Dino in Cleveland Park (3435 Connecticut Ave., NW) is, like, the Michael Phelps of Restaurant Week, truly unbelievable and smoking the competition. Really, you say? Can Dino be that good? Can Dino be completely and utterly peerless?
Tell me about the menu: Everything’s on it, Phelps Phans, not just three paltry dishes for each course. The only up-charge is for some ridiculously large steak. If you want some ridiculously large steak, why are you at a “rustic Italian” joint in Cleveland Park? Why are you not home watching Michael Phelps listen to his iPod?
Rather stay home and watch Michael Phelps listen to his iPod while Rowdy Gaines endlessly oogles him? Restaurant Week at Dino is Restaurant Month, through the end of August. Phew! Phelps!
How about the booze? Wine list is large. It’s on a clipboard. There’s another edited, annotated version for non-sommeliers. It includes clues like “explosive” and “bracing.” So does Rowdy Gaines when he’s oogling Michael Phelps. Go with wine, which comes in a 5 oz. or 8 oz. pour. I started with a G&T while waiting for a friend and it was just shy of $11. It was “bracing” and all, but not worth $11 and not worth missing Michael Phelps swim a 200 IM heat, winning while still conserving energy.
What if I like cheese as much as I like Michael Phelps? You’re totally in luck. Instead of the graham-nut apple crumble topped with black peppercorn gelato, you can get a selection of cheeses for your third course. But why would you want to? Only Frenchies do that and did you see the way Michael Phelps‘ relay team SMASHED the Frenchies in the 4 by 100? Because Rowdy Gaines did and he thought it was AWESOME. U-S-A!!! U-S-A!!!
Can I have some more booze please? Yes, yes you can and—-get this—-it’s free! Dino, in an unprecedented RW move, offers a complimentary pour of dessert wine, grappa, or (for the non-boozer) limoncello. Michael Phelps would order the limoncello, Rowdy Gaines? Total grappa guy. You decide.
So how’s the food? O-M-G!!! O-M-G!! It was like Michael Phelps did a flipturn in my mouth! Get the caprese salad. The heirloom tomatoes are gold-medal contenders right now. By next week, they may be only bronze, but next week Michael Phelps will be the greatest human being of all time and you can again leave the house.