Finally, Dinette will be hitting the big-time — at least in size. Chef-owner Melissa Nyffeler plans to close the restaurant’s doors at 1514 E. Olive Way after dinner service on Dec. 23, and to move the restaurant to a yet-to-be-determined larger space.
Dinette has been loved in its 8 years on Capitol Hill, but always seemed under-appreciated, only rarely getting national attention along the lines of this August article in the Boston Globe. (Looking around for recent Dinette mentions, in fact, the most prominent is on a list of the nation’s most underrated restaurants. Hmmm.) From “toasts” to tagines, salads to snacks, it’s been called “ridiculously charming” but with fully thought-out food, and “comfortably at home between homey and haute.” Nyffeler and her crew accomplished all those things working on nothing but a four-burner electric range and a toaster.
Nyffeler expects to re-open Dinette in 2014, looking for a place with a similar ambience, but more space inside the kitchen and out. She’s looking around Capitol Hill, but open to real estate in other walkable neighborhoods.
There will be three more of Nyffeler’s family-style Sunday suppers at the old address – Dec. 8 (Yucatan), Dec. 15 (Southern French, featuring cassoulet) and Dec. 22 (Spanish tapas.) Those dinners, which were inspired by the ones Nyffeler used to throw in her own apartment, are limited to 36 guests apiece, with reservations required. Cost: $40 per person, not including cocktails, wine, beer or dessert. Also, on the final dinner in the old space Dec. 23, look for Champagne and “toasts of both the wine and bread varieties.” Keep track of them in the interim on their Facebook page over here.