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Scarantino's, Formerly Dino's - Anyone Been?

j
Jack Flash Aug 29, 2006 05:24 AM

Scarantino's, operating in the space that was Dino's Italian Inn for 57 years, opened about a month ago, but as a loyal Dino's customer I just haven't been able to bring myself to try it yet. Has anyone been? How does it compare to its predecessor, both in terms of food and ambiance?

  1. c
    chez cherie Aug 29, 2006 02:44 PM

    fear not--it is the same family. we were just at the scarantino's location in glendale, and heard a bit about it...dino's has always been in the family, they've just changed the name to reopen. so if you liked it before, you should still find the same family recipes.

    1 Reply
    1. re: chez cherie
      j
      Jack Flash Aug 29, 2006 06:12 PM

      It's the same family, but warring factions. The Scarantino's side basically forced the Dino's contingent out of business in a family squabble. At the time Dino's closed, it was unclear whether any of the Dino's staff (including the chef who'd been there for like 35 years) would be kept on.

      But if the food is still up to snuff, that's what I care about the most.

    2. j
      jeffro Aug 29, 2006 06:06 PM

      How is Scarantino's in G-Dale? I'm always on the lookout for reliable neighborhood joints....

      1. j
        Joe Aug 30, 2006 02:29 AM

        I went there for dinner Sunday night. I was a bit reluctant at first. I feel a landmark has died and I walked in skeptical. For most part (at least the dining room itself), hasn't changed at all. They did install some windows to bring in some natural light and I actually liked that touch. The waiting area was a little different but not too dramatic. I heard the food didn't change all that much accept they raised the prices a little. I had Chicken dish (red sauce) with a side of pasta and it was very good. The marinara sauce was Dino's consistent and nice and tangy. The salad was a little different but the soup was the same old...good and hearty. The biggest thing I noticed was new faces and the price of all the entree’s were about 3-4 bucks more then before. Not too bad considering. Overall, I'd say it was fair and I think it's worth a try.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Joe
          j
          Jack Flash Aug 30, 2006 07:25 AM

          Thanks for the intel.

          I'll make it there eventually. Of course, one of the things that made Dino's so wonderful were its prices. I think that on my last visit to Dino's (closing weekend), the chicken parm was $15.95 and a bottle of Gabbiano Chianti was $22. At $19.95 or so, it just doesn't seem like as much of a bargain.

          But I'll go anyways.

          And I guess that also answers the question of whether they kept on any of the old staff...

          As for the salad, I gotta be honest. The Dino's dressing, while original, really wasn't my favorite thing in the world; I much prefer a vinaigrette. So if they changed the Dino's salad, I can live with that.

          Again, thanks for the update.

          1. re: Jack Flash
            s
            socal Aug 31, 2006 12:10 AM

            Last time I was there, we talked to the waiter specifically about the salad dressing. He said it was the SAME EXACT recipe that Scarantino's uses and it would stay that way.

            So, for better or worse, there you have it.

          2. re: Joe
            WildSwede Aug 30, 2006 02:03 PM

            Did you notice if they still have the early bird dinner special? If so, how much was it? Thanks!!

            1. re: WildSwede
              j
              Joe Aug 30, 2006 03:31 PM

              Darn! I knew I had forgotten something. I'm sorry, no I didn't notice or ask. I should've though! The early bird specials were great. I do hope they still have them.

          3. a
            Andrew Gore Aug 30, 2006 02:18 PM

            Interesting blog post about Scar's and Dino's here (scroll down):

            http://ellenbloom.blogspot.com/2006/0...

            Apparently, Scar's started out decades ago on La Cienega's Restaurant Row.

            1. b
              Bruin2 Aug 30, 2006 04:46 PM

              Andrew: To be precise, Scarantino's was not on Restaurant Row. It was on La Cienaga south of Pico. Most people remember it because it was next to a miniature golf course that a lot of kids in the neighborhood (which I'll call Pico/Robertson) remember.

              1. s
                Scarantino Sep 10, 2006 10:25 PM

                As a member of the Scarantino Family, I think I can clear some of these questions up.

                My great-uncle, Mike Scarantino founded Dino's in 1949, and named it after my great-uncle Dino Scarantino. There were no "warring factions." Dino's simply went out of business.

                It is now back in the original family, and the recipes are back to what they were before the ownership changes in the 1970's. The menu/recipe changes were only in the interest of making it as close to the original as possible. Many of the dishes that we took of the menu were not original Scarantino recipes, and were added long after the location was founded. We are happy to make non-menu items upon request, so if a favorite is missing, ask.

                The prices are almost identical to what Dino's prices were in the months leading up to their closure (between $10-15 for dinners) Gene LaVelle, waiter of 46 years, is still with us, as it Tony, Maitre'D of 22 years.

                I hope that clears things up a bit!

                As for specials, we're currently working on putting some together. A website is also on the way. Things have been very busy, but I will do my best to keep you updated.

                Thanks again!

                1 Reply
                1. re: Scarantino
                  j
                  Joe Sep 18, 2006 09:25 PM

                  Thanks for taking time out to clear-up any misunderstandings. I look forward to returning to Scarantino's with my kids and SO.

                  Please do pass on any information you have on any upcoming specials or web site, when completed. You'd be surprised how many people read this board.

                  Best of luck!

                2. h
                  HungryGirl Oct 6, 2006 08:06 PM

                  Glad to hear that Dino's menu hasn't changed. I grew up in Glendale, but strangely only made it to Scarantino's last month for the first time with my own family. For some reason, my parents always drove to Dino's instead and I have very fond memories of the cannelloni and great waitstaff.

                  1. f
                    fewinhibitions Mar 12, 2009 03:04 PM

                    Just an update...took my wife to Scarantino's Glendale for her birthday last night. I have been going there since the late 70's. Happy to say that Scarantino's never fails to deliver! We started with the Portabello mushroom appetizer which was prepared perfectly. For dinner, I had the Chicken Rolletini which was absolutely fantastic. The sauce has that right touch of subtle sweetness that makes your mouth water while your taste buds dance for joy. My wife has the Veal Picatta which, as per usual, was also fantastic. Can't forget the Minestrone soup - one of the best recipes I have ever had. I also enjoyed a glass of house Merlot - Pasqua from Italy. So much so, I bought a bottle to take home. Service was excellent, thank you Jason! You will not find a better Italian restaurant than Scarantino's in Glendale. I refuse to do any business in Glendale, with the exception of two restaurants, our favorite being Scarantino's.

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