Jump to content
JLK

Dino, Dean Gold and Kay Zimmerman's Italian Enoteca in Cleveland Park with Beverage Director Fabian Malone - Closed

Recommended Posts

Had a nice meal at Dino the other night. The place was packed for a Monday and we were told there was about a 45 minute wait when we arrived around 8. We sat at the bar for a while and had a cocktail and chatted with Dean and Jason aka DCFoodie for a bit.

Started off with a plate of five crostini; Crostino alla Dino (Point Reyes blue cheese and an Ortiz anchovy), Baccala al Mantecato (Dried cod whipped with olio), Carciofi (an artichoke spread), Salsa Asiago ( a pungent mixture of asiago and grana cheeses along with some garlic and OO) and Toscano (Tuscan chicken pate). Of these my favorite were the Baccala and the Asiago, although all were very good. Moving on to the Cicchetti, we tried the Polipo alla Griglia (Baby octopus, braised in red wine, then grilled served on a lemony chickpea vinaigrette) this was my favorite dish of the night. Although vinaigrette did not seem like the right terminology here. The sauce had a lot of garlic and butter in it and it very much reminded me of eating escargot at a French bistro. For the Antipasti course we got an order of Scamorza(Smoked mozzarella broiled & topped with tomatoes, garlic and basil) My g/f liked this a lot, I thought it was fine. We each then got a half order of Primi. I had the Pinci al Cinghiale(Hand rolled Tuscan pasta with wild boar with onions and herbs.) Like Bigpinot said earlier, the pasta seemed store bought and not hand rolled. There was also way too much black pepper in the dish as it overwhelmed the meat. The Zuppa di Cozze e Vongole( mussels and clams cooked with white wine and garlic. Served over fettunta) was nice and the seafood tasted very fresh. With are meal we enjoyed a few glasses of the Trebbiano di Soave which was crisp and refreshing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey cool, a grappa list! Any chance of a 'grappa flight' or 'grappa sampler' in the future for the curious but uninitiated?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hey cool, a grappa list!  Any chance of a 'grappa flight' or 'grappa sampler' in the future for the curious but uninitiated?

"Grappa flight"-- that just has trouble written all over it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
With are meal we enjoyed a few glasses of the Trebbiano di Soave which was crisp and refreshing.

I love that soave.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dropped by tonight with a friend of mine and sat at the bar. Don't know if I was that excited about any of the food we had, but we certainly had a good time, enjoying the wines and being well taken care of by Chris at the bar.

We drank:

-Iron Horse Rosado. Very nice stuff
-Maccario "Lavignone" Barbera d'Asti. Seemed just ok at first, but once we got to eating, we were raving about how well this wine was drinking (Barbera often seems to do that).
-Some Moscato d'Asti for dessert. Can't remember the producer, but this was tasty.

We ate:

-Assortment of crostini, with the blue cheese/anchovy and salt cod being favorites.

-Grilled baby octopus. A little tough, but good. The chickpeas accompanying it, however, were totally undercooked.

-Plate of salumi. The prosciutto was great-- maybe the best I've had.

-Mussels and clams. Very fresh and delicious.

-Wild boar pasta. My friend had this, but I tasted it. Seemed very mild in flavor.

Glad to see this place doing so well already.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We rolled in around 8pm and chilled near the bar for a bit before getting seated in one of the big booths next to the kitchen -- a fun place to sit if you like to watch all the food go back and forth.

Assorted crostini: Dino fantastic, artichoke tasty, asiago delicious, chicken pate indifferent, and vegetable not very pleasant at all.

Clams and mussels: recommended by somebody at the bar. I discovered I don't care for mussels (who knew?) but the clams were very tasty and, given the chance, we probably would have drunk the garlic butter up through a straw.

Saltimbocca: mild, uninteresting.

Whole wheat anchovy pasta: my dining companion loooooved this. I tried a bite and found it salty, but he adored the strong flavor of anchovies, capers, etc. Small size was big enough for an entree.

Mozzarella panini: yum, yum, yum. Also: the size of my head. Given that it was almost literally twice as large as the salumi panini I had at the bar Friday, I asked the waitress about it and she said they're still playing around with sizes.

All told, another great experience. I got a high-five from a stranger at the bar upon admitting it was my fourth visit since they opened last Wednesday. Actually, I couldn't high-five her because I had umbrellas in my left hand and the Iron Horse rosado in my right, but my dining companion accepted the high-five on my behalf.

For those looking for recommendations (tonight's HH?), I would say the proscuitto and the scamorza are the two can't-miss dishes to try.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Allow me to say something very important about Dino.

They serve their red wine at proper cellar temperature!

Edited by CrescentFresh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
how's the stemware?

There was no stem on the glass that my Armagnac came in the other evening. I don't know whether the base of the glass got broken off or if it ws made that way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There was no stem on the glass that my Armagnac came in the other evening.  I don't know whether the base of the glass got broken off or if it ws made that way.

The snifters resemble the riedel "O" line, stemless so that the hand.....oh jokes... I know those.

Edited by ulysses

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The snifters resemble the riedel "O" line, stemless so that the hand can provide a little warmth for the liquor/eur.

I was only joking. I don't believe that Dino's uses any sort of special stemware. If they do, I did not notice it Friday evening. Places where you do notice it are R. Eve and Firefly where the the kind of wine you are having will determine the type of glass you get.

Edited by Jacques Gastreaux

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The snifters resemble the riedel "O" line, stemless so that the hand.....oh jokes... I  know those.

Welcome Ulysses -- you'll have to be "brave" with this particular bunch of funsters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For all you cheese hounds.... here is some of our selection tonight:

Robiola aged in cabbage leaves

4 year old Reggiano

3 year old provolone

Cave aged castelmagno

Peck Torta Basilico

plus 5 more

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last night--no desire to cook, needed to be home by 9 for Rock Star: INXS since I failed to progam the VCR.

7:30 at Dino's--30 minute wait. :P

Must go earlier.

As Mr. BLB said--very glad they are doing so well but...

Ended up at Palena. Will post there shortly....

Jennifer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, is Dino's doing lunch yet? I got a teething baby here wants to check out how their tables taste.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hey, is Dino's doing lunch yet? I got a teething baby here wants to check out how their tables taste.

I think Dean indicated that lunches would start in August. Why don't you PM him?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think Dean indicated that lunches would start in August.  Why don't you PM him?

If you know of a few good cooks who want to pick up some day hours....... We are hiring and need to gett hem trained before we can do lunch!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have finally recieved our hand-cranked vertical prosciutto slicer (as far as we know, we are the first restaurant and the second business in the DC area to get one). "What is THAT?" you ask.

It is the Ferrari of slicers, except it doesn't go fast. The blade is vertical and the prosciutto lies flat on a moving plate. The slicer (the person not the machine) cranks a fly wheel to get the blade moving. The blade itself is curved so the only point of the blade in contact with the meat is the cutting edge itself. This makes for very little heat transfer to the ham, and the point of prosciutto is that it is an uncooked meat. A traditional deli style slicer will heat and slightly cook the prosciutto. The flat position of the meat makes for very even, very thin slices. Again, in a deli slicer, the slices are affected by the weight of the ham pusing down at a 45 degree angle. Hand cranking and the flywheel allow for a slow moving blade and even slicing speed.

While I have always loved our prosciutto, it is much better now that we have the slicer!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We have finally recieved our hand-cranked vertical prosciutto slicer (as far as we know, we are the first restaurant and the second business in the DC area to get one).  "What is THAT?" you ask.

It is the Ferrari of slicers, except it doesn't go fast.  The blade is vertical and the prosciutto lies flat on a moving plate.  The slicer (the person not the machine) cranks a fly wheel to get the blade moving.  The blade itself is curved so the only point of the blade in contact with the meat is the cutting edge itself.  This makes for very little heat transfer to the ham, and the point of prosciutto is that it is an uncooked meat.  A traditional deli style slicer will heat and slightly cook the prosciutto.  The flat position of the meat makes for very even, very thin slices.  Again, in a deli slicer, the slices are affected by the weight of the ham pusing down at a 45 degree angle.  Hand cranking and the flywheel allow for a slow moving blade and even slicing speed. 

While I have always loved our prosciutto, it is much better now that we have the slicer!

Dean-- I was in last night and had the prosciutto. Was the had-cranked slicer in use yet? It was very good, btw.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The slicer was definitely in use last night; the proscuitto is much thinner than in previous visits and basically just melts away in a person's mouth.

The cheese plate is inSANE and I could not recommend it more highly. I should have asked about the accompaniments, though -- the preserved grapefruit and blackberry moutarda (sp??) were not in evidence. Instead there were some raisins and pickled veg.

As for the cheeses themselves I have rarely tasted anything as fresh and bright as the torta basilico, a sort of layered concoction with basil and whole pine nuts and.... mmm, I'm glad I have some in the fridge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dean-- I was in last night and had the prosciutto. Was the had-cranked slicer in use yet? It was very good, btw.

Yep! We have had it here all week! Ours doesn't have a name tho...
But our lion is names Nicky!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As for the cheeses themselves I have rarely tasted anything as fresh and bright as the torta basilico, a sort of layered concoction with basil and whole pine nuts and.... mmm, I'm glad I have some in the fridge.

Its from Peck in Milano. Not sure if I can get more till September 5 or so, August shutdown and all that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We have finally recieved our hand-cranked vertical prosciutto slicer (as far as we know, we are the first restaurant and the second business in the DC area to get one). "What is THAT?" you ask.

It is the Ferrari of slicers, except it doesn't go fast. The blade is vertical and the prosciutto lies flat on a moving plate. The slicer (the person not the machine) cranks a fly wheel to get the blade moving. The blade itself is curved so the only point of the blade in contact with the meat is the cutting edge itself. This makes for very little heat transfer to the ham, and the point of prosciutto is that it is an uncooked meat. A traditional deli style slicer will heat and slightly cook the prosciutto. The flat position of the meat makes for very even, very thin slices. Again, in a deli slicer, the slices are affected by the weight of the ham pusing down at a 45 degree angle. Hand cranking and the flywheel allow for a slow moving blade and even slicing speed.

While I have always loved our prosciutto, it is much better now that we have the slicer!

I think your research into this assertion could have been better. Sorry to have to break it to you Dean, but you are not the first restaurant to have one. BlackSalt got one about a month after they opened last November. There may be others. So what, if you aren't the first one? It's a very "cool" piece of equipment, in all meanings of the term.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×