Dean Gold is the owner and executive chef of Dino’s Grotto, an Italian-inspired restaurant in Washington, DC. It’s the second incarnation of his dream venue, after he had to close his bigger restaurant Dean in DC’s Cleveland Park due to a drop off in business. Having eaten at Dino’s with friends before, I wondered what made him want to try again in such a stressful industry. I emailed Dean to ask for an interview, and he was happy to oblige. In late May, after a few delays (my fault) we finally got together for the 107th dinner interview.
The interview follows a question and answer feature with Dean I ran last week, in which he talked more generally about the restaurant industry — everything from the pros and cons of delivery apps to dealing with unfair online reviews.
In the interview, Dean shares his full life story from his childhood in Los Angeles to his university studies in Chicago, and years in the wine industry that would eventually lead to his dream of opening his own restaurant. He’s a unique character and a great storyteller, which explains why our dinner together was almost three hours long (with a brief appearance from his wife Kay Zimmerman).
Click on Dean’s picture above, or on this link, to read my interview with him.