Here is a press release describing Dino which will open in July in the old Yanyu space. Presently there are signs in the window advertising that they're hiring for all positions.
Dino Opens Its Doors in July 2005 Bringing Rustic Italian Fare to Cleveland Park
Washington, D.C., (June 7, 2005) - Artisan cheeses, flights of estate bottled olive oils, fresh local produce, never frozen seafood, natural meats and an impressive Italian wine and spirits list are just of a few of the highlights owner Dean Gold will be showcasing when he opens Dino at 3435 Connecticut Avenue, NW, in July. Gold's intensive food experience on both coasts with Whole Foods Market, plus the passion he and his wife Kay Zimmerman share for Venice and Montaclino, after a decade of extensive travel in Southern Tuscany, are part of the motivation behind the new restaurant. Surviving a heart attack and extensive bypass surgery in 2002, to fulfill his life long dream of opening a great restaurant is yet another.
"Dino is going to be reminiscent of a wine bar or casual restaurant in Venice or Montalcino, somewhere between a wine-based osteria and a family-run trattoria offering good, rustic food ranging in price from $1.75 to $18. Our pricing will be moderate to make Dino equally appropriate for dinner or just an evening snack with wine," say Dean Gold.
CIA graduate Johnny Neilsen, who has worked in notable restaurant kitchens including Aria, The Mark/Andale, Palena, as well as Tribecca Grill in New York City, will lead the kitchen as the executive chef. His menu will reflect simple Italian foods including lots of crostini and cicchetti (Venetian snacks), a nice assortment of pasta, grilled and rotisserie meats and fresh seafood. General Manager Michael De Angelis, with over 15 years of experience at convivial restaurants such as Antonia's in Key West, FL and Morton's The Steakhouse, has been hired to establish and maintain a fun and casual service style at Dino.
The light-filled new interior is warm and inviting with seating for 104 guests. Rich copper and jewel tones are incorporated throughout including the fabrics used at seven-seat bar and romantic dining alcove complete with a rustic tile roof. Venetian lighting, stained concrete and bamboo floors and original works of art from Italy authenticate the experience thanks to the combined efforts of contractor Alberto Posse, designer Pamela Butler Stone of Create Space, concrete artist Steve Eyler of Eyecon and Dean Gold. Upstairs guests will find additional seating and a private dining room that can seat two tables of 10 or one large table of 14.
"Much of the art utilized throughout Dino is from our personal collection including the silk pieces by Lidia Barilla, canal scenes by Nicola Tenderini and my mother's abstracts found on the second floor," explains Gold.
Gold wants Dino to be recognized as a place to enjoy great wines at very reasonable prices. The basic pricing policy will be retail plus $10 for readily available wines. A focus list of 120 wines under $60 will be presented in an imaginative fashion and a reserve list of 300 wines will also be available.
Dino's bar will feature only artisan-made spirits for classic cocktails, as well as newer concoctions such as a pickle martini of Kendrick's cucumber gin, Quady Vya vermouth and pickled caper berries. Patrons can indulge with single barrel scotches and unblended cognac not found elsewhere.
Dino's hours of operation are: Monday, Wednesday thru Sunday:
5 p.m.-10:30 p.m..; closed Tuesdays. For more information, please call (202) 686-2966.