Centrolina is a new (ish) restaurant that came along with the new (ish) opening of City Center DC. It is a very modern Italian restaurant and market, featuring gourmet goodies on both on the menu and in the store. (For all my Jewish brethren out there, they make a mean Challah for Shabbos.) The space itself is modern and clean and feels a bit like Eataly in NYC. The food and the space go hand in hand. The menu has classic Italian cuisine with a modern, clean and farm-to-table feel to it.
Now let’s talk about the menu- while they don’t have a ton of options, I actually think that is a great thing. It showed me that their menu changes due to what they bring in and see in the market that day or that season. I am a total sucker for bolognese sauce and Centrolina’s completely blew me away.
I have been here a few times, every time seeing new items and flavors presented on the menu. This time, the time I actually remembered to take pictures I got three things to share for lunch and it was so delicious.
We started off the meal with (not pictured) a nice lunch time Rose, and the polpo, a baby octopus dish. Whenever I see octopus on the menu, you better believe I will be ordering it. This was delicious- the octopus was cooked perfectly, not too chewy or under cooked. I would never think to pair octopus with potatoes, but the confit potatoes provided a rich creaminess that complimented the freshness of the seafood.
|Polpo- charred baby octopus, potato confit, cotechinata, celery salad|
Next up we got a dish that we had ordered twice before- the bolognese meat ragu. THIS IS INCREDIBLE. Literally some of the best meat bolognese (besides my dads) that I have eaten in a long time. Probably since the last time I was in Italy, about 5 plus years ago. It was surprisingly light and creamy and the sauce and meat were perfectly seasoned. There is also something wonderful (and simple) about a perfectly cooked pasta.
|Tufoli pasta with bolognese meat ragu|
Lastly, we split an entree of branzino, one of my favorite fishes. Again I was confused about a light fish being paired with a buttery and rich bean but it was the perfect spring time dish.
|Branzino- Mediterranean Sea Bass with butter beans & chick pea, calabrese chili & yogurt|
I love Centrolina, I think it the perfect place for a lunch in downtown DC!