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Palena


tjaehnigen
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An even more pressing issue is should I order the divine burger or go for somethin' new?

If the boudin blanc is still on the menu, go for it. Or anything with gnocchi. Or anything.

peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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Gnocchi...yum. Penne anything is always good.

Forgive the ignorance but what's a Baltimore cake?

Good to know the donut gems can be taken to go...I really had to stop myself from running out of the restaurant with the whole tray when I went on a Saturday morning. (hee hee)

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The menu was on the short side last night, but still excellent. The minestrone was gone, replaced by a brodetto (sp?) of seafood. Also no breast of lamb.

I had the burger and it was great as always, but I probably should have given in to my carb craving and just gotten the darn gnocchi.

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Gnocchi...yum.  Penne anything is always good. 

Forgive the ignorance but what's a Baltimore cake? 

Good to know the donut gems can be taken to go...I really had to stop myself from running out of the restaurant with the whole tray when I went on a Saturday morning.  (hee hee)

You haven't had Ann's Baltimore Cake?????

White cake soaked in real lemon juice with vanilla buttercream frosting.

Just this side of heaven.

Mr. BLB doesn't like it as much as I do...And to be honest, I'd rather just see a plain ole cake on the menu but this is pretty darn good.

Jennifer

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The menu was on the short side last night, but still excellent.  The minestrone was gone, replaced by a brodetto (sp?) of seafood.  Also no breast of lamb.

I had the burger and it was great as always, but I probably should have given in to my carb craving and just gotten the darn gnocchi.

How is the gnocchi prepared these days? I'm not a stinky cheese fan...

We've been going on Monday's so I don't have to beg for the cookies so I've missed the regular menu offerings of late.

Jennifer

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Oh heck, I didn't even know what a Baltimore cake was until now.  Interesting, thanks!  I'm not a big fan of buttercream but I'm sure her cakes are good.

I didn't even know there was gnnochi on the cafe menu.  Hmmm....

The gnocchi are not on the cafe menu, but you can order them off of the tasting menu. These are probably the best (or close to it) gnocchi that I have had outside of Italy. It is probably becuase Chef Ruta has roots from the same region of Italy as my Mom.

I recently had the German Chocolate Cake for dessert that was wonderful. It comes with a side of coconut ice cream that is wonderful. I also tried a couple of bites of the lime tart that is simply divine.

Wearing jeans to the best restaurants in town.
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Oh heck, I didn't even know what a Baltimore cake was until now.  Interesting, thanks!  I'm not a big fan of buttercream but I'm sure her cakes are good.

I have a very fuzzy memory of seeing somewhere (in one of my mom's old cookbooks?) that there are actually two similar cakes, one is called Lord Baltimore and the other is Lady Baltimore.

Anyone else ever heard of this?

"What, after all, is more seductive than the prospect of sinning in libraries?"

Michael Dirda, An Open Book

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Oh heck, I didn't even know what a Baltimore cake was until now.  Interesting, thanks!  I'm not a big fan of buttercream but I'm sure her cakes are good.

I have a very fuzzy memory of seeing somewhere (in one of my mom's old cookbooks?) that there are actually two similar cakes, one is called Lord Baltimore and the other is Lady Baltimore.

Anyone else ever heard of this?

Yup. Big discussion on classic cakes can be found here.

Wearing jeans to the best restaurants in town.
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...The gnocchi are not on the cafe menu, but you can order them off of the tasting menu...

Ah, thanks for clarifying. When I'm someone else's dime, I'll do the tasting menu. :laugh:

For now, the cafe menu is just dandy for me. It's divine!

You can order the gnocchi a la carte in the cafe, but they aren't listed on the cafe menu, just the tasting menu. It is something like $14. A little more than the normal cafe menu, but worth every penny. I thought they were the best I've had anywhere (haven't been to Italy yet though)

Bill Russell

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Dang it! I wish I had access to eG before going to Palena. The first server we had didn't tell us the tasting menu was available in the cafe area a la carte. (Actually, the 1st server didn't provide us with good service at all- the 2nd server was much, much better.) Man...I could've tried something different. :hmmm:

The pasta was very tasty though- I would love to try the items off the tasting menu the next time. No boudin blanc on the menu tonight.

Edited by Gastro888 (log)
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OK, my mother lived in Cleveland Park for YEARS and this Saturday will be my first visit to Palena. I've always lived vicariously through those that posted on this thread and after Saturday, somebody will be living vicariously through me!

We'll be sitting in the restaurant, so I we won't be trying the chicken that I've read so much about. I WILL get the gnocchi though. Are there any other recommendations from those that have been there recently for each course?

Thanks in advance!

Edited by mhberk (log)

(Sitting for lamb chops)

Lamb: Ple-e-e-se Li-i-i-sa I thought you lo-o-o-oved me, lo-o-o-oved me

Marge: Whats Wrong Lisa? Cant get enough lamb chops?

Lisa: I can't eat this, I can't eat a poor little lamb.

Homer: Lisa get a hold yourself, that is lamb, not A lamb.

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There's another very tempting pasta on the tasting menu that I believe is described as "Bacon and Eggs" - the egg element coming in the form of ravioli made with an eggy pasta wrapper (I'm describing this poorly I know, so please feel free to chime in if you can describe this better). The bacon is, of course, pieces of Palena's house-made pork perfection.

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OK, my mother lived in Cleveland Park for YEARS and this Saturday will be my first visit to Palena.  I've always lived vicariously through those that posted on this thread and after Saturday, somebody will be living vicariously through me!

We'll be sitting in the restaurant, so I we won't be trying the chicken that I've read so much about.  I WILL get the gnocchi though.  Are there any other recommendations from those that have been there recently for each course?

Thanks in advance!

Do make sure you get the house-made bacon in one of your dishes. Might be my favorite pork dish ever.

And the desserts are outstanding. If you can get something with the caramels - do so.

Bill Russell

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They didn't have it the last time I was there, but if they have the antipasti plate with housemade salami, fresh mozzarella, and roasted vegetables, it's incredible. Such simple food but so flavorful. But if you go for the gnocchi as your first course you will not be disappointed. Other than that, I usually just ask the waitstaff for recommendations and they have not yet steered me wrong.

Yes, save room for dessert! I love the cashew dacquoise and the chocolate dessert (torte?) that comes with a little bitter orange jam on the side.

Report back and let us know what's best these days!

Cooking and writing and writing about cooking at the SIMMER blog

Pop culture commentary at Intrepid Media

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OK, my mother lived in Cleveland Park for YEARS and this Saturday will be my first visit to Palena.  I've always lived vicariously through those that posted on this thread and after Saturday, somebody will be living vicariously through me!

We'll be sitting in the restaurant, so I we won't be trying the chicken that I've read so much about.  I WILL get the gnocchi though.  Are there any other recommendations from those that have been there recently for each course?

Thanks in advance!

Just reading this on Saturday afternoon so I hope you read it before you go. If it's still on the menu, be sure to get the roasted beet salad with lobster (or is it the lobster salad with roasted beets?). It's amazing! And if Carolyn is your server, tell her hi for me . She's my daughter :biggrin:

If more of us valued food & cheer & song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. - J.R.R. Tolkien
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there exist certain places that instantly embrace you in a loving hug of warmth and good cheer. i've always felt this way about palena and, whilst not as much of an addict (though i would be if i didnt work most evenings) as some of us are here, i do frequent palena. well maybe not frequent. either way, i was there spending family time with my mother last week, talking to the most fabulous staff and indulging my fix (okay, so i am an addict.). lo and behold, next thing i know, its midnight, and we're still there, talking to the now-off the clock employees and generally enjoying every second spent in this wondrous restaurant. i dont know where this post is going or what the point is...

there is no love sincerer than the love of food

- george bernard shaw

i feel like love is in the kitchen with a culinary eye, think she's making something special and i'm smart enough to try

- interpol

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I'm trying to get reservations for tonight but they're no longer on OpenTable and no one is answering the phone. Alas...

updated to add: success!  :biggrin:

And we are expecting a full report tomorrow, please!

If more of us valued food & cheer & song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. - J.R.R. Tolkien
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Well, to sum up: :wub:

A lovely experience, as always. I waited at the bar for the rest of the group, and sipped a pickled martini in the meantime. I'd ordered it to compare to the pickled martini at Eve, but they're completely different animals: vodka v. gin, fancy v. clean. Poorly ordered, but well made.

My boyfriend's parents had not had the pleasure of Palena before, so we steered them through. The gnocchi with nettles and Castlemagno cheese? Still to die for. The roasted beet salad, galettine (?), and bacon & egg were also very well-received. The kitchen was a little slow, but we were well set up with wine, water, and conversation, so it wasn't a problem. Incredible squab. Incredible Kobe beef. Incredible sablefish -- I inquired several times to make sure it would be mild enough, and in fact it was. Every bite was delicious.

The best bite of the whole evening was my first bite of the lime tartlet, which is SO tart and pure it just... ahhhhh. My boyfriend's father, who was celebrating his birthday, made a point of telling the waiter several times that the strawberry shortcake would be compared to the shortcake his mother made. Of course when he actually tasted the shortcake he owned up to the fact that it was better than his mother's. And then owned up to the fact that his mother's was made with Bisquick. So I certainly hope Ann's was better.

Boyfriend's mother will still be in town Saturday, so I'm hoping I can talk her into a repeat visit for Saturday lunch.

Jael

Cooking and writing and writing about cooking at the SIMMER blog

Pop culture commentary at Intrepid Media

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The best bite of the whole evening was my first bite of the lime tartlet, which is SO tart and pure it just... ahhhhh.

I loved the way the filling oozed out of the crust when I first cut into it. It felt very decadent.

Bill Russell

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