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Jan 16, 2009 03:33 PM

Dining at Dino's

What's good at Dino's? I don't drink, so I don't need to know about their fabulous wine list.

Is casual dress appropriate? Is parking gonna be next to impossible?


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  1. Parking isn't easy. We usually park in the pay lot between Dino and Palena. It costs a few bucks, but it generally eliminates the hassle of finding parking. Or if you can take the metro, the Cleveland Park stop is just steps from Dino. Casual dress is appropriate--the owner/chef (Dean Gold) is always recognizable by his aloha shirt, no matter the season.

    What's good? My favorites are the cinghale (wild boar pasta) and three cheese polenta with wild mushrooms. I occasionally stray from my faves, but despite my best plans to try different things, I find the cinghale irresistable. My wife really likes the chicken and some of the vegetable dishes.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JeffCraddock

      Weird. I know I wrote a response and thought I posted it, but I'm not seeing it. Anyway, I'm intrigued by the wild boar. What's boar like?

      And the polenta sounds great. That's a starter, right?

    2. I have favorites too (the wild boar pasta, the burratta, the charcuterie), and I usually intend to order them, and then Dean talks me into a special or whatever he thinks is especially good that night.

      So, that's my advice. Ask Dean what he's really grooving on at the moment, and that's how to get the best out of the kitchen.

      1 Reply
      1. re: DanielK

        Okay, that's two votes for the wild boar. Burrata sounds interesting too. And I'll check the specials.

      2. The mushrooms in duck broth is not to be missed. It's unlike anything I have had in a while. On cold nights like tonight I find the lasagna the perfect meal. The fritto misto is also well done. If you are a cheese lover, ask Dean to put a plate together for you.

        3 Replies
        1. re: pineapple sage

          The mushroom soup sounds great. I don't see fritto misto on the menu. But I think I'll have lots of other good choices.

          1. re: Mallomar

            Menu changes frequently, depending on what ingredients come in that look good.

            Wild boar is, as would be expected, a richer, gamier pork.

            In my last couple of trips, from the specials I had the Collo d’Anatra (Dean's recommendation), Fantasia di Macelleria (my inability to resist pate), and Petto d’Anatra (Dean's recommendation again). All were spectacular. And I heard raves about the summer tomato panna cotta, from summer tomatoes they froze. I went over the summer for a special tomato dinner, that was out of this world.

            1. re: DanielK

              You were right about the tomata panna cotta. We had 7 people in our group, so we ordered several appetizers to pass around. Two of us really loved the panna cotta (everyone else was ambivalent), so we had most of it to ourselves. Everyone shared the polenta and roasted winter veggies, which were both good, although I would have preferred less cheese on the polenta (it just seemed to taste overwhelmingly of cheese). And I had the mushroom duck soup, which I LOVED.

              When Dean started describing the specials, he had me at Golden Tile Fish. I really liked the fish, but thought the accompanying rice/veggie dish was a bit bland. My husband had the wild boar -- I stole several forkfuls. It was delicious -- I would have sworn it was beef. Didn't taste porky to me.

              We were all too full for dessert, but that's never stopped me. (LOL) I had the gelato trio. Liked the cinnamon, wasn't crazy about the cranberry, LOVED the chocolate.

              All in all, a very enjoyable meal. Even the bread was great. Next time, I won't load up on appetizers and will save some room for one of the fancier desserts. The apple torte thing looked great when I saw a server whisk by with one.

              Thanks to all for the suggestions.

        2. On his current menu I like the Collo d’Anatra and the Fantasia di Macelleria but then I'm a sucker for anything with duck. I also like the Polenta ai Tre Formaggi con Funghi. The Pappardelle ai Cinghiale (wild boar) is always a favorite. If you have a big appetite, or are willing to share, the Bistecca alla Fiorentina is a huge (over 2 pounds) steak that is very good. For dessert I almost always order the Manodori Balsamico con Gelato (vanilla gelato with aged Balsamico) but the Cappuccino di Nutella runs a close second.

          1. Just wanted to chime in here with what a lot of people are already saying - we had a really nice meal there last night. The highlights were the Collo d’Anatra, tomato panna cotta, lamb shortribs and the flat iron steak with this really wonderful green salsa of sorts.