year old whisky, Cruzan black strap rum, Pierre Ferrand dry curacao and chocolate bitters served up with and orange twist; and the Monster Zero-One with Choya Umeshu, Palo Cortado, Kiku Masamune taru sake and coriander bitters served up with a plum. Cocktails are $11 each.
Et Voila! hosts wine dinner with wines from Chablis
Et Voila!, 5120 MacArthur Blvd. NW in Palisades, will host a culinary journey to Northern-Central France to sample wines from the historic wine-producing town of Chablis starting at 7 p.m. on Nov. 4. Guests can enjoy the light, dry Chablis wines celebrated for their minerality and crisp acidity.
Priced at $79.95 per person, the menu will consist of four-courses prepared by executive chef/owner Claudio Pirollo and pastry chef Alex Malaise, which will be paired with a sampling of France’s finest Chablis.
Chablis, located in Burgundy, is a historic wine-producing town in northern-central France. Chablis wines are made from the Chardonnay and classified into four levels of quality starting from Chablis Grand Cru, which is the highest quality, Chablis Premier Cru, Chablis and Petit Chablis, which is the least prestigious. Chablis are known for their light, dry white wines as well as their minerality and crisp acidity. Unlike most wines produced in Burgundy, Chablis wines are usually entirely free of any oak influence, which produce drier and fresher wines, rather than more weighty and richly flavored typical of Burgundian white wines, which are barrel fermented.
The menu includes a mises en bouche paired with Saint Bris-le-Vineux Sauvignon. The first course is duck foie gras au sel paired with Chablis Sainte Claire. The second course is grilled marinated tuna with smoked tuna sauce and grilled vegetables paired with Premier Cru Cote de Lechet. The third course is Guinea hen ballotine with porcini mushrooms, artichoke and a mushroom sauce paired with Grand Cru Les Clos. The final course is pumpkin gateau basque with sour cream sorbet.
For reservations, call 202- 237-2300.
Blue Duck Tavern hires cheese specialist Sophie Slesinger
Sophie Slesinger has been hired as the cheese specialist for Blue Duck Tavern and Blue Duck Lounge.
A native Washingtonian and second generation Sicilian, Slesinger has been nationally recognized for her knowledge and creativity with cheese. Her appointment falls perfectly as October is “American Cheese Month.” Each evening Blue Duck Lounge features a nightly cheese presentation display showcasing artisanal cheeses and charcuterie sold by the ounce. Slesinger will prepare customized cheese plates paired with house made seasonal chutney and jams.
Slesinger graduated from Emory University in Atlanta with a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology and worked for a season on a farm on Maryland’s Eastern Shore before moving to New York. Here she began learning the art of cheese working as the program director at Saxelby Cheese, under cheesemonger Anne Saxelby from 2011-2013. Slesinger was named to the “30-Under-30: New York City’s Food and World Up-And-Comers” list by Zagat in the summer of 2013. In December 2013, Slesinger accepted the position as the cheesemonger at GCDC grilled cheese restaurant in Washington. She selected the restaurant’s featured cheeses, crafted the evening menu and developed a weekly program focused exclusively on cheese education until accepting her new appointment.
“Cheeses are seasonal,” explains Slesinger. “Guests visiting Blue Duck Lounge this fall will be experience American farmstead cheeses, including alpine varieties with complex flavors, and bigger format cheeses that are matured to reach their ripeness.”
New artisan cheeses that have been added to the fall menu include Harbison, a soft-ripened cow’s milk cheese with a rustic, bloomy rind from Jasper Hill Farm in Vermont; Cabra La Mancha, a washed rind goat’s-milk cheese from Firefly Farm in Maryland; Ewe’s Blue, a semi-firm Roquefort-style cheese made using fresh sheep’s milk from Old Chatham Sheepherding Co. in New York; and Humble Pie, a mixed-milk cheese, combining the milk of East Friesian sheep and cow’s milk, lightly washed with brine and aged to peak ripeness from Woodcock Farm in Vermont. The artisan American cheeses are available nightly from 5:30-10:30 p.m. All cheese is served with bread and garnished to compliment the specific character.
Brothers reunite in the kitchen at Sushiko
Brothers and executive chefs Piter Tjan and Handry Tjan recently reunited to lead the kitchen and sushi bar at Sushiko, 5455 Wisconsin Ave., Chevy Chase.
Formerly, Pieter Tjan was named Sushiko’s head chef in 2008, and Handry Tjan served as his sous chef, before they went their separate ways to expand their knowledge of Japanese food and culture. In 2010, Piter moved to Austin, Texas to work under James Beard Award-winning chef Tyson Cole at Uchi, while in 2011, Handry left Sushiko to work on the opening efforts of Thai Pavilion at National Harbor. They are now back working together with a goal of bringing Sushiko to the next level with a new menu of traditional and innovative Japanese dishes.
The brothers will showcase a prix fixe, three-course lunch special for $23.50 available daily from noon-3 p.m. The first course invites diners to select from the choices of miso soup, mussel soup or a seaweed salad. The second course offers a choice of a shrimp tempura appetizer or salmon ceviche. For the third course, guests will have a choice of a 10 piece sushi assortment with four pieces of nigiri and a choice of maki: California roll; spicy tuna roll; salmon and avocado roll; crunchy shrimp rolls; cucumber avocado rolls or chicken teriyaki with tomato salad.
Editor-in-Chief Mark Heckathorn is a journalist, movie buff and foodie. He oversees DC on Heels editorial operations as well as strategic planning and staff development. Reach him with story ideas or suggestions at dcoheditor (at) gmail (dot) com.