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

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um, why don't you give the guy a break - he prefaced his statement with "as far as we know"

clearly the guy is passionate about his work and his new restaurant - I like his enthusiasm

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.

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Good Lord, give the guy a break. Dean has every reason to be enthusiastic - about the slicer and the restaurant in general. Dino is a great addition to the 'hood.

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I went to Dino's Saturday night with a group of friends, and we all had a wonderful time.

Indeed, the newly acquired machine cuts the prosciutto made for amazingly thinly sliced meat. It really did melt in your mouth. Dean came by twice and was as enthusiastic in person as his posts here. I found the wine to be very reasonably priced, and Dean's wine suggestion was wonderful.

Overall everyone was really happy with our selection (including multiple appetizers, cheese plate, prosciutto plate, a few of the pastas, etc.) One of my friends did not enjoy her lamb as much as we all enjoyed the pastas (Wild Boar!) and the whole fish.

I loved the salt on the table, which you could add either whole, or ground. The quality of all the ingredients in our meal can not be overstated.

For my next visit I think I would stick to sharing some of the wonderful cheeses, meats and other appetizers, as well as some of the smaller plates of pasta. It made it more fun to share and taste so many things. Service was friendly and helpful, and I never felt rushed, even for a busy Saturday night.

One tiny comment, there were spelling errors on the menu, a spell check would help.

I would love to have a place like this in Silver Spring (hint, hint!)

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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.

Don't you work for BlackSalt? Maybe you should have informed us on the board that the restaurant got one as Dean did so there would have been no misunderstanding. I appreciate Dean taking the time to inform us of the progression on Dino.

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[i think Zora's posting is being misinterpreted here as being "snarkier" than she actually meant it to be - maybe she should have added a smiley? :P

Regardless, I don't see this as any big deal, and we should be thankful that there are at least two of these pieces of equipment in town.]

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One of my friends did not enjoy her lamb as much ...

I loved the salt on the table, which you could add either whole, or ground.

One tiny comment, there were spelling errors on the menu, a spell check would help.

I would love to have a place like this in Silver Spring (hint, hint!)

We have a new lamb as of last night. Actually Saturday the lamb switched over so you could have gotten either one. The new one is grass fed.

The salt is very un-Italian sel gris from France.

Spell check? Me? Got one in Italian?

If ya want one in Silver Spring, send me a check for several million and lets talk...

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Don't you work for BlackSalt? Maybe you should have informed us on the board that the restaurant got one as Dean did so there would have been no misunderstanding. I appreciate Dean taking the time to inform us of the progression on Dino.

1)I have not worked at BlackSalt since May 1st.

2)It never occured to me that it was a big enough deal that Jeff Black bought one, to announce it online.

3)It's nice that Dean has one of these machines--it isn't necessary for his to be the first and/or only restaurant to have one, in order for it to be something to kvell about. I was merely setting the record straight.

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I cannot abide people who run around making a meal out of their little commercial triumphs. Unless that meal involves delicious proscuitto sliced to a tantalizing thinnitude. :P:wub:

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Somewhere in the Wonderful World of Rockwell (cue Tinkerbell) I gushed about the wine service at Dino. I love it. It will keep me coming back. But I wanted to share a bit of my thoughts about the food.

I ate there once, with some other folks from the Wonderful World. I didn't eat too much because I had to leave early, but grazed at a few things here and there.

At the bar, while enjoying those great 3 ounce pours of wine, I had a 5 piece crostini selection. Frankly, I'm on the fence about them. I had two of the dried cod. I've had dried cod in a few dishes, but mostly it's either fried up in a croquette, or sauced heavily. I've never really had it without strong accompaniment like it's served at Dino. So, maybe the fish was supposed to taste this way. But if it is, I'm not a fan. It was rather spongy and watery and kind of tasteless. I had one of the Toscano chicken pate, which was unmemorable. And I had two of the Crostini alla Dino, which came with the Point Reyes Blue Cheese and an Ortiz anchovy. These COULD have been very good. These can easily be remedied to be very good. But my complaint echoes, I believe, others in this thread. WAY WAY WAY TOO MUCH CHEESE! The star of this should be that anchovy and it was as if it wasn't even there. Now, I'm the first one to eat giant slabs of cheese, but if you're going to serve this dish with that much blue cheese on it, I think it should get a few more anchovies. Something needs to be done to get the balance right on the Dino crostini because it really can be great.

Upstairs, my companions allowed me to share in a number of the dishes that came from the kitchen. I thought the charcuterie was excellent. San Daniele ham, I believe, which kicks Parma's butt (or is that shank?). The pastas lost me though. Two different pincis, one with veggies, one with boar, both served at the same time. This is (or should be) rustic, hand rolled, spaghetti like pasta. In the veggie dish, the pasta was so overcooked it had no texture when bitten. Just mush. With the boar, it was the exact opposite. It was too al dente. For those keeping score of these things, too al dente trumps overcooked any day.

The other dish I tried was the roast chicken. It was very dry and packed little flavor. Perhaps I'm spoiled by Palena's chicken?

Now, mind you, aside from the crostini, everything I had was a forkful here, a spoonful there, etc. I'm very much looking forward to returning there sometime to try more. I would really like the place to succeed, and I'm glad it's doing so well so far. But I hope my second and third visits will allow me to change my views thus far about the kitchen. Otherwise I may be relegated to simply drinking lots of wine and eating only slices o' pig.

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The other dish I tried was the roast chicken.  It was very dry and packed little flavor.  Perhaps I'm spoiled by Palena's chicken? 

Just got back from Dino and echo your opinion on the chicken being very dry. More on the meal tomorrow.

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We're planning to go Sunday evening after a lovely, cool trip to the Uptown to see March of the Penquins. Mostly I'm going for the octupus and squid... Hoping for some lovely pink wine.

Jennifer

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Just got back from Dino and echo your opinion on the chicken being very dry. More on the meal tomorrow.

We just changed chickens to a better quality bird. Sounds like we need to look into our cooking times, they may be cooking faster. Thanks for the feedback!

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We just changed chickens to a better quality bird.  Sounds like we need to look into our cooking times, they may be cooking faster.  Thanks for the feedback!

More importantly, Dean, thank you for valuing our feedback!

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I hung out at the bar at Dino last night from 5 to 9:30. It was my first visit to Dino, although I was in the presence of a familiar face, since I follow Chris wherever he goes. I had the restaurant week menu and several (I lost count) 3 oz tastes of pink and red wines. Talk about being drunk on food, people and, of course, wine! By the end, I was too full to finish my dessert, a ricotta mousse (with ripe, juicy nectarines?). For me, the highlight was the affettati misti, an assortment of sliced cured meats, frittata and cheese. The new york steak (a taste of which was offered to me by a lovely, charming couple at the bar) was tasty, as well. I'm looking forward to sampling more of the menu (probably taking it easier on the vino) on my next visit.

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We just changed chickens to a better quality bird. Sounds like we need to look into our cooking times, they may be cooking faster. Thanks for the feedback!

Well, I liked mine!

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More importantly, Dean, thank you for valuing our feedback!

Hey... Good feedback is hard to come by. We retrained the grill guy to check the bords. We roast on the rotissery to a lower temperature than previously then finish it to order. This way the bord gets cooked properly and is still juicy. I had one tonight and it weas really a lot better than the last one I had. If not for your feedback, I might not have talked to chef and we mighjt have served slightly overcooked birds for far longer.

By the way, local heirlooms are really in season starting next week. We are going to have a fantasia di pomodori... a simple plate of 6 or so varieties of heirlooms, grey salt, pepper, Carandini Balsamico Stavecchio. We are also trying to get a US made mozzarella di Bufala. Stay tuned!

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Sunday night at Dino's was lovely. We arrived just after 5 so avoided the crowds.

I had some of that lovely Iron Horse rose and we nibbled our way through the affettati misti, the proscuitto , an amazing cheese plate, the baby octopus, the calamari and the lasagna.

The proscuitto was breathtaking--it was out of this world amazing.

One very small quibble--there were chunks of peppercorns in with the octopus. Now I know I have an unnatural aversion to peppercorns but I don't remember them from last time. I'll have to remember to ask if they can be left out.

I thought the lasagna was nice and will be a wonderful fall and winter dish. I did think it was a bit unevenly seasoned--one section was heavily peppered and others had no seasoning. (I had a smidge of that lovely salt...perfection.)

AND they added a chocolate dessert--a chocolate panna cotta. :P (I would probably rewrite the menu description to make it clearer that the almonds are in the panna cotta and not on the side but that's just semantics. It was a perfect end to the meal.)

The price was reasonable, the service was good and it's just a lovely neighborhood place.

Kudos to the whole team--especially Justin who always seems to know just what we should order.

Jennifer

P.S. And March of the Penquins is a darn good movie!

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New cheese tonight....

Erborinata, a sheep's milk cheese aged in a cave that develops slight blue and other molds. Very nice and a little sharp.

Neal's Yard Mongomery Cheddar- a full mature cheddar from England.

Pecorino di Pienza "Grand Old Man" 15 month old pecorino.

Raw Milk Talleggio

We still have the Bitto, 180 day gorgonola and 5 more offerings.

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And that 180 day gorgonzola is not to be missed. Strong and perfect, especially with something sweet.

Now I gotta get in there for some Neal's Yard...

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Just got back from Dino and echo your opinion on the chicken being very dry.  More on the meal tomorrow.

my chicken was not dry and stood out in an otherwise promising but unexciting meal with good wine. but we ate early. maybe the orders for this haven't been keeping up with what's on the rotisserie.

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New tonight at Dino:

Costanti Brunello di Montalcino 1998 at the insane price of $16.00 a quartin (1/3 of a bottle or 1/4 of a liter) and $48.00 a bottle!

Thanks to all the wine press and vintage geeks who have overlooked the 1998 vintage just because it comes between 97 and 99. Drinking either of those great vintages now is a shame, those wines need YEARS of aging before they are going to show their stuff. Meanwhile 1998 is showing early maturity and classic flavors. Andrea Costanti is a really good friend and his 1998 is one of the better wines of the vintage. It is soft, smoky/earthy on the nose and has the classic Costanti elegance. Not a full bodied monster, but a lovely, easy to drink and more importantlyu, ready to drink Brunello at an incredible price.

If ya don't believe me on how good it is, ask Don Rocks. He had a bottle at the old full price! Sorry Don, but it took me till yesterday to get the wine in at the new cost! :P

But if Don comes in and drinks a few more bottles, he can cost average it down to a better price! :wub:

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New tonight at Dino:

Costanti Brunello di Montalcino 1998 at the insane price of $16.00 a quartin (1/3 of a bottle or 1/4 of a liter) and $48.00 a bottle! 

WoW! Keep Rocks away 'til some of us other guys get a chance. How big's the supply?

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New tonight at Dino:

Costanti Brunello di Montalcino 1998 at the insane price of $16.00 a quartin (1/3 of a bottle or 1/4 of a liter) and $48.00 a bottle!

...

If ya don't believe me on how good it is, ask Don Rocks. He had a bottle at the old full price! Sorry Don, but it took me till yesterday to get the wine in at the new cost!  rolleyes.gif

But if Don comes in and drinks a few more bottles, he can cost average it down to a better price!  biggrin.gif

This wine retails for $60, and I think I happily paid $70-and-change the first time I [anonymously] walked into Dino (having the entire winelist to choose from, this is the bottle I ordered).

For Brunello di Montalcino, 1998 is a vintage for people who care about things that many people don't: for example, drinkability - as opposed to just sheer size.

Now Dean, about that refund...

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