dino’s grotto

Dinos-Dino's Grotto, the latest incarnation of the Dino's restaurant of Cleveland Park, opened in mid-May at 1914 9th St, NW.  I visited for the first time last week and my immediate impression was "yum."  

Dino-foodThe first thing to note is Dino's Grotto offers a kick ass happy hour from 5-7pm everyday.  $3 off wine, beer and antipasti, $12 mussel pots and $15 burger and a brew.  They also offer 33% off all wines over $50 and their wine list is amazing. The happy hour specials are offered in the basement bar and the wine bar on the second floor.  

Personally, I'm not a huge fan of the basement bar.  For me, it lacked ambiance and it's loud.  In fact, the look of the restaurant is decidedly "meh."  On the flip side, Dino just closed in Cleveland Park and re-opened in Shaw.  I'm sure the focus was on re-opening and not the decor.  

The food, on the other hand, is stellar.  My husband and I ordered a slew of antipasti:  burrata, trotter tots, duck confit, and fried artichokes.  The burrata and duck confit were out of this world.  The trotter tots and the fried artichokes weren't as impressive.  After our snacks, we moved upstairs to the wine bar and ate dinner. Again, the food was excellent.  Dean Gold, the owner/chef, was working the room and he recommended the barrimundi.  It featured seasonal vegetables and mussels and I'd order it again and again.  My husband ordered the risott0 with spring vegetables and it too was delicious.   

Overall, I'm thrilled there's a new Italian option in the 'hood that offers wonderful food.  Welcome Dino!


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