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Palena


tjaehnigen
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I wonder if the owners/managers read this site as I've noticed the Palena website hasn't been updated in a very long time. It'd be great if they'd post the menus and stuff on the website so you could know what's on board.

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went for dinner on friday night and for the first time was not blown away by the food.

Had a delicious Sidecar and the pasta with lamb meatballs. The dish was tasty enough, but the pool of grease at the bottom of the bowl was disappointing. I had hoped for more tomato rather than grease in the sauce. Next time I'm going back to my standbys of cheeseburger, hotdog, or chicken.

Can't wait to try lunch on a Saturday.

Debbie S. aka "ozgirl"

Squirrel: "Darn nuts! How I long for a grapefruit." - Eddie Izzard

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(Hey jm chen, when did you go and where did you sit?)

We had the BLT panini, fry plate and steak & eggs. The food was quite tasty as always with great service from Kate. (She rules, FYI!)

BLT panini was delish. I completely forgot to put the tomato condiment on it and ate it separately from the sandwich. Faux pas, oops.

The donuts were great - as usual. Yum.

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I had dinner at Palena on Thursday with two friends, and then returned for drinks with my parents and a friend on Saturday.

There are plenty of things worth returning for (and frequently), but I've found the cheese plate offerings to be extra special lately. They have a spectacular gorgonzola (anyone know who makes it? I might call to find out.) and several goat cheeses of very different textures and tastes.

On Thursday, the hard cheese was, I believe, parmesan (salty and delicious); on Saturday it was manchego (Dad scarfed down most of it - I only got one piece! :sad: ).

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Gastro888 -- I was sitting at the bar from about noon to 1:30. Were you outside or in?

Chatted with the bartender (whose name I never asked, should have done that) that I thought it would be more crowded. He said they always seem to be busier on rainy days and deserted when it's nice out, then added, "Well, Tom Sietsema promotes us some through his chats, and then there's always the people from eGullet," and I said, "Yeah, I always forget the whole world's not on eGullet..." and 'fessed up. He said he thought "the young lady out on the patio" was from the site.

I haven't had the cheese plate lately but the fontina on the artichoke panini was rather incredible.

Also, it sounded like they're trying to come up with something else to serve with the donuts now that it's getting too warm for the hot chocolate (which was like drinking a truffle) -- maybe an iced espresso?

Cooking and writing and writing about cooking at the SIMMER blog

Pop culture commentary at Intrepid Media

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I was outside, smack dab in the middle. Were you with someone else at the bar? I vaugely remember there were two tables as I walked inside towards the ladies' room.

Oh wow, I've never spoken to the bartender before...how'd he know I was on eG? Hmm.

The BLT panini is great. Definitely try that the next time. I've tasted the artichoke panini - very good indeed.

Yeah, Kate mentioned they'll be coming up with an iced coffee to serve with the donuts during the summer. My friend thought the hot chocolate was on the bitter side whereas I thought it was sweet. ::shrug:: I have no idea why, maybe it's a tastebud thing.

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I heard a rumour that Palena has a dining room in the back too, anyone ever tried it?

Firefly Restaurant

Washington, DC

Not the body of a man from earth, not the face of the one you love

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I heard a rumour that Palena has a dining room in the back too, anyone ever tried it?

Heh. Certainly it seems to still be popular for business dinners, if the table of 10 middle-aged white guys in black suits I saw last time I ate there was any indication. I don't think there was a free table in the place, and that was a Tuesday.

Cooking and writing and writing about cooking at the SIMMER blog

Pop culture commentary at Intrepid Media

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I'm pretty sure they don't serve them in the back room - I was kidding.

The back room is more tasting menu oriented and is hands down one of the best meals in DC. It's a shame more people don't get a chance to do the back room. It is a treat.

Bill Russell

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I am happy to report that:

a) the BLT panini is just as awesome and delicious as the artichoke panini

b) the new ricotta dumpling (canaderli?) is a lovely starter, perfect for sharing

c) both stalls in the women's room are now fully operational.

Cooking and writing and writing about cooking at the SIMMER blog

Pop culture commentary at Intrepid Media

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It's been a few months since I've been to Palena for dinner. My wife and I were kicking around lots of places we have yet to try in anticipation of a great meal.... After a few places being booked (CityZen, Restaurant Eve) and some out of the price range (Maestro, went last year and it was aMAZing, but many shekels), we thought we settled on Le Paradou.

Wrong.

After realizing we had been to Palena many times (mostly in the back room, only once in the front), we realized we'd never been there for our anniversary. A quick phone call (they are no longer on OpenTable.com -- grrrr) and I got the reservation -- Kelly recognized me by my voice, if you can believe it.

Looking forward to going there again.

Anything new and exciting on the menu? What's this I hear about donuts?

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Went to the front room of Friday with mixed results. An extraordinary "Bacon and Eggs": a small tower of smoked pork belly served with egg pasta stuffed with scrambled eggs and pecorino, with a little crayfish on the side and a bright foam on top (Mrs. B refused to share generously, so I didn't have a chance to dissect completely). Also had a wonderful seafood salad, with my favorite little Medfish, rouget. Both off the dining room menu.

Had a bisque off the cafe menu that missed the mark, though: too much paprika and too little cream, a credible effort but significantly out of balance.

Sadly, had to dash before we were able to look for donuts. Nice cookies in a go-cup, though. Think I'll have one now....

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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gnatharobed and I planned to dine off the cafe menu tonight at Palena. We looked forward to trying the Monday night menu and comparing dishes together. We both left work, excited to enjoy the food and ready for some great dessert.

BUT IT WAS CLOSED TONIGHT!

Ai ya, I shoulda called before I drove all the way from Montgomery County to NW. We were *so* disappointed! It was a bitter way to end a Monday - no Palena! And we had been planning this for 2 weeks!

No burger, no chicken, no lime tartlet...

<mock sob>

Sidebar: We ended up at Sorrio's across the street. Overall, substandard food. We had the pizza, homemade pasta with wild mushrooms, seafood stew and creme brulee. The pizza with wild mushrooms, spinach and onions was solidly decent - they could've caramelized the onions prior to adding them, used a lighter hand with the cheese and made the crust crisper. The base for the seafood stew lacked the essence of seafood - the broth was mostly tomatoes. I'm waiting for the mussels to kick in - let's see if Bourdain was right about Monday and seafood. The homemade pasta could've been stellar had they actually used wild mushrooms, less herbs, made a sauce and added more pasta. (For $17, the portion shouldn't be something that's as small as my fist. Note: my fist of fury not that big.)

The kicker was the creme brulee. 'Twas more like creme anglaise. Who knew creme brulee could run? Run, creme brulee, run...

Yes we ate it (hey, we don't waste food!), no we didn't complain 'cause it wasn't horribly bad, just not great enough for us to come back.

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