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“Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.” –Come on, ya’ll, every one of you knows who said this 🙂 “Tell me who you hire, and I will tell you who you are.” -KMango Just a quick shout out, and a bit of head shaking, to Amy Brandwein. Stuck in CityCenter for almost three months, I practically lived at Piccolina. I darted in for morning coffee, grabbed late afternoon snacks, and took out several evening dinners. You name it, I inhaled it. Which is where the head shaking comes in. I probably negated a lot of cold weather workouts via my jaunts into the blissfully aromatic, fire-warmed cafe. Without exception, the ingredient quality and immense satisfaction of each dish delivered. Of special note were command performances of eggplant Parmesan, lamb sausage scacce, and turmeric roasted carrots with yogurt. Deliciousness can be found at many DC haunts. However, the staff here appear to love what they do, enjoy each other, deeply care for their customers, and demonstrate immense pride in their products. I wound up chatting with several employees on random occasions, various mornings and evenings. They all spoke favorably of hard work, reflecting their ethic. Their eyes lit up when describing the day’s offerings. A few times while I awaited my order, Amy walked in to check on stock or pick up an item for Centrolina. Each time, the staff treated her with genuine warmth and admiration. She returned it, joking around or expressing gratitude. As I have observed elsewhere, once “the boss” leaves the room, that marks the arrival of rolled eyes or negative comments. But each time she left, deep smiles remained, everyone seemed elevated and boosted from the exchange. Amy has created an achievement beyond measure. She has connected great people with great food and is hiring for fit. Despite the stresses of a fast-paced, top-quality culinary production, she creates a respectful, meaningful and fun place to work. She demonstrates character, values, and integrity in action. Brava, Amy, Brava. And please, please keep me away from those chocolate crackle cookies.