100 Very Best Restaurants: #26 – Centrolina/Piccolina


Chef and owner Amy Brandwein of Centrolina. Photograph by Scott Suchman

About Centrolina


974 Palmer Aly NW
Washington, DC 20001

At first glance, the menu at Centrolina, Amy Brandwein’s CityCenterDC Italian place, seems straightforward: crudos, pastas, a good old roasted branzino. And while her cooking is spare and elegant—she lets high-quality ingredients speak for themselves—it also manages to keep us on our toes. When was the last time you had linguine tossed with fried oysters? Or a white Bolognese made with veal and sage? The lineup is forever changing, but Caitlin Dysart’s nicely crafted desserts are a sure thing, both here and at Piccolina, the casual cafe across the way. Inexpensive to expensive.