Dino's Grotto

4.4
505 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
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About

Dino's Grotto is a reflection of Chef/Owner Dean Gold’s passion for the simple foods he loves when dining at small, family~owned restaurants off the beaten path in Italy. Our cuisine has an Italian sensibility with foods simply prepared. Food made with ingredients that are responsibly farmed & fished, sustainable & traditional. Foods that reflect a culture, place & time. We support a small network of local family farms to provide as much of our produce & meat as possible. Our meats are local, our seafood sustainable, our produce at peak of season. Come taste the difference our passion makes!
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Italian, Wine Bar, Bar / Lounge / Bottle Service
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Hours of operation
Dinner
Monday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
Tuesday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
Wednesday: Speakeasy Popup in the Grotto Bar Only
{no reservations, regular menu not served}
Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
Friday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
Sunday Dinner 4:00pm til 9:30pm
Sunday Brunch: 12:00pm - 4:00pm;
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Phone number
(202) 686-2966
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Payment options
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Dean Gold
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Between T & U Street NW
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Parking details
There is street parking in the area, but please beware of signage in residential neighborhoods. Your best bets are 9th Street Northbound, T Street Eastbound, S Street, and Vermont Avenue southbound. There are pay lots: 7th & T, 8th Street North of V, and a new Valet parking facility at 8th & V. There is a pay lot in the alley next door to the Howard theater.
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Public transit
Green Yellow Line:
Shaw Howard
or U Street Cardozo
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Entertainment
None
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Special events & promotions
We host special wine dinners and themed menus all the time. Join our mailing list to keep up. We feature holiday menus for most major holidays including Jewish Holidays of Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur & Hanukkah. We are closed the 4th of July and Christmas Day.
Additional
Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Weekend Brunch, Wine
What 505 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.4based on all time ratings
4.4
food
4.3
service
4.0
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
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1
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FF
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

Disappointed. We hadn’t been to Dino’s since it moved from Cleveland Park. When we were there we had an outstanding experience including a memorable burger we thought was like the best burger ever! Tonight’s burger was nothin like that fabulous creation. My friend had veal parmesan served oddly with root vegetables. The veal was ridiculously over cooked and the vegetables were not complementary. Other friend was very happy with her Wagyu beef. The two cocktails my friends had were overly sweetened and they would not have ordered them if the drink menu had mentioned simple syrup being the main ingredient.. Overall, not worth the battle of parking to go to Dino’s Grotto. I wish them well, however. I will always remember that fabulous experience I had previously in Cleveland Park.

LG
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dino's Grotto is always a fantastic evening of awesome food, excellent wine, and wonderful service. They treated us extremely well for Restaurant Week (though I can honestly say I've never had a bad experience here). It was great to come with other folks so we could all share our food. Every dish at The Grotto is worth tasting, and the hardest part is always deciding what to get! Highly recommend for a date night, a celebration, or a casual evening with friends.

MF
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Food was great, atmosphere was great but they need another server. Took about 20 minutes before we had our water.

VJ
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 2

Loud, ordinary food, expensive for what you got, service mediocre to poor. And don’t order the strawberry limoncello!

TL
Washington DC
21 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We always have a wonderful experience at Dino's Grotto! We really appreciate the extras, like the amuses bouche and the seasonal 'cello, and of course, the food we order is always delicious. The inclusion of orange wine on the menu is fun and different from other restaurants. This is my favorite Italian restaurant in the area!

M
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 21, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Service was great. They didn't have enough bread for extra for the evening. The Brussel sprouts we ordered to have without pancetta was served with pancetta.

EI
1 review
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We loved our restaurant week meal at Dino's Grotto! Their menu had great choices (and they were accommodating for my no-dairy diet. The cozy restaurant is warm and welcoming, though a bit noisy when full. They brought us out homemade strawberry-chella after the meal which was a delightful addition to the already-enjoyable experience.

RV
1 review
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Overall, although the food was good, the service was subpar. I realize it was restaurant week, but it was at the tailend, which should mean they've got it together by then. Both with the appetizer and the main, they were missing one. Both times. I had to wait for my appetizer and my friend had to wait for her main. The food was good overall, but I can't get over how frantic the service was.

SZ
1 review
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Such amazing food and service, would definitely go again

A
Western NC
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Their gluten-free pasta is amazing. Highly recommend the lobster pasta dish and the burrata!

KJ
Charleston
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

The food was horrible. I had heard great things about this place and came on restaurant week (so maybe that's why). But it was not authentic Italian food at all. Every course was incredibly disappointing.

OT
Washington DC
19 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 2

The food and service were excellent, we came for restaurant week!! The atmosphere was not what I was expecting, it was a little less formal than you would, but overall still a great find.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 3

Not great value. I came for restaurant week - the amuse and the appetizers were actually very good, but the entree and dessert were horrendous. We were offered the wrong food 3 times - the third time prompting the waiter to roll his eyes at me for saying that wasn’t what I ordered. Not a great experience.

TH
New England
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

A great deal for restaurant week. Wonderful options for both meat lovers and vegetarians alike. Will definitely be back!

L
Washington DC
26 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Dino's is always an excellent Italian meal. The food is authentic, tasty and generouslly portioned. The Italian wines offered are diverse, offbeat and excellent. The place is space challenged, but comfortable when not too crowded. I preferred the old space on Connecticut Ave much more, but this is closer to home. The service is good to very good and always with a warm attitude. In this age, it is nice to go to a place that feels real and offers real cuisine at a good price. Thanks!

S
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 2

Extermely disappointing- this is a much inferior restaurant to the Dino I used to know in Cleveland Avenue. We had booked for a group of six on a slow Wednesday, only to be told that the menu would be reduced. This was an understatement-essentially there was only pasta, and definitely not prepared by the A-team. From a reasonably good neighborhood restaurant, this place seems to have lowered its standards to its new surroundings. I felt embarrassed to have invited my friends there-will never come back.

m
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I love Dino’s Grotto,
We have been going to their restaurant for years.
They do have amazing food and great service. Very friendly.

FJ
New York Area
15 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

We appreciated the great service on New Years Eve, thanking the employees for a nice experience.

d
Washington DC
42 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Absolutely outstanding! Fantastic food and one of the finest wine lists in Washington.

DC
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dino's special Dinner with Frank was over the top! Delicious food, great service. We had a great time, thanks!

JG
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great Service and food! Our server was helpful, had great wine recommendations, and the food was fantastic! This is definitely going to be one of our go-to spots from now on.

DL
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

The food and service were excellent and we will definitely be back. However, a member of our party spotted an old strip of fly paper dangling behind a curtain and it changed the mood at the table a bit.

TW
Washington DC
20 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We aren't often in this part of town, so we forget about this restaurant. We always enjoy our meals here. It can be crowded and loud, but the house-made pastas are excellent and the service friendly without being overbearing. If we lived or worked nearby we'd be regulars.

OT
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I often go to Dino and happily eat at the bar. But this time, I had a friend from put of town visiting, and o was super happy to share the great food and service with them.

CS
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dino's is our go-to spot for any and every occasion! We love the warm hospitality (feels like family!), fresh, locally sourced food (the menu is always adapting to what's in season) and the extensive wine list. My husband has several allergies: gluten, soy, dairy and eggs - and Dino's is always able to accommodate him with a wide variety of options. We love to come back frequently because the seasonal menu is always changing, but we can also always rely on some of our classic favorites like duck lasagna. Two of our favorite occasions at the Grotto are Christmas Eve and truffle season!

DC
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Feast of Seven Fishes dinner started with fried cod that was unremarkable. A salad of seafood featured scallops so small they appeared to be chickpeas. No unique flavor. Pan-fried sardines were similarly nondescript. Meal picked up when a tomato-saffron seafood stew appeared, alongside a grilled branzino. Great ambience, location, service and value - so perhaps it would be best to revisit this joint on a night that's not a set menu.

KJ
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went to Dino’s Grotto for the feast of the seven fishes on Christmas Eve. The meal was great. I can’t wait to go again next year.

G
Washington DC
28 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great italian food - an amazing variety of pastas! Love the truffle add on option!

PR
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

The Feast of the 7 Fishes is a traditional family outing and Dino's Grotto did not disappoint. The food was delicious and I loved the suggested winesA!

T
Washington DC
16 reviews
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was excellent as was the service. The Duck dish was terrific!

LS
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Dino's Grotto was great! We had the crab balls, which were small but very good, and the lobster pasta and Garlic Lover's Basil & Walnut Pesto. The lobster pasta was amazing and I would go back just for that! Service was good and the staff was friendly.

EW
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

The pasta is ok but it is in a cozy little room that has good wintery vibes. The wine list is pretty big and we had a very good but not super expensive bottle of red wine.

V
Washington DC
53 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Have meant to try Dino’s for years, finally did, was excellent and will be back. Pasta perfect. Fish (mahi mahi) superb if a bit small. Wines by 8oz glass quite nice. Service warm and welcoming.

HL
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent food.

KM
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on December 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service. We shared the hannakah meal and every food dish was delicious! The restaurant was clean and inviting.

KM
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 1

New location definitely a downgrade in numerous ways but still charge tons of money. Menu resembled menu from old location but food was using cheap ingredients, was prepared badly, tried to cover up a lot with overuse of salt, and in some instances was literally inedible. Ambiance was like an old kitchen with formica counters and vinyl floors before you remodel. Definitely not worth the money charged. What happened. Too bad.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was wonderful!

RM
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our bartender downstairs was really attentive, and the noise level was much better too; it was quieter than upstairs in the crowded dining room.

TA
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A friend suggested this restaurant. It was nothing short of amazing. This is the closest I've had to authentic Italian vibes and cuisine in the states.

P
San Francisco
42 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

A bit disappointing. Mediocre food and service despite an abundance of good reviews.

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