We interrupt our Argentina series to discuss tonight’s Dino visit. Dean Gold was in the house as always, Hawaiian-shirt clad. We sat upstairs as usual, just works out that way. I love how they have a big ramekin of coarse salt on every table alongside a vat of olive oil, to create a salty oily tasty mess for dipping the warm fresh bread.  Took full advantage, running through two bread baskets for the four of us.

I started with the fried squash blossoms, which I had never had before (anywhere). Something wasn’t quite right with the batter; it wasn’t bad at all, but was a little too bland, or thick, or…something I can’t quite define. There was also a nice marinara dipping sauce that unfortunately overwhelmed the delicate blossoms, stuffed with mozzarella and anchovies; I preferred them sans sauce. Am I the only American who likes anchovies? Probably deserves a post of its own.

The wild boar pappardelle always tempts me, but I branched out this time with the “Stracci con Anatra,” duck pasta, somewhat similar in execution to the boar and just about as good.  Maybe equally as good, it was a couple of years ago that I had the boar. A substantial portion size without being excessive, but good value for the very reasonable price. Fair amount of duck, very tasty, and Dino pasta is always good. Some nice greens mixed in as well. Went well with the Monte Volpe blend (zin, carignane, negroamaro — we are suckers for negroamaros), which was fine on its own but nothing special.  All in all, another satisfying meal.  I think I’ve said it before, it’s probably just as well we can’t afford to live in Cleveland Park, because I would quickly kill myself eating at Dino and Palena seven days a week.


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