Dino of Cleveland Park is described by its owners as "rustic" and "traditional with a twist." Whatever you call it, I like it.
For wine aficionados, unfortunately, Dino does not have a wine list. They have a wine BOOK! At least that's what they call it--it looked to me like an overstuffed clipboard. I mean that in a good way, because obviously they are keeping it fresh and always changing, adding, depending on what's hott and what's now. I like it.
From the moment we arrived I felt like Dino and I were meant to be--we arrived at 7 on a Saturday night with no reservation and were seated right away after we found a parking spot 15 feet from the door. It was in the stars, I tell you! We sat at one of those tall tables, which I find very comfortable, and were against a wall (nice and anchored).
It being Chanukah and all, J and I noshed on the croquette di patate, perfect little cylindrical logs of golden brown fried happiness with piping-hot moist potato within.
J's buffalo steak took us back to the good old days in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where some kind of wild game was our dinner every night (elk medallions, anyone?). Cooked to a perfect medium rare, the steak was juicy and tender and all the things it's supposed to be. After I finished my own food, it was only natural that I sample his purple potato and fontina gratin--it looked like a bruise, but tasted much better.
The halibut was perfect, and I ate every bit of my roasted eggplant risotto. While I enjoyed my meal very much, looking back at the stated ingredients, I can't say I really *felt* them all. That's not necessarily a bad thing, maybe they just worked and danced together unobtrusively...or maybe it lacked some zazz.
We didn't have dessert, but we did drink a bottle of wine. The list is accommodating to all wallets--the bottle we shared was only $21.
3435 Connecticut Ave NW
Metro: Cleveland Park