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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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News on the Dino front!

We are starting to roll out or reserve list. You can ask for it starting Saturday night. We will have the red wines in place starting then. Whites to follow shortly. The list follows our pricing policy of list retail plus $10.00 for any wine I can call the distributor and re-order. If its sold out, the wine will be priced to reflect market pricing but I bet it will still be reasonable compared to any restaurant in the area. Right now between the reserve list and the "focus list" we ahve about 250 wines available. Some are fairly limited. There are wines from $20 a bottle to over $500 (retail plus $10 on Dal Forno Amarone is really expensive!)

Some wineries represented:

Valpolicella and Amarone:

Dal Forno

Quintarelli

Le Salette (amazingly good and well priced)

Bussola

Sangiovese:

Cerbaiona (especilly good is the Rosso 2000)

Collemattone (Brunello and Rosso- major wonderful producer, good on value)

Pertimali

Ciacci Piccolomini

Piemonte:

Marcarini

Cantina del Pino

Bartolo Mascarello

L Pira

Mocagatta

Paolo Cordero

Friuli

Jerman Pignacolusse

Ronco del Gnemiz

Zamo

Oddities

Gravner

Lispida

Due Terre

Poggio Gagliardo

California

Ridge (Lots)

Corrison

Ramey

More coming as soon as we can figure out where to put it all!!!

Edited by deangold

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La la la...

Just got home from a fabulous dinner at Dino. Unlike my weekend experience at Metropolitan in Annapolis, and despite being ditched by my original dining partner, tonight was definitely NOT a disappointment!

My two girlfriends and I put ourselves in the very capable hands of Justin, who usually is a manager but luckily for us was serving on this night. He kept bringing us dishes and we kept scarfing them up. We started with the mixed crostini (the cod and the eggplant were my favorites), which Justin wisely paired with a lovely Plozner Grave del Fruili. He followed that with several small plates -- prosciutto, roasted baby squash, scamorza and heirloom tomato salad paired with Arnaldo Coprai "Grecante." At this point, I was ready for entrees, but my friends were leaning toward dessert, so I ordered the balsamico with aged reggiano paired with an absolutely delicious amarone-like dessert wine (can't remember the name).

Not only was the food fantastic -- the atmosphere was perfect and the service was truly superb. Justin was by far the best server I have ever had at a restuarant. It was obvious he cared about the food and he cared about us. Without a doubt, I would recommend Dino to anyone and I will definitely be going back (hopefully next time with people who will want to eat more!).

Also had the chance to say hello to Dean, although he was celebrating his birthday and was focusing on more important things than me.

Night-night. :P

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I'm beginning to think it's dangerous to live only a few block's from Dino's.

Sunday night--tired, exhausted, sweaty from an afternoon at RFK. Cooking is beyond me at this point.

A plate of prosciutto and cheeses beckoned. A parking space was open out front.

Had a lovely early evening with a little wine, a little chat with Dean and Justin, admired the downstairs and went home satiated.

We expanded our horizons into the crostinis--finally! The cod was a bit salty but quite nice and the pate was a clear winner for me.

I'm terrible at remembering the cheeses--I know we had the cheddar and two other mild ones. I'm very much a girl who doesn't want her to cheese to taste much like cheese so I'm a fan of the milder stuff. St. Andres is my idea of a good time. Mr. BLB liked the cheddar and the others, I only really liked the mildest and softest one we had. (The first step is admitting I have a problem, right???)

The stewed fruits and the pickled veggies are a wonderful new addition.

Thanks for a wonderful meal!

Jennifer

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I'm terrible at remembering the cheeses--I know we had the cheddar and two other mild ones.  I'm very much a girl who doesn't want her to cheese to taste much like cheese so I'm a fan of the milder stuff.... Mr. BLB liked the cheddar and the others, I only really liked the mildest and softest one we had.  (The first step is admitting I have a problem, right???)

The stewed fruits and the pickled veggies are a wonderful new addition.

I think you had the Pecorino Fresco Putzulu and the La Tur of I recall correctly. The La Tur is a soft and creamy cheese that is a litttle pungent when ripe. The ppecorino fresco is really tender like a monterey jack but with a ot of flavor and a touch of tang. Arthur, our sous chef, is the force behind the stewed fruit and the pickles.

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Also had the chance to say hello to Dean, although he was celebrating his birthday and was focusing on more important things than me.

Night-night.  :lol:

I was hearing the siren call of the wines we drank tonight......

Collosorbo Rosso di Montalcino 2002

Fieldstone Petite Sirah 90

Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon 1984 Jimsomare Vineyard

Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon 1986 Montebello Vineyard

Kistler 1985 Cabernet Sauvignon Kistler Vineyard (the wine Kay and I drank at the alter at our wedding ceremony!).

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he La Tur is a soft and creamy cheese that is a litttle pungent when ripe.

A top-notch cheese and another reason why we have to get to Dino in the not too distant future . fyi - Jill also has it at Cheestique

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Ah, La Tur. I recall it's a very creamy, innocuous, accommodating cheese. Tastes like virgin's thighs.

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Ah, La Tur. I recall it's a very creamy, innocuous, accommodating cheese. Tastes like virgin's thighs.

I am althogether too old to recall that flavor... Luckily I can just order a case of La Tur from my vendor... don't have a reliable source for virgins at an affordable price...

Edited by deangold

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I am althogether too old to recall that flavor...  Luckily I can just order a case of La Tur from my vendor... don't have a reliable source for virgins at an affordable price...

Make sure to let us know the second you get the La Tur in! :lol:

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I left a message on the Dino answering machine in the hopes for reservations for a party of 6 this Friday night to celebrate my upcoming and my boyfriend's belated birthdays. I'm keeping my fingers crossed (since it's late notice) that they can take us...that nutella and mascarpone panini sounds unbelievably wonderful.

If they can't take us, we may just ditch the rest of the party and stop by early by ourselves. :lol:

*ETA: Just received a call back from Mike at Dino to confirm our reservation. Looking forward to it!

Amy

Edited by amyblues

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Make sure to let us know the second you get the La Tur in!  rolleyes.gif

Its in right now.... two more cases. I would call you a dirty old man Rocks but I would probably be less than accurate. You're not that old! laugh.gif

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Say cheese.

Torta Basilico mascarpone, La Tur, Montenebro goat, Neal's Yard Cheddar, Neal's Yard Stilton.

Is there anything better than cool, soft, yielding cheeses with a glass of Iron Horse Rosato, crusty raisin bread, and fresh tangy raspberry moustarda? Very little.

The Stilton was especially fantastic. Great tang. As it gets warmer the La Tur seems to develop something akin to a bite, but the last taste of that one -- vanishing on the tongue -- was the best taste of all.

Jael

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I finally made it to Dino last night for the first time. And I'm still kicking myself that it took so long seeing as I live in the neighborhood. Well as I told our waitress last night, we will definitely be back very frequently.

There were four in our party and we had a great time making our way through the menu. First, while waiting for our table we sampled the very nice assortment of olives at the bar while sipping the old vines Pellegrini that Chris recommended (thanks! it was delicious).

It was a group of very close friends and my wife - so I was able to get bites of almost everything :P Then we started our meals we two salads: the special watermelon, olives, and watercress which was such a perfect mix of sweet and tangy flavors and the insalata misticana which was quintessential italian cooking - simple preparation of great ingredients. Both were delicious.

I also had the scamorza which was not what I expected. It was like a gooey cheese dip that you then spread on the toasted bread that accompanies it. Albeit a smoked mozzarella, scrumptous gooey cheese dip. It was a little heavy for my taste and could use a few more tomatos in my opinion.

Then we had a full portion of the Bogoi in Salsa whole wheat pasta full of salty capers, anchovies, and aromatic onions and garlic. I loved this dish - pretty much because I'm a sucker for anything with onions and capers. My friend didn't like it at first but as he dug deeper in the very large, very full bowl (read great deal to share for $11), he liked the dish better because the pasta at the bottom had more oil. I think the dish was right on, but the bites from the top of the bowl were alittle dry which was exaggerated I think since it was whole wheat pasta. Maybe a extra toss of the pasta before eating it would fix this minor problem.

Then we moved onto entrees: the special whole sea bass with herbs, lemon, and olive oil, the cheese ravioli special with tomatos, and the agnello lamb. All were good, but the first courses were better.

I mostly ate the sea bass which was delicious, but not very different from similar preparations at other restaurants nor their price at $25. So if you love this kind of fish and don't mind the price, go for it. If you'd rather take advantage of Dino's greater, typically lower price search elsewhere.

My wife and her friend raved about the ravioli as not only wonderful tasting but extremely filling and with such great tomatos. Maybe I shouldn't be upset at myself for waiting to go to Dino's until prime tomato season.

The lamb dish was probably the least favorite. Only my friend ate it and he said it was kind of dry and needed some more sauce.

Lastly, we were so excited about the great menu, we ordered everything at once at the beginning which left us with too many leftovers including only a nibbled on panini of grilled vegetables and goat cheese. This was sad though because I tried it and it was wonderful. Next time I'm looking for a quick meal, I'm going to go straight to this $7 panini.

We finished with just one dessert since we were mostly stuffed. We had the gelato/sorbet combo which typically comes with 3 scoops. I think it is primarily 3 scoops to go with the cute 3 section dish it is served in. However, my wife and her friend each wanted 2 scoops of peach sorbet and mint chocolate chip gelato(which was very different - lots shavings of chocolate with mint cream holding it together - very unusual and good) and were told they could get an extra scoop on the side. Now, I made the classic mistake of forgetting to ask how much for the extra scoop. Well the check came and the dessert of 3 scoops was $7 and the extra scoop was $4. Not sure how an extra scoop costs almost double (maybe cleaning the dish :lol: , but it was a small annoyance at the end of an otherwise delightful meal.

Overall the service was friendly and helpful. The only awkwardness was the giving and taking away our plates since we were sharing lots of dishes. On occassion I had a plate but no food and then when I still had food, my plate was gone. But I could see the staff working hard from our cozy table across from the kitchen where I had a great view of special prosciutto slicer.

We'll be back soon hopefully. I bet next time, we'll try more small plates and some of the tastes of wine. Oh I almost forgot I have to complement Dean on the great little extras like the salts and the very good oil for dipping the bread in.

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Some wine, fresh heirlooms, amazing prosciutto, tasty cheese (that La Tur is some incredible stuff!), and a sweet tiramisu made for a good evening at the bar.

As I was leaving and walking past the crowded bar I heard some guy telling his friend about this site called donrockwell.com. I would have stopped to say hi but I could not tell who said it and I had to leave. I guess I will have to give a loud toast next time. :lol:

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I was lucky enough to inherit Mike's seat at the bar. Chris might just be my new favorite barman now that Jeff from Palena returned to Colorado!

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gnathrobed and I are going to make our madien voyage next week at Dino's! We can't wait. Yummm...dreaming of cured meats and pasta.

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I guess I will have to give a loud toast next time.

I had a "to Rocks!" toast with my bar neighbor there on Wednesday after she asked Chris about "that wine that Dean's always talking about on the internet." (Which I think is exactly how I phrased it when I'd asked him about the Brunello myself.)

Jael

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Hello bar neighbor. Great meeting you. It seems we weren't the only members of the rockwell cult at Dino's on Wednesday. We're taking over. To Rocks!

I had a "to Rocks!" toast with my bar neighbor there on Wednesday after she asked Chris about "that wine that Dean's always talking about on the internet." (Which I think is exactly how I phrased it when I'd asked him about the Brunello myself.)

Jael

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Going the Dino for the first time tonight (finally!) with a group of friends. The idea is to get there 6:00 or 6:30ish for snacks and vino at the bar. How crowded has it been early on recently?

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Going the Dino for the first time tonight (finally!) with a group of friends.  The idea is to get there 6:00 or 6:30ish for snacks and vino at the bar.  How crowded has it been early on recently?

I got there right around 6 yesterday and the bar was relatively empty, but filled up rather quickly. How large is your group? There are about 8 seats on the semi-circular bar and 4 2-tops.

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I got there right around 6 yesterday and the bar was relatively empty, but filled up rather quickly.  How large is your group?  There are about 8 seats on the semi-circular bar and 4 2-tops.

We'll be 5-6, so hopefully we'll be able to snag some bar seats. Depending on timing and groupmood we may just sit down for a light dinner. I take it the Brunello is still available?

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We'll be 5-6, so hopefully we'll be able to snag some bar seats.  Depending on timing and groupmood we may just sit down for a light dinner.  I take it the Brunello is still available?

It was on the menu last night, but I did not have any myself.

BTW, get the La Tur!

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We will be closed Labor Day and Tuesday September 6 as well. But we will begin service 7 nights a week thereafter. Our first Tuesday dinner, September 13, is a benefit for the American Red Cross and we will be donating 25% of revenue to their disaster relief programs.

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Ate my first meal at Dino last night. It's a very lovely restaurant - definitely a place I'd recommend for a first date...if the people have good palates!

Highlights of the meal were the proscuitto crudo, "La Tur" cheese, gorgonzola, the cranberry & walnut bread served with the cheese platter, the fruit compote, peach sorbetto and my new favorite, pistachio gelato. I could eat a whole gallon of that stuff.

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