If you were to ask me what my favorite meal is, I would probably say spaghetti pomodoro. It sounds boring, and it's rare that I'd order spaghetti with tomato sauce at a restaurant in the United States, but it's generally the most common thing I order when I am in Italy. It's so simple, but when it is done right with fresh ingredients, there is something so perfect about this Italian classic.
I have been following Chef Amy Brandwein since her days back at Casa Nonna in Dupont Circle (it closed in 2012.) She did a wonderful job with delicious classics like spaghetti and meatballs and chicken parmigiana. In 2013, Chef Amy opened Alba Osteria with a focus on northern Italian cuisine. I'm thrilled to see that this talented chef has opened Centrolina on her own in City Center which is part osteria, and part Italian market. The space is open and airy which bridges both concepts, and the market offers everything from cheeses to charcuterie to pre-made single portions of lasagna. It's exactly what the new downtown complex needed.
Upon dining at Centrolina for the first time, I decided to be bold and order the spaghetti with cherry tomatoes since I am well versed in Chef Amy's ability. The dish arrived in a white bowl with ribbons of basil and I added a generous sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. I was very pleased with the sweet flavors of the tomato sauce, and Centrolina's rendition of one of my favorite classics. It's nice to know I have a place to go when I'm craving this comforting staple. I look forward to experiencing the other delicious dishes Chef Amy Brandwein is cooking up at Centrolina on a future visit.