01/13/14 10:30am

Photo by PoPville flickr user Beau Finley

Is this the curse of the service lane?

“Dear PoPville,

There was a fire of some sort at Dino’s Friday night. There were a bunch of firemen milling around. The owner was out there, too. Also, word on the street is that they might try to keep Dino open for another month while getting his ducks in line for the new Shaw place.”

UPDATE from the owner:

“There was no fire at Dino last Friday night. THe kitchen crew noticed a white vapor and funny smell from back by the water heater. The bar manager cleared the restaurant and called 911. Since they couldn’t
figure out what happened, hazmat was called and they gave the allclear. It could have been from the water heater {steam} or something, but all our equipment checks out.

And we are coming to Shaw, hopefully around April 1 give or take.”

From a press release:

“Chef Owner Dean Gold of DINO Restaurant and Enoteca in DC’s Cleveland Park neighborhood has reached an agreement with his current landlord. Instead of closing this coming Sunday January 12th as was originally announced, DINO will now remain open at its current location at the SE corner of Connecticut Ave and Ordway St. NW through Sunday night, February 23.

A long standing favorite and much acclaimed rustic Italian restaurant in Washington, DINO will move across town this spring to the Shaw neighborhood in the vicinity of 9th and U Sts NW. Because the current location is not quite ready for renovation/occupation, Gold negotiated to extend his current lease to stay open for an additional 6 more weeks.”

3321 Connecticut Ave, NW

From the Cleveland Park Listserv:

“Our server tonight informed us Lavandou is closing next week after over 20 years because they failed to come to terms with their landlord.”

Lavandou is located in the same strip as DINO at 3321 Connecticut Ave, NW. They are hosting their own restaurant week this week:

“Lavandou’s own Restaurant Week”
From January 13th to 19th
25% off any course from regular menu.

Whisk yourself away to the heart of Provence by dining with us.

For over 20 years, Lavandou has been providing a taste of authentic Provençal cuisine in Washington D.C.’s Cleveland Park neighborhood. Tucked in amongst charming storefronts on Connecticut Avenue, Lavandou’s cozy glow lures its guests inside where they can enjoy familiar french specialities in a relaxed atmosphere.

The cuisine at Lavandou is based on the essences of Provence, a sunny region on the French Riviera which is famous for using only the most natural ingredients. Many of our dishes are created with farm-fresh favorites such as heirloom tomatoes, roasted peppers, eggplants and olives and are seasoned with fragrant garlic, rosemary, and thyme. These flavorful traditional dishes, prepared at length and with healthy, fresh ingredients are truly reflective of the Mediterranean style of “savoir vivre.”

We judged Lavandou back in 2011. You can see their menus here.

01/07/14 2:36pm


LOST: Black/White Husky named London:

“We lost our black/white husky/shepherd mix named London. He is about 50 pounds. He is a rescue and is probably more scared of you than anything. He escaped around 12:00pm today around Cleveland park metro. If you see him please call or text Jacki at 773-575-7190.

With tonight’s low temperatures, we greatly appreciate your help in finding him.”

UPDATE: Found!

12/26/13 1:00pm

3701 Connecticut Avenue Northwest

This condo is located at 3701 Connecticut Avenue, Northwest:


The listing says:

“Great Condo Living in the Heart of Cleveland Park Under $180.000, Open floor facing RC Park HUGE W-IN Closet Place 4 murphy Bed Condo Fee Incl. all Utilities, concierge, gym ,Rooftop Deck, Storage, Master Insurance, Maintenance, Trash & Snow removal close to Metro, Restaurant Movie Theater,& Shopping Center . Lkbx is third one on the top left outside railing”

You can see more photos here.

This studio is going for $179,500 ($433 monthly fee.)

12/20/13 12:00pm

3435 Connecticut Avenue, NW

Back in November we learned Dino would be closing in Cleveland Park and reopening somewhere in Shaw. The new Shaw location has still not been released but now we know the last day for the Cleveland Park spot – Jan. 12th. From the owner:

“We are in the last days of Dino in Cleveland Park. January 12 will be our last day of service. This is our last feast of the 7 fish {this years count is no less than 9 fish!}

The feast menu is available tonight thru Monday December 23 for $49 per person. The Menu is $59 per person on Christmas Eve. Please do reserve if you want the feast so we know how much to prep! (more…)

12/18/13 5:00pm

From an email:

“This weekend, make a detour to Weygandt Wines [3519 Connecticut Ave, NW] for our 2011 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Tasting and Sale, where we’ll offer great prices on every 2011 Châteauneuf-du-Pape on our shelves.

Peter chooses the winemakers he wants to work with for a reason. In addition to a commitment to producing wine sustainably and with a respect for the hands-on methods that ensure quality, Peter’s partners are hard-working, detail-oriented producers that always make the best of the hand they’re dealt.

Laurent Charvin, Stéphane Usseglio, Philippe Bravay, Baptiste Grangeon–these are producers that don’t shy away from a challenge or mail it in when conditions aren’t perfect. Instead, they redouble their efforts to coax the absolute most they can out of every vintage.

In other words, producing great CdP in ’09 and ’10 took hard work, but weather conditions were in the producers’ favor. In 2011, you needed a Weygandt-caliber winemaker to get a great CdP.

Even better, because ’09 and ’10 grabbed all the headlines, 2011 CdPs are available at a much lower price. And because of the vintage’s much more open style, you don’t have to wait the normally recommended 5-10 years before popping one open. Many of these will show beautifully while young (although they will surely improve with age).

To take advantage of this great offer, just make the trip to the store this weekend–the tasting and sale will be in effect both Friday and Saturday.”

11/21/13 4:30pm


Jeremy previously wrote about Remembering Larry Byrd.

I sort of knew the day would come, but that didn’t make it any less disappointing. Dino Italian restaurant in Cleveland Park is closing. (We have learned a new iteration of the restaurant will open in Shaw).

The news came in a Tuesday email from Dean Gold, the restaurant’s owner/proprietor/comedian-in-chief. The closing date hasn’t been set but will be “in a matter of weeks,” according to the email.

The reason? “We simply are not doing the kind of business necessary to justify keeping our doors open,” Gold wrote.

But who cares, right? Restaurants open and close almost every day in D.C. Some restaurants open, bringing you the “bold flavors of Southeast Asia” or a “modern, refined take on the classic New York delicatessen” or some other line written in culinary P.R.-speak. And others close, because a concept wasn’t working out or a restaurant group wanted to shift their resources elsewhere.

But Dino’s, as it was called, mattered. It was a neighborhood spot in a city that has less and less of them. It had a menu that was interesting, mouth-watering and reasonably priced in a city where such a thing is becoming almost extinct.

Heck, the fact that so many people associated the restaurant with one person says a lot about Dino’s. How often do you walk into a restaurant in D.C. and know immediately who owns, runs and put his blood, sweat and tears into it? Dean Gold was that kind of owner. He’s also the kind of person who sources his menu from local farms not because it sounds good but because he believes it’s the right thing to do.

11/19/13 3:45pm

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.