Sunday, April 16, 2017

Dino's delicious not kosher for Passover, Passover-style miracle menu (4-15-17)

Every year we go to our friend Dean Gold's restaurant, Dino's in Shaw, for the very special Seder-like meal that he has tweaked and refined over the years with amazing recipes from his family ancestors in Italy.
This special menu is offered only through tomorrow evening (Monday, April 17) and is an amazing $59 per person and really worth it as you leave feeling as if you have truly overeaten at your bubbe's seder!
There are, as always, photos on my FB page of this super seder special that we enjoyed with two of our best friends last night while the kid's stayed home and enjoyed my miraculous matzah pizza. (By the way, it looks like our trip this coming winter will be to Peru where we will actually finally get to visit the real Machu Picchu!).
The meals starts with Tea Eggs with a parsley & horseradish Pesto that in itself is amazing with great mustard flavor for dipping the gorgeous variegated eggs into which have been simmered for 3-1/2 hours then marinated overnight and treated like little babys to give them the magnificent colors and "cracks." You have to look at the phot on FB to appreciate this and understand the love and work that went into this simplest appearing of dishes. Easter Eggs, eat your heart out!
Just as delicious and one of this year's highlights was the Veggie Antipasti Trio made up of Grilled Asparagus with a tangy tarragon aioli, Spinach sautéed with Garlic, lemon & Shallots and the Grilled Kale Raab (the flowering stock of the kale plant, as explained on the menu). Any vegetarian would have been thrilled with this as a main course!
We brought two bottles of kosher Passover wine from our cellar as Dino's doesn't serve kosher wine, although the regular wine list is awesome there. Domaine Netofa Syrah/Mourvedre blend 2012 from Basse Galilee (the fancy French term for Lower Galilee, where winemaking has become an art, as it is all over Israel) and then we went onto a rare Galil (again Hebrew for Galilee) Mountain 2012 Meron red blend of 70% Syrah/20%Petit Verdot/10%Cabernet Sauvignon from Galil Elyon (Hebrew for Upper Galilee) where we visited last summer and fell in love with the winery, the staff and indeed the wines!
Next up is what Chef Dean terms the "Passover Triumvirate:"
Duck Schmaltz Matzo Ball Soup with fluffy balls and a rich peppery broth that would make any grandma proud.
Chopped Chicken Liver that was almost creamy and peppery as well with a flavor that lasts forever, but the most amazing dish, as always, on this menu is the
House Gefilte Fish made from salmon, mahi-mahi and rockfish which I have to admit, if I ever have to make a seder at home, this is one item I would have to order out for. It is simply the best gefilte fish on earth!
Don't forget the homemade whit horseradish as well that packs a kick and I adore.
The three main courses are served with delicious Tzimmes (a dish I have not always appreciated, but love here in its grilled form) and tasty Matzo Kugel:
Chraime is Cobia or Rockfish with a Sephardic style spicy tomato sauce that hails from Livorno(?) and would make even the most boring fish wake up. This fish, however, was super tasty and the dish was another bright light in so many wonderful courses. The Braised Chicken is Amish raised French Red Hen with preserved lemon & olives as well as braised onions, while the Overnight Vittelone Brisket of veal breast (Randall Lineback Ruby Veal) cooked 12 hours is very special.
I am not a big dessert person and even more so on Passover but the Macaroons, Walnut Cookies and amazing Chocolate Matzo Crunch may have converted me.
Our server Stefania used to work at the old Dino's on Connecticut Avenue as is a welcome face here and such a kind and considerate person. She handled our every request and also loved the Meron Red blend!
Dino's is always special and even more so for families, as the place was packed with so many of them last night for this big holiday weekend. I am sure you can get a table tomorrow for the last day of the fabulous Passover presentation!