While we had a wonderful evening at BECK on Saturday, the birthday celebration continued on Sunday when my sister, brother, sister-in-law and nephew joined Will, Samuel & I for a wonderful family dinner at DINO (www.dino-dc.com) which has become on of Sam's favorite spots due to the penne pasta, sauce and loads of parmesan on his made-to-order children's portion. On Sundays and Monday there is the added incentive of 33% those wines priced over $50, and as I have said before the wines collected by owner Dean Gold over the years are truly excellent.
While Sam enjoyed his pasta we started with an excellent bottle of BUCCI "Villa Bucci" 2001 Verdicchio from the Marche region of Italy that is an oaked wine, a rarity for this grape, and a tasty bet to boot.
The appetizers were varied around the table with the fresh flown in from Italy BURRATA being a big hit with its buffala mozzarella wrapped around ricotta with an olive tapenade, olio and tomato basil sauces surrounding; a true and rare treat for cheese lovers (oh boy would this be great with some heirloom tomatoes in the summer!). The BARBABIETOLE or Beet Salad is not your average beet salad in that it has small diced veggies and includes cucumber and tomato. While less pure that an only sliced beet salad it is delish and is topped with three yummy mini FRIED GOAT CHEESE FRITTERS, For extra taste you can add pancetta for $1.00!
Dino has many entree options, but we all seemed to be in PASTA-MODE so i went for the new dish on the menu: CONCHIGLIE AI GRANCHI which is saffron shell pasta, crab, ramps, herbs and olio; a superb combination and reasonably light for the summer as well. Others opted for the heavier and tasty PAPPARDELLE with WILD BOAR Ragu or the FUSILI al Ragu d'AGNELLO, a lamb ragu with pork and veal over the homemade pasta. YUM!
It was not hard for me to go with a bigger red wine when Dean suggested a HILBERG NEBBIOLO 2003 that had a monstrous nose and was intensely earthy on the tongue, but not tannic or super strong--we fell in love immediately!
Desserts varied from Sam's COOKIES & CREAM GELATO to my SOGNO di LIMONCELLO a combo of LEMON CUSTARD with BISQUIT and homemade RASPBERRY Sorbetto, not one of us went home unhappy!
A quiet week in store, but more from NYC this weekend!