Dino’s Grotto to open May 15

Dino's Grotto, the Shaw heir of Cleveland Park's Dino, has an opening date: Fans of chef Dean Gold can mark off May 15 as their first chance to check out the new restaurant at 1914 Ninth St NW.

Dean Gold will adopt a more casual style with his new place, Dino's Grotto, in Shaw. (Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)
Dean Gold will adopt a more casual style with his new place, Dino's Grotto, in Shaw. (Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)

You'll recall that Gold's Cleveland Park restaurant closed Feb. 23, after he realized he'd be able to draw bigger crowds in trendier Shaw. His exit preceded a broader trend of restaurants closing in Cleveland Park, furthered last weekend by the closure of Frank Ruta's Palena.

Dino's Grotto will seat 76, with a 10-person communal table and a bar on each floor. The beverage program will focus on "anti-technology" wines from small, old-fashioned family producers, and house-made syrups, infused liquors and fruit cellos.

Gold's specialty is rustic Italian cuisine, and he pledges to use local farmers and purveyors, like Virginia's Shenandoah Valley Beef and The Farm at Sunnyside.

A press release listed a few menu highlights:

Cicchetti (Small Snacks)
• Vadouvin Devilled Eggs with steelhead roe & anchovy Sriracha aioli $7
• Sarde in Saor  -- sardine, onion, raisin, vinegar, white wine $4

Panini (served w/house pickles)
• Meatball,  sharp provolone $12
• Grosso -- mortadella, finocchiona, provolone $14

Antipasti
• Forte -- spicy greens, garlicky balsamic vinaigrette, pecorino $8
• Duck Schmaltz Matzo Ball Soup $8
• Meatball $8
• Trotter Tots -- pork shank & hock, potato, Lioni smoked mozzarella, pepper gravy $8
• Mozzarella in Carrozza -- fried Italian mozzarella di bufala sandwich, with spicy Sorrento tomato sauce $8
• Carciofi alla Giudia -- deep fried artichokes $12

The Dino Burger
• 10 oz local dry aged beef, grilled ciabatta with anchovy, sriracha aioli, house relish $12
• House veggie or vegan burger $10
• Lamb burger with tzatziki and feta $15

Market Primi: Risotto, House Pasta (egg & gluten free corn fusilli & spaghetti available)
• Four cheese polenta with roasted mushrooms or sausage & Sorrento tomato $10 / $16
• Risotto with local asparagus, ramp, morel $14 / $20
• Pomodoro $12 / $18

Dino Regulars (Entrees)
• Farro & Ceci -- roasted & grilled seasonal veggies, black truffle $18
• Steak, anchovy salsa verde, Tuscan potato $24
• East Coast Cioppino -- head-on shrimp, scallop, fish, mussel, clam, calamari $24

Dino's Grotto, 1914 9th St NW, 202-686-2966. Metro: Shaw/Howard University. Opens May 15.

Maura Judkis covers culture, food, and the arts for the Weekend section and Going Out Guide.
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