100 Very Best Restaurant 2016: Centrolina


Chef Amy Brandwein brings a seasonal Italian restaurant and market to CityCenterDC. Photography by Andrew Propp.

About Centrolina



Remember the name Roberto Donna? The Italian chef, once revered in Washington, has largely faded from view. But a generation of chefs apprenticed under his watchful gaze, among them his most recent protégé, Amy Brandwein, who learned more than a thing or two about pasta making. Let other chefs send out the expected tagliatelle and chittarra—Brandwein’s lineup includes such obscurities as reginette (crown-like cups containing various stuffings of seafood, including, in her rendition, scallop and cod) and casonsei (small, Lombardy-style ravioli filled with beef, chard, and raisins). The impressive thing is that she can take a pasta you might never have heard of and turn it into something just as comforting as a soulful bowl of spaghetti. The noodle stands at the center of the experience, but don’t bypass the colorful salads and the rustic roasted meats.

Don’t miss: octopus with potato confit; chicken soup; roasted scallops; squid-ink spaghetti with tuna and chilies; strozzapreti with suckling-pig ragu; porchetta.

See what other restaurants made our 100 Very Best Restaurants list. This article appears in our February 2016 issue of Washingtonian.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.