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where to eat in nyc: dino.

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photo source: design.

photo source: design.

Today is the first day of Spring. And while NYC does not seem to have received that message just yet, it gives me hope, people. HOPE. Hope that I can finally put away my sleeping bag coat; hope that the weather forecast will no longer include the phrase ‘polar vortex’; hope that dining al fresco becomes a viable option again.

And when that happens (please, please let it be soon), you will find me at Dino in Fort Greene. Oh my, let me count the ways I love this Brooklyn gem. It’s that cozy neighborhood joint where you go to laze away the evening over a bottle of wine and good conversation. The menu skews Italian, the pastas are made in house (heart you, carbs), and the wine is reasonably priced and very drinkable. The best thing? That would be the garden patio in the back — a leafy respite from the buzzing city beyond. I just want to sit out there with a bowl of bucatini amatriciana and a glass of chianti and sigh contentedly because this is the life.

The service is attentive but low key, as if you’re a guest in someone’s home. The menu changes fairly regularly given the focus on seasonal ingredients (me thinks they take full advantage of the farmer’s market at Fort Greene Park down the street), and I’ve never been disappointed with any of my choices. Given its fairly traditional approach to Italian fare, it’s not going to blow your mind, per se, but the combination of atmosphere + fresh, homemade food + reasonable prices = winner in my book; the perfect spot for a date or weeknight dinner with friends (and they’ve got a pretty killer brunch, too).

So take my advice: when the city thaws, pop over to Brooklyn (so hot right now), and sit for a spell in the garden at Dino. Have that glass of wine, have that bowl of fresh pasta, and take a breather from our beloved but chaotic metropolis. It’s so worth it.

You can find Dino at 222 Dekalb Ave. in Fort Greene; closest subway is the Q at Dekalb Ave. or the G at Clinton-Washington Aves.

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