On Friday, I shared a list of restaurants I was considering for a date with Daniel. At first, 'Fatty Cue was winning. Then I saw my friend Dria at Chelsea Market that afternoon and she changed my mind. I saw Kiefer Sutherland there, too. I saw him at Five Leaves just a few weeks ago. I think he's following me.
But back to Dria. She told me she had a reaction to MSG when she went to 'Fatty Cue. I thought almost all places, even the ones that put weird pictures of food in their windows, had stopped using MSG, but apparently, it's having some sort of revival. Dria mentioned David Chang of Momofoku fame and said that he claims to use it, too. Daniel and I managed to score a coveted spot at Momofoku Ko for our anniversary in October and while we loved our meal, I felt like ass after. It's true. Back then, I thought it was from the heavy food—snail sausage and frozen foie gras, for example—but now I'm wondering if a certain controversial flavor enhancer was responsible.
I didn't want to feel like crap on my first night out in a while, so 'Fatty Cue was crossed off the list. I still want to go. Some day. That left Del Posto, El Almacen and Dino. We didn't feel like going into Manhattan and weren't in the mood for Argentinian food. We decided on Dino.
We shared an excellent caesar salad made with organic black and green kale and anchovy croutons, pork milanese with a refreshing apple and fennel slaw, and a slow-cooked ragu of meatballs and sausage with ricotta and rigatoni. For dessert, we split a warm chocolate cake with a cranberry compote, half a slice of tiramisu (a dessert that's never been my favorite), followed by chocolate cake round two.
Dino was small and cozy and it felt wonderful to be out on a Friday night. I hadn't realized just how much I missed being in a restaurant. It didn't take long to feel like the old days when we had regular dates, before we became the tired parents of two little boys. Even the wine was really good. We both loved the 2008 Kuyen from Valle del Maipo in Chile. It's one of a few bottles that you can pay for based on the amount that you drink. We had half and a glass each of another wine before that. It was a BIG night out. (We were home by 10:30.)
We tried to take a photo as we were leaving, but it was too dark. I went back yesterday and snapped one from my car. I hadn't noticed that greenish building above the restaurant the night I was there. Reminds me of a turtle's shell or maybe fish scales. Whoever lives there is lucky to have such a beautiful facade and a great neighborhood restaurant right downstairs. Oh and don't you just love the font they used to write Dino? I have a soft spot for that swirly D. The owners named the place after their 2-year old son and I hear it's really kid-friendly. Probably best to go back with the boys during the day because they serve breakfast and it looks divine.
222 Dekalb Avenue
Fort Greene, Brooklyn