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Soft  shell crabs are in season and being highlighted on menu's now.  I was fortunate to spot reference of this on Dino's Grotto FB page the other day and had them last night.   Very nice:  Grilled with tomato shallots, etc.  I had seen them referenced a bit, but had missed the earliest deliveries.  Eater is running a summary of restaurants that have them on the menu now:   

Back to the soft shells at Dino's.  Enjoyed it and I quenched that early season soft shell craving.  Quite good-grilled, in this case with a tomato/shallot flavoring.  Also had the duck leg starter which is made with a terrific glaze.  After carefully and politely cutting and eating with a fork I was gnawing at the bone.  Wonderful. Crunchy with a very tasty glaze, wine reduction/blood orange.  That was yummy.

Again, kudo's to Dean for bringing in Qualia Coffee.  I'm a coffee drinker after dinner.  Qualia is quality and it puts to shame most of the coffee at most restaurants around town.

 

 

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I wish more restaurants would grill or saute soft shells. So many places deep-fry them, which to my mind hides the delicate crab meat instead of enhancing it. Glad that Dino is doing it this way.

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Not long ago I was reading (and silently agreeing with) recent comments about 2 Amy's  

Its often described as GREAT Comfort Food.  I'd agree.  It is one of the best and has been for years.

And I just had possibly the Best Comfort Food meal I've had in recent memory at Dino's(possibly 6 months-possibly a year or longer).  It was so good in fact that 3/4 of the way through, out of my mouth passed these words

"THIS HIT THE SPOT".   And it did. 

Social Media/Facebook made me aware of their 1/2 price pot of muscles at the bar that night, and it struck my fancy enough on a random night to roll on over there.  I added a 1/2 order pasta dish, the Solo Salsiccia, rigatoni, slight sauce, and sausage, a cocktail, a cup of qualia coffee....all accompanied by a fun series of conversations at the bar.  The side accompaniment of nice crusty bread that can be dipped in olive oil and pepper...and then the softer bread accompanying the muscles for dipping into a delectable broth certainly helped.

An ideal set of dishes, a ridiculous price, all around excellent food...and fun conversation on a lucky spur of the moment reaction.  But it was way beyond satisfying. 

In all honesty I prefer comfort food meals, and that preference has grown of late due to being somewhat dissatisfied with some finer dining experiences in the last 2 years.  Somewhat dissatisfying on the taste, experience, value scale. 

That last meal hit the spot.  If I lived in or near Shaw I'd be there more often.

 

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Went again recently at the bar after an aborted attempt to see the YAYOI KUSAMA INFINITY MIRRORS (my wife's a Smithsonian employee, and this was an employee only access time and it was MOBBED). I ended up having their burger and it was quite, quite good. And, if you have not had their Rick Flair cocktail, you really should try it. Mmmmm.

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13 minutes ago, Pool Boy said:

 And, if you have not had their Rick Flair cocktail, you really should try it. Mmmmm.

Don't you mean "Wooo"!

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Headed there tonight with some friends from high school I haven't seen in years... what's the parking situation like out there?

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I just realized this week that Dino's Grotto is on Uber Eats!

(This post is not an endorsement of Uber Eats.  It's an expression of joy and wonder that the world we live in permits me to push a button and have a Dino burger delivered to my door.  Of course, i can't easily munch on delicious pickled carrots and sip a Dino-approved glass of wine while waiting for it, but such is the price of laziness.)

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On ‎4‎/‎14‎/‎2017 at 7:04 PM, Gadarene said:

I just realized this week that Dino's Grotto is on Uber Eats!

On twitter Dean promotes the delivery service Caviar quite a bit.  I've wondered if he likes it better than the other delivery services or if its just a profitable affiliate offering to promote?

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56 minutes ago, iolaire said:

On twitter Dean promotes the delivery service Caviar quite a bit.  I've wondered if he likes it better than the other delivery services or if its just a profitable affiliate offering to promote?

Caviar is the best delivery service there is, but it's not cheap.  The prices are higher than what's on the menu and they charge you a fairly large ($5-10) delivery fee on top.  However, in NYC it has all of the good restaurants and almost no restrictions on delivery.  Basically, if the restaurant is in Manhattan and you're in Manhattan, they'll bring it to you.  Does anyone know if it's the same in DC?

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The Thursday evening pot of mussels cooked in a white wine and garlic broth with tremendous bread remains one of the great dining deals in DC.  Very large pot, supposedly a kilo (might be--it is YUGE)  --The PRICE?   Knock my socks off and call me silly!!!!   $10.  I do enjoy mussels.  I order them around town and usually find them enjoyable.  I don't need to have some of the more inventive, creative and tasty broths.  I enjoy mussels.  Dino's is a classic broth.  They provide a toasted bread but can also provide their far better high grade bread used for dipping.  Beers,wines, and quite a few cocktails reflect HH prices. 

$10 for a large pot of quality mussels.    I've recently seen food and deal love for Granville Moore's $12 pot on Monday's here and here 

I have a difficult time getting to H Street on Monday's. I have not been to G/M's in years  and Granville Moore's is a mussel centric restaurant/bar.  These at Dino's hit the spot and are light on the wallet.  I was there last Thursday at the bar...sort of quiet.  A TV with the make up Nats Orioles game on at that hour.  First inning the Nats were quickly up 1-0.  But those mussels were so scrumptious.  My head went down.  Next time I glanced at the TV the Nats were up 5-0 with all the runs in the first inning.  Compelling inning vs the mussels.  The mussels won!!!!!

That mussel deal has to be one of the best HH deals in town.

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Went again recently - great Ric Flair cocktails, a nice Valpolicella, two pastas (served IMHO way too damn hot - but otherwise very good!), some of those cheesy potatoes to start (along with excellent olives). And at the bar with the comfy seats. Nice.

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I love Dino's Grotto.  It continues to be an inviting, familiar, comforting, reliable standby for us (though we have used it for special occasions as well, which has always been a great time).  Nothing like a few negronis and dinner in the grotto bar after getting home from a boring work trip.

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I was in the area and stopped by Dino's this past week.  They are still running a value driven Restaurant Week dinner priced meal  $35 through Feb.  8.  Typically fine food.  Amazing value off their Restaurant Week menu:

I ate at the bar.  Andrew was busy with a party but efficient and engaging.  The menu included an amuse, I added the ceviche, this winter's brisket  (its far from Italian--very slightly reminded me of a dish my grandmother mastered), though Dino's came with a very nice completely different flavoring and of course it was cuttable with a fork and finished off with the 3 flavored--quite intense and delicious gelato.   

Its customer/diner friendly value with virtually anything from the main menu.  

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19 hours ago, DaveO said:

I was in the area and stopped by Dino's this past week.  They are still running a value driven Restaurant Week dinner priced meal  $35 through Feb.  8.  Typically fine food.  Amazing value off their Restaurant Week menu:

I ate at the bar.  Andrew was busy with a party but efficient and engaging.  The menu included an amuse, I added the ceviche, this winter's brisket  (its far from Italian--very slightly reminded me of a dish my grandmother mastered), though Dino's came with a very nice completely different flavoring and of course it was cuttable with a fork and finished off with the 3 flavored--quite intense and delicious gelato.   

Its customer/diner friendly value with virtually anything from the main menu.  

Even though I consider Andrew to be a friend of mine (we met a few years ago while he was bartending at Green Pig Bistro), I've yet to make it to Dino's. It's certainly on my list, so thanks for your post! He is certainly a professional, and makes excellent cocktails.

As an aside, Andrew now sells his ginger beer commercially, albeit on a very small scale. Here's his website. I have no financial interest in his ginger beer, but I've been a fan of it ever since I had an incredible Moscow Mule at GPB. It is super-gingery/spicy and not overly sweet, so I recommend you find some if that matches your taste buds.

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26 minutes ago, Kev29 said:

 

I love this so much. KIND is an amazing organization full of really smart and dedicated people. My office works with them a lot.

 

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I’m super excited to finally be able to go to Dino’s Grotto after many years of wishing in one hand and shitting in the other. It will be a rare event for us, unfortunately, so we won’t be able to plow through the menu over time. What items can’t be missed.

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Sadly, I have not been, but a buddy of mine has tended bar there for a few years. (Green Pig Bistro prior to that).

He recommends:

Anything seasonal, Crab pasta, Boar pasta, Caprese, Burrata, and squash blossoms.

Any of his cocktails should be terrific.

Not sure if he is working tonight, but ask for Andrew.

 

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This might too late but a while back I had a pot of mussels and a half order of one pasta while soaking up excellent bread w/ olive oil.   Half way through under my breath I sighed and said this is a great meal- a comfort food meal.   I think the mussels might be half price at the bar on Sunday.   I also think they are still doing restaurant week pricing- the 3 gelato dessert have intense flavors.  

Dean is an Italian wine expert so he can help you there and they have qualia coffee which is a nice way to finish the meal

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Thanks for the suggestions. Dinner’s not until Thursday, PLUS they’re extending Restaurant Week pricing through that night. Good for me!!

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