We still have seats left at our table for this years' March of Dimes SIGNATURE CHEFS on November 16th. The reason you should come is right here in this review.
Last year we purchased a wine tasting with hors d'oeuvres at DINO's where Chef DEAN GOLD is in charge and is also one of the most generous restaurateurs in town. We headed there on Sunday and were totally amazed at every dish and glass we had to savor in a very long evening.
We ordered a bottle of VIGNETI MASSA '09, a Piemontese wine made from Timorasso grapes that served as a super sipping aperitif. This home grown wine is really different and offers some really nice flavors on the palate, akin to a Viognier, but not quite.
There are lots of other reasons to go to DINO (www.dino-dc.com) other than the fab food. Sundays and Mondays wines are 33-50% off and the kids menu will blow your mind. Samuel and his friend Joshua got a three course meal for $8.00 each. The price of the meal is the same as the child's age(up to 11). Samuel gobbled up his meatball starter while Joshua wolfed down the lean and tasty prosciutto. I tasted a small bite and this was some of the best PROSCIUTTO I have had in years--anywhere. They went on to have main courses of "pizza" which was really a bruschetta style bread with tomato sauce and mozzarella. Their desserts were Chocolate Sundaes made with Chocolate Gelato and not a bite was left in their bowls.
We started with two drinks-a BELLINI FRESCO made with Trevisol Prosecco and house made White Peach Liqueur (not only do they have great wines here, but the in-house drinks and home made liqueurs are fab!). This came with a BLUE in GREEN NEGRONI which was made with Blueberry Green Tea, Negroni (Cocchi Americano-a moscato-based vermouth akin to Lillet) and Dimmi (Apricot blossom) Liqueur. It packed a punch and went great with the two fish hors' d'oeuvres:
CHESAPEAKE Mini CRAB CAKES and
"FISH & CHIPS" -Pan fried Pollock with Crushed Gold Potatoes & Scallions served with a Lime Anchovy Aioli - while not a true British Fish & Chips, it might very well be the Italian version gone tasty and wild.
I must note that each set of pairings had a title and the above was Per Entree--a couple of fruits.
Obviously, Dean knows us well and we all giggled out the wazoo at these "titles."
Next came "A Pig from Head to Toe" featuring
TROTTER TOTS -porky potato croquettes
& TESTA (a magnificent aromatic and earthy pate of head cheese with arugula and chick pea salad
The wines went red to match the intensity of the food:
SESTI "Monteleccio" Rosso Toscano '08 from Montalcino was the softer version and the spicier was the
UCCELLIERRA 2008 Rosso di Montalcino (great with the Testa).
"Will nibbles on two balls" was next and I won't comment any further except that there was
VEAL MEATBALLS in Lemony Marsala Sauce
Duck Schmaltz Matzoh Ball Soup
Dean does matzo balls and the soup as good as any bubbie around...so try it out.
The wines were a nicely intense DAL MAZO "Tai Rosso" 2009 from Veneto made from Grenache, something you don't see too often in Italy and
CRIVELLI Ruche 2008 a superb Piemontese wine.
"Duck, Duck Goose" was last with
BACI (scallop wrapped with duck liver and dates in pancetta)--WOW!
& DUCK NECK (house pate stuffed in a Duck Neck)
We gobbled up everything in sight as we drank DECONCILIUS "Donnaluna" 2008 from Campania made from Aglianico and HILBERG 2008 Barbera d'Alba.
I must mention that we all gobbled up the unbelievably crusty bread with the oil, salt and pepper at the table and kept asking for more for the sauces. Our server Gregory was a (very handsome) gem and put up with all our needs in seconds and really had fun with us as well.
The event did not include dessert...be we persevered on and ordered one of each of the cheeses as they are all divine:
Guffanti Vera Paglietina--tangy yum yum
Guffanti Robiola Nostrana
Guffanti Sciumdin -one of my favorites
Ithatca "Erboro Bianco"
Gruffanti Provolone "Mandarone"-another gem
Gruffanti Blue di Lanzo
these came with candied walnuts, pickled ginger and of course crostini
Desserts chosen and devoured were
Torte di Cioccolato--a choco-walnut torte with spiced crumble crust
Torta di Mela- Apple "pancake" with Cinnamon gelato
Cappuccinno du Nutella-Nutella and Mascarpone -- bourbon soaked cherries, whipped cream and cocoa
We managed to polish off a bottle of SMITH WOODHOUSE 10 yr old TAWNY port to boot and it's amazing we all got home and did not burst.
Some auction items are okay, some are great. This was one of the best ever!