Holiday Dining in the District (And Maybe Parts of VA)
Lia's Revisited

Early Dino Dinner

I was happy to see that Dino is still pounding out good food when we dropped in for an early dinner on Friday night. It was a few months since we dropped in so I didn't mind ordering some of my usual favorites like the hearty Pappardelle ai Cinghiale, or Aglio (roasted garlic) which Amy refers to as Washington DC's Dish Most Worth Missing Out On A Goodnight Kiss, but we also tried a couple of the "newer" dishes like the three-cheese polenta with baccala (salt cod) and the Zucca Ripieno, a magnificent vegetarian dish that's basically a hollowed out squash filled with a hearty winter veggie hash. Oh, and it also came with the creamy three-cheese polenta on the side.

My favorite thing that night was not something we ate, but was the bottle of Marchese Dei Gresy Nebbiolo that we drank with dinner. Slightly spicy flavors were complimented by a nice smooth finish similar to that of a Pinot Noir. I find that whenever I delve deep into the wine book at Dino, I leave even more impressed with the wine selection.

A great meal at a great price with friendly service. What else can you ask for?



I love the wine list there. The owner (Dean) is great at picking a great accompaniment to your meal. Often we surpass our self imposed wine budget but it's worth it. Chris the Bartender is very good as well.


Yes, we often surpass our wine budget there too. Its definitely one of those places that I like a lot, but can't visit all that often because, yow, how did a Tuesday night meal for two end up to be $150?


Laura... come on a Sunday or Monday and get 1/3 off the wines over $50!


Count me in as another fan of the aglio dish. I've had roasted garlic on toasted italian bread many times, but when you pair with gorgonzola and tomato jam and it becomes incredible.

Annother dish I'd recomend is mushroom pasta. My sister ordered it when I took my family there in November and I couldn't stop stealing tastes of it.

Joe Hoya

My wife read about a variation on the Neapolitan tradition of the Feast of Seven Fishes for Christmas dinner that Dino is running for the next few days, so we decided to try it tonight before heading up to New Jersey for the genuine article.

The meal is pris fixe, five courses for $55 per person, and it was absolutely wonderful. First comes a plate of fried seafood (calamari, whole anchovies and a whole sardine) which were light and crisp and served atop a lightly tangy tomato sauce. It was followed by a variation on Italian wedding soup, with meatballs made from salmon - an improvement over the original, if you ask me.

From there, the next course is a pasta - massive ricotta-filled ravioli in a lobster sauce with calamari, cuttlefish and lobster meat on top. The ravioli itself was pretty standard fare (though it was perfectly al dente), but the seafood accompaniment really made the dish.

For the entree, you have the choice of a whole fish for two (or more) people or a plate of scallops and other seafood in garlic and oil. Groups of three or more get to enjoy both entrees, but we chose the fish (branzino) as we were only two. Without any basis for comparison, I've got a pretty good idea that we chose wisely. A choice of dolcetto from their dessert menu was included, as well. I took the opportunity to enjoy the 7-year old reggiano drizzled with 30-year old balsamic vinegar...not quite a dolcetto, maybe, but something I had been meaning to try on this menu for quite some time. It did not disappoint.

With the exception of the soup, all of the courses are served family style, to encourage sharing. And, for those who are keeping count, the magic number (7) was reached:


I am so excited that my wife found out about this, and it has definitely put me into the holiday spirit as we prepare to face another meal of seven fish (most of which are completely different, at least) on Sunday night.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night at Dino!


Do you think Dino is ok for a well behaved 2 year old? Early? Like at 5:30?


Yes. I bring my son there all the time and he's 15 mos.

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