Dino’s Grotto Opening May 15th in Shaw – Check out some Menu Highlights

1914 9th Street, NW

Last week we noted the new signs for Dino’s Grotto and thought they’d be ready to open soon after peeking inside. Now we have a date – May 15th:

“Chef/Managing Partner Dean Gold and his Wife/ Managing Partner Kay Zimmerman are pleased to announce that Dino’s Grotto is ready to open in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington, DC! Dino’s Grotto pays homage to Dino, which had been a long standing favorite and much acclaimed rustic Italian restaurant located in Cleveland Park for eight years. This new casual neighborhood Italian establishment will serve 76 people on two floors. The lower level will feature a 10 person communal table alongside a 14 person bar. The 1st floor will feature a 10 person wine bar and table seating for 40. Opening Day is anticipated to be Thursday, May 15th, with the possibility of some “soft opening” nights in advance of that date when passersby might be able to drop in for a meal.


A strong believer in “sustainable foods”, Chef Dean Gold’s rustic Italian dishes are handmade daily of fresh ingredients from local and organic farms, and sustainable fishers & butchers.

Cicchetti (Small Snacks)

§ Vadouvin Devilled Eggs {w/steelhead roe & anchovy sriracha aioli} 7

§ Sarde in Saor {sardine, onion, raisin, vinegar, white wine} 4

Panini (served w/house pickles)

§ Meatball {baguette, sharp provolone} 12

§ Grosso (authentic granddaddy of the Grinder!) {mortadella, finocchiona, provolone} 14

Dino Regulars (Antipasti)

§ Forte {spicy greens (Tree & Leaf, Path Valley or Spring Valley) garlicky old balsamico vinaigrette ~ pecorino} {gff, vg} 8

§ Duck Schmaltz Matzo Ball Soup 8

§ Meatball {pork (Truck Patch), rose veal (Dartagnan),ricotta, bread, egg, spicy tomato sauce} 8

§ Trotter Tots ~ {pork shank & hock (Truck Patch), potato, Lioni smoked mozzarella, bread, egg} ~ pepper gravy 8

§ Mozzarella in Carrozza {fried Italian mozzarella di bufala sandwich, egg, spicy Sorrento tomato sauce} 8
add: anchovy +1 add: prosciutto +2

§ Carciofi alla Giudia ~ {deep fried Santa Monica Farmers’ Market artichokes with lemon and Hawaiian black salt} 12


Known for his knowledge and love of good wine, Chef Dean Gold has curated an extensive wine list. Dino’s Grotto will also serve 20 very special wines by the glass featuring the best of Brunello, Barolo and Sicily. All of the wines will come from small family producers… constantly changing. There will be true “anti-technology” wines, meaning that they were produced using old fashioned techniques, rejecting the modern trick of the trade of manipulating wines into a boring sameness. Dino’s Grotto will even feature a flight of orange wines {white wines fermented in the style of reds}.

Dino’s Grotto will serve creative cocktails at the hands of master bartenders: Beverage Director Fabian Malone and Cocktail Craftsman John Dynan. Signature & barrel-aged cocktails are created with our house-made syrups, shrubs, and infused spirits. Even the Bloody Mary mix is made in house from local summer heirloom tomatoes! Fabian also makes Dino’s Grotto’s lemon, orange and grapefruit Cello from organic citrus, and a series of fruit cellos.

This year’s cycle begins with local Chandler strawberry cello which we will start infusing in early May.

Some new cocktails include:

§ Agave Cherry Picker {house infused cherry tequila, Dolin blanc, lime & grapefruit juice, agave nectar, salted rim} 10

§ Shaw-Howard Station Chief {London dry gin, Fidencio mezcal, Cocchi Americano, Jerry Thomas bitters, lemon twist} 11

§ “Z”groni (Negroni) {Zucca, Royal Dock of Deptford gin, Dolin dry vermouth} 9

The bar will also serve a substantial number of liquors, with a large selection of: Apperitivi; Amari & Bitters; Vodka; Gin; “Crappy Scotch;” and “Great Whiskey” (listed and categorized as such on the menu by our knowledgeable bar staff!); Rum Mexcal and Tequila.

In addition, there will be six local and Italian craft brews on tap, and artisan Italian beers by the bottle.


The food we eat should be raised & produced by small farms following sustainable practices. Our fish are sustainable, meats raised free from sub-therapeutic antibiotics, hormones & growth stimulants. We support a network of responsible, small, local family farms & serve produce when in season & full of flavor. We do not believe in better living thru GMOs & intensive factory farming. Animals taste best when treated humanely & fed real food.

Dean & Kay have formed personal relationships with the farmers & co-ops who provide the vast majority of produce used at Dino’s Grotto year round. You will never see an out of local season tomato or industrially grown asparagus from the Pacific Coast or Peru in Dean’s kitchen. Each vendor, whether meat, vegetable, dairy or fish, is chosen with an eye to sustainable & responsible practices, an honest respect for the environment & tradition, and, most importantly, a devotion to creating the best tasting products possible. You will, however, see some non local products: everything isn’t best when grown/made/caught locally & there are traditional products (especially those that we import from Italy!) where a chef’s support is keeping that tradition alive.

Our Food & Artisan Food Partners

D’Artagnan; Euro Gourmet; Guffanti Cheeses; Joe Jurgielewicz & Son Ltd; Mikuni Wild Harvest; Piedmont Ridge Beef; Pure Seafood; Shenandoah Valley Beef Cooperative; Truck Patch Pork

Our Favorite Local Farmers:

Gardens Gourmet; Heyser Farms; Next Step; Path Valley Coop; Spring Valley; The Farm at Sunnyside; The Fresh Link; Tree & Leaf; Tuscarora Organic Coop; Twin Spring


Dino’s Grotto is located in DC’s Shaw neighborhood on 9th St NW, between T and U Streets NW. The restaurant is comprised of two floors of a historic rowhouse, with a bar on each floor.


Monday-Thursday: 5pm – at least Midnight
Friday and Saturday: 5pm – at least 1am
Sunday: 4pm – at least 10pm

(NOTE: Initially, the kitchen will close at 10pm. Approximately, 2-4 weeks after opening, we will introduce a late night bar menu, and then Brunch – probably a week later than the bar menu.)

2 Comment

  • Some judge Italian restaurants on their pasta or cheese; apparently this is to be judged on its matzo ball soup. Upcoming: DGS adds risotto to its menu.

  • We got a preview of the food and cocktails last night. Pretty awesome! Very psyched for the opening.

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