If you’re looking to immerse yourself into a vat of delicious Italian food, make a reservation at Centrolina. If you’re looking to grab the makings of a delicious Italian meal, swing by the market inside Centrolina. If you’re living somewhere in between those two moments, you don’t have enough time for a full sit down meal, but you still want your food to be made for you, rejoice in the arrival of Piccolina.
Located right across the street from the aforementioned Centrolina, chef Amy Brandwein’s Piccolina is casual enough that you can swing by in the midst of a hangover to grab a cup of coffee and a breakfast sandwich, but nice enough that you could also meet a friend for drinks and food. The menu runs the gamut from egg and cheese on brioche bread in the morning to eggplant parmesan in the afternoon and includes a section of meats, cheese, hummus and other accoutrements. Piccolina also functions as a bakery and offers a variety of breads on the daily.
Bread is really the key component of Piccolina’s menu, almost every dish comes with a hunk of wood fired bread that adds a smoky complexity to the otherwise simple meals. And simple isn’t a bad thing. One of our favorite menu items (which is available both morning and afternoon) is the Avocado & Carte Musica, which features chunks of avocado and diced tomato with olive oil on a sliver of crunchy wood fired bread. It’s basic in the best way.
But if you need something a little more hardy, the meatballs and the eggplant parmesan (which you may recognize from Centrolina) will serve you well. Both dishes come bathed in Brandwein’s enchanting red sauce and are made even more indulgent with the addition of melt in your mouth mozzarella and slices of homemade bread.
Pair them with an easy, breezy (and controversial) aperol spritz or cut out the booze and go for a surprisingly delightful Amy’s Palmer (which looks like a killer mocktail with its sugared rosemary garnish) and you have a good meal.
Piccolina is more than a coffee shop, it’s more than a bakery, it’s one of those magical in between places that’s there whenever you need it.
Piccolina is located at 936 Palmer Alley NW and is open from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. everyday.