Centrolina’s Market Opens, Eatery Coming
Centrolina, 974 Palmer Alley in CityCenterDC, the new osteria and mercato from chef Amy Brandwein, formerly of Alba Osteria and the shuttered Casa Nonna, opened its market on Tuesday and will open the restaurant for lunch on June 1 and dinner on June 5.
Centrolina’s market shelves are stocked with items Brandwein uses in her kitchen including organic and local produce in season, imported Italian meats and cheeses, antipasta, Italian artisanal dry pasta, eggs and other dairy products. There will also be house-made pasta, sauces, jams, pesto, breads and pastries. Many of the products can’t be found anywhere else in the DMV. There will also be staples such as marinated anchovies, crackers, mostarda, oils, vinegars and more. Wine and craft beer will also be available.
The market also includes an espresso bar that serving Vigilante Coffee and bambolonis, Italian doughnuts, along with house-made quiches, scones and other pastries in the mornings. Later in the day, there are paninis, antipasta, salads and pastries. In the evenings, the coffee counter will become a five-seat mini-cocktail bar for guests to enjoy a drink while waiting for their table.
“I am thrilled to bring everything that I love about Italy to CityCenter,” Brandwein said in a press release. “Centrolina is about creating an experience for diners where they can enjoy a chef-driven Italian meal and then stroll into the market to purchase my house-made pasta, sauces, local bread and imported Italian treats. Stocking a seasonal market and making it accessible to everyday shoppers is a real challenge, and I can’t wait to put on that grocers apron.”
When the restaurant opens, there will be seating for 48 in the dining room, 16 at the bar and 32 on the patio. The menu will feature a frequently-rotating-selection of about 15 dishes.
The opening menu includes antipasti ranging in price from $12-$15 including carota with roasted, fried and pickled carrots, lemon, yogurt and turmeric, fried smelts and octopus suffocate with potato confit, cotechinata and celery salad. A lenga dishes, ranging from $24-$36 and cooked in the kitchen’s terra cotta-clad, wood-fired oven, include fritto misto made with fried lamb, chicken, sausage, vegetables, amaretti cookie, mstarda and lemon, young chicken and chard squid.
Pastas, handmade daily in house, include chiancarelle – a small orecchiette — with sheep’s milk ricotta, runny egg and ramp pesto, buckwheat pasta with chick pea and parsley and pappardelle with lamb ragu, watercress and pecorino ramano. Pastas are priced from $18-$26. Sides, priced at $9, include grilled swish chard and rasins, roasted asparagus and wood-roasted mushrooms with farro, peas and pea shoots.
D.C.-based architecture/design firm CORE designed Centrolina’s look with a neutral color palette of white, cream, grey and blond-wood tones with punches of turquoise, terracotta and fuchsia. Smooth, white metal finishes join white-painted brick, leather, light wood, marble and polished concrete to create an easy Californian aesthetic. The food will be served on hand thrown, wood fired pottery dishes designed and created by New York potter Jane Herold.
Centrolina’s market is open from 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday. The restaurant will be open for lunch from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, dinner from 5-10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5 p.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday and brunch from 10:30 a.m-2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
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.