Wednesday, March 28, 2012

doin' the delicious at DINO's in DC (3-20-12)

Yes, we go to DINO's in Cleveland Park a lot and there is a reason for
that: we always have a great meal, great wine and a great time.
Last night four of us headed over without the kids for an adult night
out and sat down to some CICCHETTI (snacks) that were some of the best
UOVA alla DIAVOLA are deviled eggs, but this dish brings new meaning
to the term. Vaudovan Spice Deviled Eggs have Tuscan Pesto, Serigraph
Chile and Anchovy Aioli and will truly excite your palate and your
mind. Try them with a bottle of CECILIA "Zeta del Tucano" Vermentino
from the Island of Elba, Tuscany 2010. It is rich in fruit and
counters the small spices and strong flavors in the foods quite well.
FEGATINI or Tuscan Duck Liver Spread is not your grandma's chopped
liver but a spicier version that melts in your mouth.
Don't miss the creamy divine BURRATA (Pugliese Bufala Cheese shipped
in twice a week; owner/chef Dean Gold was the first to do this in DC)
with Kalamata Olive and Red Pepper Purees and Oven Roasted Tomatoes.

We moved onto a light red Valpolicella "Le Salette" 2009 from Corvina
that was nice with our salads:
DUCK SALAD is Crisp House Confit of Dr. Joe's Duck Leg & Thigh with
Orange, Lime & Anchovy Glaze, Arugula and Ginger Mostarda
it's lighter spring companion salad and just as tasty was the
FRUTTI DI MARE with Mussels, Clams (from Virginia), Grilled Rock
Shrimp, Squid, Bay & Sea Scallops with Arugula and a dressing of
Herbs, White Wine, Sour Cherry Tequila (an homage to cherry blossoms),
Lemon, Lime and Olio.

Did I mention the amazing dining deals at Dino's??
The 3 course dinner is $39 every night and includes:
1)Starter--either one appetizer, two cicchetti, a 1/2 order of pasta
or 2 cheeses
2)Main course or Pasta Main
3)Dessert or 2 cheeses
plus a glass of house infused "Cello" or Moscato
That's a DEAL!

We added a course for everyone to share of the BEET RISOTTO with
Gorgonzola Dolce, Hazelnuts and more. This is a superb dish to share
as an extra if you are super hungry. It is also a great veggie pasta
course as well!

Our main courses were DUCK BREAST, Dr. Joe's Jurgielewicz' Pekin Duck
Pan Seared with Leek & Black Cardamom Reduction and pan Fried Pressed
Gold Yukon Potatoes with local Scallion. It was moist and super and
SNAKEHEAD was wrapped with Prosciutto and served in a Saffron Mussel
Stew making it a novel fish to eat here in DC where it has truly
invaded and we need to eat it up!
The SOFT SHELL CRABS were the first of the season and not only are
they early, they are HUGE. Grilled plain with seasoning, Baby Greens
and a House Summer Tomato Essence on the side which was perfect for
dipping those crunchy crab legs in.

A gutsy spicy and cherried Vietti BARBERA d'ALBA 2009 "Tre Vigne" was
great with the dishes that paired well - even the crabs!

We all tried the RASPBERRY-WHITE TEA "cello" complimentary shot and
thought it a bit sweet.
Desserts were the ever-present and superb TIRAMISU, my Sorbetti which
are house made and called, "per Gli Adulti Soltanto"--for adults only.
HONEY TANGERINE & GIN (a tasty smooth and flavorful choice), PEACH &
BOURBON (my least favorite as I like bursts of flavor) and the fully
flavor bursting MEYER LEMON & RUM!
The home made GELATI however were the hit of the table.
Cinnamon would make anyone who dislikes cinnamon into a lover.
PISTACHIO brings new meaning to the nut with regard to fresh flavor,
and the
AGOSTINI CHOCOLATE was perhaps the best chocolate ice cream ever.

Our server Jimmy was a superb as always, making great suggestions and
spacing our meal perfectly.
Another star for DINO's!