Dino Closing in Cleveland Park, Reopening in a New Location

3435 Connecticut Avenue, NW

Thanks to a reader for passing on the email sent out by the owners of Dino:

“Ciao Amici

A sad e-mail for a change. After 8-1/2 years, we are going to close the doors at Dino. The closing date isn’t set yet, but it will be sooner rather than later. A matter of weeks and not several months. We have had a great run, and we go out being Washingtonian’s Best Restaurant and City Paper’s Best Italian in their Readers Poll. We simply are not doing the kind of business necessary to justify keeping our doors open. If you do want a last chance, or several, don’t wait. Come in now. Or come in several times while you can.

What’s Next?

We have fabulous location we are looking at, and we are working hard to make it a reality. But all the details are not yet signed sealed and delivered. To misquote a famous opera saying, “It’s not over ’til the circumferencely gifted lady sings {and her lawyers sends you their final bill!}” If you have an interest in being part of Dino’s future in a SubStantive fashion, drop us a line. By doing so, you will be keeping Dean busy, short of any free time to cause trouble, and off the streets of Washington DC {which is a good thing!}

During this end period, we will be offering all out specials as usual {holidays excepted!} And if you want to enjoy something really special from our wine cellar, any wine $150+ is 50% off {holidays excepted}.

In any case, Kay and I thank you for the fun times and we will let you know what’s in our future. We certainly hope you are included in that future.”

Ed. Note: In 2010 we heard they were looking to open in Columbia Heights. More info when it becomes available.

38 Comment

  • Their food always bordered on good to great and I’ve always had a good time there, which is honestly more important. I’m sad to see them go, but I have high hopes if they do actually relocate to Columbia Heights. I’d be there all the damn time.

  • Sad to hear, but it would be great if they opened in Columbia Heights. It also would be great if Yanyu came back to the current Dino space. As much as I love Dino, I still miss Yanyu.

  • Open in Brookland! We need more restaurants over here 🙂

  • Damn. Their Burrata, Lasagne, and Wild Boar pasta are some of my favorite dishes in DC.

  • Here’s hoping they open in the long-empty corner restaurant space in the Park Place building by the Petworth metro!

  • The Post is reporting that the new location is in Shaw.

  • come to Barracks Row!!!!

  • They were PACKED last Friday night. I’m guessing they are empty during the week?

  • Nooooooooooooooooo! That’s my favorite spot in Cleveland Park.

  • To bad, but makes sense to me. Cleveland Park is a difficult place to be in the restaurant business. Sure, some have been here for good amount of time, but without a significant size bar and/or bar program, it’s definitely more challenging to make it with mostly food. In addition, places that tend to do better in places like CP tend to be places that cater to singles/young professionals not out on a “date night”. The rare few are destination places. CP is full of families that don’t go out as much, so the balance just isn’t there in their favor. It’s why places like Brookland will start to become better for the restaurant crowd with all the development of a couple thousand units, mainly catering to singles and couples without children.

  • This is my girlfriend’s and my PLACE. We love it there! It’s just so perfect rustic italian; the ambiance, service, unpretentious and quality food. This fucking sucks.

  • diploj

    Relocating to a currently existing restaurant in Shaw. Let the guessing games begin.

    I hope it’s Veranda. I live nearby, have been a few times, and am really not a fan.

  • Gee leaving Cleveland Park for somewhere with more foot traffic? But no god forbid DDOT removes those service lanes that are used by literally dozens of people a week.

    • I walked by it a few weeks ago and I believe they had a sign supporting the service lane. They seemed to have been working against their own interest.

    • just because there are lots of cars doesn’t mean there is any less foot traffic.

    • As a resident of Cleveland Park, I’m am glad to see them go. I decided not to spend money at any of the businesses supporting the service lane. Good bye, my money will go outside CP.

  • Really too bad. This is a loss for Cleveland Park.

  • My completely uninformed speculation on a Shaw location would be the 9th st restaurant formerly home to Vegetate, and approximately 12 different restaurants since then. Think I recall seeing recently a posting about the equipment there being repossessed, so the timing would seem to work well for a turnover. Don’t recall if this property has below ground space in its current configuration but others (CherCher, for example) on the block do.

  • Sadly, not Columbia Heights. Shaw area.

    • I love you Dean & your restaurant! My husband and I think Dino’s is a gem; the food, service, attention to detail, and Italian food for the Jewish high holidays will be missed. That said, every time we dined there, we would comment about feeling as if f we were not adequately supporting the business by dining more frequently, yet Cleveland Park is the opposite side of town for us (we’re near Eastern Market). I hope all the wonderful things that you brought to Dino’s is replicated in your new restaurant!

  • “and we go out being Washingtonian’s Best Restaurant”
    no way is this for real? best in all of DC? ROFL

    • THe reader’s poll. Two years in a row. You can look it up. I have never said we ahve the best food in Washington, but the reader’s poll we have won show that many folks like us.

  • This place was really never as good as the hype. The food was mediocre; the wine list was great. But if I’m going to pay a lot for food, I expect it to be good–and this wasn’t. Plus, the service and the owner never created a pleasant experience. I’m sure Dino was good 6 years ago, maybe.

  • WTF! My gf and I went there for the first time on Sunday and it became our new favorite restaurant. The blue crab and house made linguine was the best thing I’ve had in recent memory. I hope they maintain the same quality of cuisine going forward.

  • Dino was always a decent option when I wanted italian. My only gripe was the complexity of the menu/specials. So often I’d be so confused by reading all the specials and the various options on the menu that I froze when it came time to order. The LSAT nature of the menu/specials was such that I’d mentally be trying to figure out if I went on a Thursday and took my own bottle of wine could I avoid the corkage, unless it was happy hour and I ordered something with an asterisk next to it, however I could get a free desert during the month of restaurant week but only if I combined it with one of the two cheese plate specials.
    Having said all that, I’ll miss them in Cleveland Park and hope to see them reopening soon.

  • I would request for the sake of other restaurant that are being mentioned, that folk don’t speculate. Especially about places that are still in business.

  • PDleftMtP

    We loved the place but don’t go out as much post-baby (although the spawn was always welcome at Dino’s). The food is totally solid – no, it’s not Obelisk, but it’s not trying to be or charging as much. We’ll turn up wherever they do.

  • Best of luck wherever you end up, Mr. Gold — I’ll be by sometime for the wild boar pasta! One plea, though: please get yourself a better sign in the new location. That bleeding rust one makes the place look a bit down-at-heel, and the restaurant deserves better!

Comments are closed.