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Al Crostino owners Lina and Juliana Nicolai closed their U Street NW restaurant late last year after their landlord, JBG Companies, did not renew their lease in order to make way for condo construction. But the Italian spot will be making appearances in the neighborhood again through monthly pop-up dinners at Den of Thieves (formerly Hanoi House) beginning tomorrow, with 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. seatings. The four-course menu will include antipasti, pasta, a fish or meat course, and dessert. To make a reservation, email jknicolai@gmail.com.

Meanwhile, the Nicolais have acquired a lease to operate The Westchester dinning room at 4000 Cathedral Ave. NW and are still searching for ways to permanently return to the U Street neighborhood.

This will be the second “takeover” of the Den of Thieves space: Toki Underground chef Erik Bruner-Yang used it for several months as a test kitchen and “residency” for his forthcoming fashion and food market Maketto.

Photo of Den of Thieves by Jessica Sidman