Monday, February 7, 2011

Food Bloggers' Brunch at Dino, DC - 01.30.2011

I recently joined a ton of local food bloggers + friends for a delicious and lively brunch at Dino in Cleveland Park, DC, organized by Thrifty DC Cook.  I've enjoyed eating at Dino in the past but had not yet been there for brunch, so it was a great chance to see other bloggers and try out their non-dinner menu!

Sunday brunch at Dino consists of the following options: Choose a starter or half pasta;  a brunch plate, full pasta or secondi; and a cocktail, prosecco or a dessert.  So many choices!  You can see the full brunch menu here.  After a lot of going back and forth in my decision-making, I finally decided to go with a breakfast-y plate instead of pasta, since I wanted a "real" brunch experience haha.

We were given an amuse bouche of cold butternut squash soup in a shot glass:


Then each table received two salads to share:

I enjoyed both salads, but liked the refreshing crunch of the different radishes in the top salad just a little bit more.  Head cheese isn't something I eat very often, but it was tasty in the second salad. 

After the salads, we also received a plate of Baci Italiani to share: crispy pancetta, scallop, duck liver, date, citrus & ginger glaze.  Yup, ALL that in one little skewered bite, haha.  This was really rich and delicious- I probably could've polished off a few of these, easily.

Ok so after all that food, we finally got started on the food we had ordered- haha!  I couldn't resist one of my favorite appetizers, so I went with the Burrata: "Pugliese bufala cheese air shipped 2x a week - curds & cream inside, fresh mozzarella outside, kalamata olive & red pepper oven roasted tomato, olio".  Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!  The cheese is so creamy and soft, unlike any sort of regular mozzarella you might be used to.  SO good! 

For my entree, I went with the San Benedetto: "Eggs Benedict Italian Style- grilled ciabata, poached Hare’s Valley eggs, orange & rosemary scented butter, Pio Tosini Prosciuto". 

And some Tuscan roasted potatoes on the side:

My entree was good, but not great.  I was disappointed that the eggs were not runny like I expected from poached eggs, and the potatoes were pretty mushy.  However, I really liked the lemon-y Hollandaise sauce, and the generous serving of prosciuto on top of the eggs.

For dessert, I went with the Gianduia "Nico": "Inspired by Gelateria Nico in Venezia ~ bittersweet chocolate gelato with chopped chocolate, hazelnut gelato with toasted hazelnuts, chocolate sauce & amaretto whipped cream". 

This was sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good.  I really enjoyed the matching of the chocolate and hazelnut gelato- super delicious!  I definitely didn't *need* such a large slab of dessert after everything else I ate, but c'mon, I couldn't just let it melt there uneaten!

Overall it was a great brunch with lots of fun people with a passion for food.  Dean, the owner, was friendly, informative, and clearly passionate about the food that he was serving us.  I would like to come back again and try out another entree, maybe this time go with my gut and get a pasta dish this time around, haha :o)  Thank you again to Dean, his friendly and helpful servers, and Thrifty DC Cook for a great brunch!

3435 Connecticut Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20008
202.686.2966 // On OpenTable

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