Final Farewell from Dino’s Grotto in Shaw Open until “until mid September but that could change and we might close earlier if the new tenants want to move faster”

1914 9th Street, NW

Thanks to a reader for passing on from Dino’s Grotto:

“After 14 Years…
It’s Time to Move On

It’s been a great run and we have had so much fun getting to know you all!

The Grotto, and Dino before, have been a labor of love. But now Kay and I need to move on to a new phase in our life. Owning a small independent restaurant is a life in itself. But now I need to retire from this life and enjoy the next phase of my life.

We are working with our landlords on transitioning out of the Grotto. We will operate the restaurant until mid September but that could change and we might close earlier if the new tenants want to move faster.

It’s hard to convey how wonderful the last 14+ years have been and all the great memories we have made. When asked what I will miss most, I said seeing people coming in saying we had our first date at Dino and now we are celebrating our 12th anniversary; seeing kids who we first saw before they were born, then in a bassinet, next trying some of their first solid food and now turning into young adults; people celebrating engagements, marriages {even a few celebratory divorces} and countless birthdays. There are bittersweet memories of customers who passed on and the honor we felt at being the place their family and friends chose to celebrate memorial services because our restaurant was their loved one’s favorite restaurant!

But the best thing is, we are looking forward to is just spending more time together just not running a restaurant. Having the free time to spend with friends, to go out to dinner at a reasonable time, to enjoy plays and opera etc. No one lives forever and Kay and I want to enjoy each other in a way that the restaurant makes difficult. And finally, I need to look after my health more: I have had bypass surgery & am diabetic and the stress of running the Grotto, especially in the hands on way I do is just not compatible with my health. About a year ago, my doctor asked me if I wanted to live a long life. Some of my numbers were going in the wrong direction, and he just wanted to know how to approach my care. That was the start of our decision process that led to this letter.

Kay is starting a new job and her career continues to grow. She is doing what she loves helping people thru her work. I think I am going to try and find a job selling wine, either at a wine bar or a wine shop. We definitely are going to take more Megabus trips to New York to go to the New World Mall in Flushing and see plays, opera and musicals. And you certainly will see us at the local theaters and opera we have neglected for these last 14 years.

Let’s Face It…
I Want to Sell You Stuff!

Grilled Nectarines head up our list of incredible seasonal offerings this week. White, tart, crisp, we wrap the nectarines in pancetta, crisp them on a griddle and top with mascarpone & saba.

Melon Gazpacho is based on a tomato broth of local heirloom tomato, sherry wine vinegar, garlic, spices, olive oil, lime juice filled with a mince of melon from Garner, Mountain Views radish, Spring Valley’s cukes served chilled. Kay and I are averaging about 5 servings a week!

Squash Blossoms come from Spring Valley or Barajas and we like to show the blossom off by not battering them. Instead we stuff the flowers with hand dipped ricotta and saute them, then set them atop our local heirloom tomato sauce.

Caprese plus has ripe red field tomato, heirloom cherry tomato, cukes, olio & aged balsamico. This is the other almost daily dish on Kay’s and my dinner order.

Summer corn risotto is Garner’s corn, grilled and mixed with snap peas, green beans, garlic scapes, and green onion served in our carnaroli rice risotto.

Nashville Hot Style Fried Green Tomato joins our Nashville Hot Softshell Crab Sandwich available in the Grotto Bar Wednesdays. The green tomato is from Garner and gets the same spice mix and flour dunk before being fried and served with green strawberry pickle & saba.

Grilled Veggie Antipasto changes weekly but right now it has kohlrabi, eggplant, cubanelle peppers, beets, green onions served with tsatsiki and ramp & green garlic pesto.

Amish Chicken & Garlic Scapes is a summery pasta nearing the end of its run as scapes are almost gone.

Softshells and lump crab are abundant and amazing.

Make reservations here.”

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