Thursday, May 17, 2007

Wine Wednesday at Dino, An Encore

The wine club met last night for Wine Wednesday at Dino in Cleveland Park. This was our second time at the event, and it was fantastic yet again. Last night's flight featured Sicilian Reds. The first wine was Tasca d'Almerita "Lamuri" 2005, which was a bit tannic on the nose but actually was soft and well-balanced on the palate. Very nice choice to start the tasting with. The other two wines were Messapicus Nero d'Avola 2004 and Cusumano Benura 2005. The Messapicus was nice, but nothing remarkable in my opinion. I absolutely loved the Cusumano though - gloriously fruity and just the right touch of oak. The flight changes each week and is $15, and for another $10 you can sample a trio of appetizers. Last night's offering was Porchetta, or roasted pork loin and belly flavored with herbs, Salsiccia, or pork sausage with spices, and Agnello, which is leg tidbits grilled with herbs. Fred decided to sample the trio and really enjoyed everything. The plate was artfully presented as well (see photo). Chris the Mixologist for Dino always serves up a good time at the bar too. (See the background of the photo).

We also took advantage of Dino's no corkage fee on Wednesdays and we each brought a bottle of wine. I brought a dry, Portugese white which was gorgeously fruity and not too acidic. Cathy brought a Greg Norman Shiraz which was nice but not one of our favorites. The flavors didn't seem to combine in a way that worked harmoniously at all. We also had another dry white as well as Vino Verde, or green wine, which actually is really nice and refreshing. I liken it to a Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc mix as you get the acidity and crispness of a Sauvignon Blanc but also the well-balanced and slightly fruity flavors of a Pinot Grigio. Lorena and I shared two appetizers - Asparagi, or grilled asparagus served on a piquant red pepper pesto with grana cheese, and Tris di Bruschette, which is grilled bread three ways - with white bean and mushrooms; caramelized balsamico cippolini and erborinati; and goat cheese, pesto and oven-roasted tomato. We had this dish the last time we were at Dino and it was again stellar. The sauteed mushrooms with the creamy white beans are absolutely fantastic. Kristin enjoyed the variety featuring caramelized cippolini onions and erborinati so much the first time around that she ordered the dish with this variety of brushette exclusively last night. It was a hit. Lorena also had a small portion of the Pappardelle ai Cinghiale, or wild boar pasta, and I had the usual Acciuga salad with roasted chicken which features long stems of fresh and crisp romaine lettuce, grilled Tuscan bread and lots of nutty Parmesan cheese. It was delicious and the crisp white wine was a great match with not only the salad but also the appetizers as well.
In addition to the bruschette, Kristin also had the Burrata, which is bufala cheese air freighted from Campania and served with fresh ricotta, olive and roasted pepper tapenades, olio, oven roasted tomatoes, and basil. A beautiful dish. She seemed more than happy making her meal out of a couple of the delicious appetizers. Cathy had Pio Tosini Prosciutto Crudo, which features beautiful and tasty ribbons of Prosciutto de Parma, and Croquette di Pitate, which is a trio of fried potato croquettes each with braised prosciutto, cheese, and breadcrumbs. The filling was creamy and rich and the croquettes had a thick and crispy crust which was a lovely mahogany brown in color. A bit rich though for sure. We were seated at a lovely booth toward the back of the first floor of the restaurant, and were able to linger a bit with all of the tasty treats on the table. We all really enjoyed the evening and I think most certainly took full advantage of Dino's Wine Wednesday.

3435 Connecticut Avenue in NW DC

1 comment:

DC Food Blog said...

We LOOOVE Dino. The quality of the ingredients is truly first rate.