Saturday, December 29, 2012

Dining Dahn At Dinette

On the upper level of 'SLiberty's East Side complex sits an unassuming restaurant of which we will be returning, and returning, and returning again. It's called Dinette and by definition, the name refers to "a small area off the kitchen for casual dining." Despite the accuracy of such a name, Dinette is much more than an open kitchen that invites spectators to stare watch. This warm, welcoming small-ish space is loaded with personality and excellence quite suited for its surrounding neighborhood renaissance. 
I must admit, I am digging the chrome and tangerine tango color scheme. 
SodaStream water ($5); Cabernet Blend, Calcu, Chile ($9/34); Yuengling ($1)
We chose to sit at the long, wooden bar for a full view of the kitchen and its delightful chefs. Even though JTP is an amusing conversationalist, I could not help but allow the Dinette staff's rhythm and handiwork to mesmerize me. They have a serious groove that yielded delicious results. Speaking of delicious...
Complimentary homemade crunchy bread sticks! Um, yum! 
With a menu that changes daily, it's hard to say what one will find, but here are the items we ate and consequently recommend to yinz. 
Shishito Peppers w/ Goat Cheese, Fried Almonds, Fleur de Sel ($8)
This starter was strikingly wonderful, and had I not been in public, I would have licked the plate. The shishito peppers (from a rooftop garden) were tender with a light grilled flavor, the cheese was creamy and warm, and the toasted almonds were nothing short of addictive. This was a winning combination of flavors topped with the perfect amount of salt.
The cutest bowl of red pepper flakes I've ever seen. Ever. 
Pepperoni, Fresh Mozzarella, Tomato ($14)
After watching them make this pie, our anticipation was high. We chose it simply to see how Dinette approached a classic pizza. With one bite, we were pleased. The pepperoni itself was quite perfect and the light crust supports the toppings well (literally and figuratively).
Prosciutto, Arugula, Parmigiano Reggiano, Fresh Mozzarella, Tomato ($16)
We chose this one because we love Piccolo Forno's version so much and naturally we wanted to compare. Dinette's was equally good, if not better. There's just something about a light tomato sauce topped with fresh ingredients and cured meat that we cannot resist.
Chocolate Pot de Creme ($8)
Since Meat & Potatoes took Pot de Creme off of their menu, I have been going through serious withdrawal. Thus, one can imagine my giddy delight to discover that Dinette offered a version of their own. Needless to say, the fresh creme truly complimented the rich chocolate and gave us a great after meal "change of taste."

Overall, this is a great place for a grown-up date, a friendly gathering, or a family meal. We enjoyed every morsel and raved to our friends and family about the experience. Like I said before, returning to Dinette is eagerly anticipated. And even though we will be tempted to order what we've already tried, we cannot wait to try everything else...

Dinette on Urbanspoon

(4 stars, 4/4)