Dino’s Big Island Poke, with sushi-grade salmon, sweet soy syrup, scallions, sesame seeds, dashi and cucumber//All photos by Steve Legato
From Left: Dino’s Bee’s Knees cocktail; Tuna khatsu, layered atop forbidden rice and Thai sauce
The six-month-old hot spot’s namesake is Dino J. Kelly-Cataldi, who came to initial prominence 20 years ago in Philadelphia with the Franco-centric Napoleon Café.Café. Today, his collaborator is his husband, Michael Richard Kelly-Cataldi, a notable antiques purveyor and a polished singer in his own right, who serves as entertainment director at Dino’s. The dapper duo play consummate hosts to a spectrum of patrons, ranging from members of the Greatest Generation to gussied-up 20-somethings. Everyone is happily reveling in this authentic throwback to celebration and civility.
Veteran chef Scott Howlett orchestrates a classic American menu that’s creatively embued with modern touches. A standout among Act I’s appetizers, the soy-infused Big Island Poke arrived laden with sushi-grade tuna. Also memorable was the White Bisque, its velvety, sherry laced coconut-milk full of sweet crab and spinach.
From Left: Beef tartare topped with a quail egg; Apple crisp with vanilla-bean ice cream.
Act II entrée highlights included the tender rioja-braised short ribs, glossy diver scallops, and a superb filet mignon. And for the finale: six hand-rolled chocolate truffles with a liqueur surprise—either espresso stout or dark rum.
At Dino’s, three enclaves greet visitors. To the left: a dining room with a shimmery halo-shaped chandelier and a wall of black-and-white photos of the owners’ family members supper-clubbing it at the old Palumbo’s in South Philly, circa 1950. Just ahead, a 12-seat bar serves classic cocktails with a fresh twist. The final space is the aptly named Celebrity Room—a retro-style supper club offering a sophisticated monochromatic élan. The attention to period detail astounds, from the smooth-as-sealskin leather chairs to the backlit menus done in a vintage font.
With an endowment of classic cuisine and fine cocktails to go with its weekly lineup of great live entertainment, this swinging place is a boon for Glenside.
The retro-inspired dining room
287 Keswick Ave., Glenside, (215) 884-2000.
Cuisine:Enduring American cuisine with a modern touch.
Cost: Appetizers $10-$18, entrées $21-$32; cover charge for shows held Wednesday-Sunday.
Attire: Ranges from nice casual to all decked out.
Atmosphere: Chic and sophisticated.
Hours: 5-10 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday, 5-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 4-10 p.m. Sunday. Sunday brunch: 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Extras: Outdoor seating, 30-seat private room downstairs.