Friday, August 4, 2017

Centrolina

Centrolina offers authentic, regional Italian cooking by Chef Amy Brandwein who uses seasonal ingredients. Located in the City Center in downtown DC, the osteria and bar also has an Italian market where you can find lots of imported treats to take home. Closest Metro is Metro Center.

From Centrolina's website: "The menu features seasonal and frequently rotating dishes that showcase regional food from all over Italy and relies heavily on what is offered in the chef-driven market, whether that's pinched beef ravioli, spaghetti alla chitarra with chanterelle mushrooms, grilled branzino or wood-roasted meat and vegetables. The beverage program features a wine list that combines imported Italian favorites with the best of Virginia, a beer selection that skews heavily local and a short list of classic Italian cocktails given a contemporary twist."

Keith chose a bottle of red wine to accompany our meal - 2015 Paolo Cali "Jazz", Frappato Nero d'Avola, from Sicily, Italy. It was medium-light bodied and very dry that paired well with the chili spice and garlic peppered throughout our dishes.  It was a very drinkable red wine for this hot Summer day.


To start, Keith enjoyed the Carpaccio - shaved raw beef with dragon cucumber, parmigiano, lemon and olive oil.  The dish was very light and well-seasoned.  The cheese was sharp, accenting the high-quality ingredients.


I ordered the Burrata - soft buffalo milk cheese served on top of eggplant caponata.  The cheese was incredible and the eggplant was packed with stewed flavor.  I sopped up the extra with Italian bread, and could have easily eaten an entire jar of this stuff.  It married perfectly with the red wine.


For his main dish, Keith ordered the Bucatini with pork rib ragu, tomato and peperoncino.  The meat was plentiful and provided a homey-feel to the dish.  He sloppily devoured it all.


I ordered the Neri - squid ink pasta with nonnata di pesce (a sauce made from fish), topped with fresh tuna crudo.  When mixed up, the fish lightly cooked from the heat of the pasta and married with the garlic and red peppers to make each bite pop.  The dish was deceivingly larger than it looked, but not to worry as Keith happily ate a few forkfuls himself.


Even though I was pretty full, I had to order a dessert made by Pastry Chef Caitlin Dysart.  An accomplished pastry chef with many awards under her belt, she recently worked at 2941 (where we were married), so I knew anything she makes would be wonderful.  We decided on the Crostata di Cioccolato - a warm chocolate tart topped with mint ganache, strawberries, whipped ricotta, and cocoa nib meringue.  The chocolate was bittersweet and again, paired well with our red wine.


Overall, the dishes were very traditional regional Italian fare.  Service was friendly and each dish came out expertly timed.  We were treated to complimentary chocolate cookies with our bill, which is always a nice gesture.  They were soft and chewy and covered with powdered sugar.  The location of the restaurant and market in the newly trendy Palmer Alley of City Center is hard to miss.  The interior is sleek and bright and reminiscent of European osterias.

Total Rating: 4.38
Food: 4.5, Price: 4, Service: 4.5, Ambience: 4, Accessibility: 5

Centrolina Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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