Orsa & Winston
Can fine dining be accessible? Maybe even cozy? Upon walking inside Orsa & Winston, all are immediately drawn to the gorgeous portraits of two regal Brussels Griffon — one named Orsa, the other named Winston — and feel as though you are walking into a friend’s home, waiting to be greeted by the two little bear pups. Chef Josef Centeno lives down the block with Bear and Winston and all of his restaurants also live on 4th & Main Streets.
“There is a sense of history here, the block is rich with architecture which is what attracted me in the first place. I loved the brass and remnants of marble,” Chef Centeno says.
Orsa & Winston is sleek, gleaming — lots of marble, gold accents in the chairs, an open kitchen with pantries of gorgeous, handthrown Japanese ceramics. Orsa & Winston is simultaneously decadent and cozy as it’s menu is dance between Italian and Japanese flavors. In the menu and atmosphere, Chef Centeno is melding a sophisticated take on robust, Italian cooking with the delicacy and attention to detail found in Japanese cooking.
This is evident the moment the roast duck is set before: dry-aged and roasted at high heat, the duck’s crackling skin is lacquered, gleaming as sunlight filters in from the large front window. The duck is served with preserved peaches, elderberries, broccoli flowers and Sunset runner beans. Although this dish is the final course in a six course menu, you can also choose to dine alla carta.
“When neighborhoods change, there is a lot of symbiosis that creates communities. Part of that is restaurants. Downtown offers a blank canvas to be creative and as a long as whatever you are cooking tastes delicious, there is opportunity,” he says. With his five restaurants, Chef Centeno is extending his creativity to the community with food that is elegant, accessible, and creative — just like downtown.
Written by Oriana Koren
Photographed by Oriana Koren