After living over in the Vann Ness DC neighborhood for seven years, I grew a true appreciation for the neighborhood restaurants in the Cleveland Park area. Situated right next door to my neighborhood, Cleveland Park was home to DC staples such as Palena (now closed), Lavandou (now closed), Vace’s and Dino’s (moved). With so many staples closing and/or moving, the question rings in my head “what is going on in that neighborhood?!”. This is perhaps the reason I am most happy and excited to see that Dino’s only closed its doors to open its doors in my other fave stomping grounds, off of the U Street corridor.
Tucked in the 9th street corridor right off of U street NW, Dino’s has changed its name to Dino’s Grotto, added a few new names to the menu and kept the things that made it a staple in the District. Starting with the Free Form Lasagnette ~ not your nonna’s lasagna! ~, Dino’s Grotto has made the proper decision in keeping things on the menu that the “Regulars” love. A rich combination of pork & veal ragu, besciamella, pomodoro, bacon and grana, Dino’s lasagna gives you every reason to break all your diet rules. Newbies to the menu help to give Dino’s a fresh face with ingredients like goat in the Stracotto di Capra paired with red wine and pancetta.
One of the most inviting parts of the new Dino’s is the bar downstairs, which boasts a creative array of cocktails paired with seasonal favorites. The names of these cocktails will crack you up (See pics below). Cheers to Dino’s Grotto!