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all photos: Jeff Martin

Amy Brandwein has been cooking some of DC’s best Italian food for years now, it was just always in someone else’s kitchen. From Casa Nonna to Alba Osteria, you maybe remember Brandwein as the driving force behind some of the most simple but at the same time contemporary Italian dishes around. Now, with Centrolina, she finally gets a (dining) room of her own.

Located at 974 Palmer Alley in City Center’s downtown development, Centrolina is both an Osteria (which opens June 1st) and a Market (or, a Mercato, as the Centrolina billing calls it, which opens TODAY!) and should truly be a must-stop for any tried and true Italian cooking fan in the city.

The Osteria (48-seat dining room, 16-seat bar and, yes, a 32-seat patio) will spotlight a tightly focused rotating menu or 15 or so dishes ranging from antipasti to pasta to legne and desserts, with dishes like pappardelle lamb ragu and tuna with roasted bone marrow and snap peas being on the kick-off menu.

The market will focus on imported Italian specialty goods along with meat, fish and produce from local farms, a selection of house-made items and a barista-serviced coffee program. “Stocking a seasonal market and making it accessible to everyday shoppers is a real challenge, and I cant wait to put on that grocers apron.” – Brandwein says. Frankly we can’t wait either.