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Centrolina Chef Amy Brandwein Opens a Wood-Fired Italian Cafe With All-Day Breakfast - Source Washingtonian

Posted on Jul 30,2019
Filed Under Restaurants , Local Tastes,

Centrolina chef Amy Brandwein opens Piccolina, an all-day cafe in City Center. (pictured: spinach lasagna from the wood fired oven). Photography by Evy Mages 
Source Washingtonian

Source Washingtonian


WASHINGTON, DC. - "Fast-casual" has come to encompass a huge variety of restaurants, from bowl-centric chains to cheffy places that are just a touch quicker and less expensive than full-service restaurants. Piccolina, which opens today in CityCenter, falls in to the latter category. Centrolina chef/owner Amy Brandwein created the 20-seat, all-day cafe as a casual complement to her upscale Italian restaurant and market across Palmer Alley. Think counter-service, but still the kind of place you can get a plate of prosciutto, hand-spun mozzarella, and an Aperol spritz for those who want to linger.

A wood-fired oven turns out breakfast and all-day menus in the bright space (formerly Rare Sweets). Whereas Centrolina’s menu focuses on pastas and roasted meats and fish, Piccolina homes in on Italian breads, sandwiches, and wood-baked dishes like omelets and parms. The latter are fired in long, cast-iron skillets custom-made by woman-owned blacksmithing studio, SL Metalworks, near San Francisco. Brandwein spent time in the area taking bread classes at the San Francisco Baking Institute as well as touring parts of Italy to learn about regional baked specialties like scacce, a stuffed Sicilian flatbread (at Piccolina it’s baked with homemade lamb sausage, cheese, and rapini). She also mastered panuzzo, a puffed flatbread from Campania that’s slashed and filled with ingredients like porchetta, provolone, mustard greens, and salsa verde or a meatless mix of vegetables, pesto, and cheese.  Around eight varieties of breads  are available around the opening—available for dining or retail—including rosemary focaccia, ciabatta, baguettes, and walnut-raisin ficelle.

Source Washingtonian

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