Dino, Fort Greene's latest, and fifth, Italian restaurant, opened yesterday in the former Lou Lou space on DeKalb Avenue. Neighborhood residents and owners Thiru and Heather Rajamani remodeled the backyard, interior, and façade of the 70-plus-seat restaurant and named it after their 2-year-old son.
Thiru is an eleven-year veteran of Manhattan's Frank, where he started as busboy and eventually became a manager. Dino's chef, Cesar Perlapa, cooked at Frank for a dozen years. ("Frank [Prisinzano] supports us," says Thiru.) The rustic, Italian comfort food on the menu recalls Heather's Northern Italian heritage with bucatini all’ amartriciana, veal meatballs in brood with lemon zest, a green and black kale Caesar salad, and an array of fresh pastas and salads, all in a $12 to $18 price range. “Our philosophy is super-fresh and super-simple Italian rustic food,” Heather explains. The full bar emphasizes Italian wines, as well as a cocktail list created by a consultant from Pegu Club. Preview the menu, below.
Dino, 222 DeKalb Ave., nr. Clermont Ave.; Fort Greene; 718-222-1999
Menu: Dino [PDF]