We had dinner last night at Dino’s Steak and Claw House as part of our Christmas gift to each other. It’s a relatively new place, having been there less than two years, and I think it is a great addition to the Grapevine dining scene. We don’t have an abundance of upscale restaurants but the ones we have are all great and Dino’s is no exception.
When we got there, the hostess was on the phone and we had to wait a moment to be seated. While this was fine as we were certainly not in a hurry, I have heard this comment from others and it might not bad a bad idea to separate the roles of taking phone reservations and seating customers, just to give a nicer impression by greeting people immediately.
Their menu has a lot of good options including steaks, seafood, lamb, and pork. (Strange, however, that there wasn’t much crab despite the restaurant’s name including “claw” in it). We started with the “crab cubes” which are similar to crab cakes but in the shape of cubes with Dijon honey sauce as well as red chili apple compote. I thought the flavor was excellent and this is their featured appetizer and has been mentioned in other reviews as being very good. In addition to sharing this appetizer, I also had a bowl of the lobster bisque which was delicious.
Our entrees were the Chilean sea bass and beef medallions. The sea bass is an unusual presentation, on a bed of basmati rice with a topping of crab and avocado. The beef medallions were topped with a bearnaise sauce with a drizzle of raspberry coulis, and included garlic mashed potatoes (heavy on the garlic – yum!) and vegetables.
There were enough other interesting menu items to make me want to return, including the grilled portabello mushroom with prosciutto and gorgonzola cheese, macaroni a la quattro fromage, rack of lamb, veal scallopini, and pecan crusted chicken breast.
I only ate half of my entree in order to save some room because what would a nice dinner be without a fancy dessert? (and all the better to have a great lunch the next day). This also did not disappoint. We ordered the tiramisu which had the ladyfingers arranged in a martini glass with the marscapone cream filling the rest of the glass. Very interesting and different – and delicious!
I noticed when browsing online later that restaurant.com has coupons for Dino’s, which could make it much more affordable as it is admittedly probably the most expensive place in town (with the possible exception of Bob’s Steak and Chop House). They have several options for coupons ranging from a $25 gift certificate for $15, to a $100 gift certificate for $40. Note the fine print – it excludes alcohol, you have a minimum of two entrees, it is not valid during happy hour, and they add 18% automatic gratuity to the bill before discount (the last option, I dislike very much, as I am not a fan of treating your customers at an upscale restaurant as if they are either too cheap or too clueless to tip appropriately).
All in all, we enjoyed our meal at Dino’s and it was a great extension of our Christmas celebration. We’ll be back, and probably sooner rather than later.