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Jun 6, 2007 01:32 PM

Backroom at Palena -- Dress?

I'm taking my fiancee to Palena's backroom for her birthday tonight. Is business casual (khakis & oxford) acceptable, or will I feel out of place without a suit?

and, while I'm at it: Any thoughts on recent menus? It's our first time there!

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  1. Great choice of venue for a nice romantic birthday evening!

    Dress is, as the British would say, "smart". No need to wear a suit, and deffinitely leave your tie at home unless you have a particualr inclination to dress up. But, honestly, khakis and oxford can mean almost anything. I would deffinitely want to put on something that I felt looked in -- elegant?

    Anyway, have fun and order a lot of food. If they have duck on the menu GET IT!


    1. business casual is acceptable but you won't feel uncomfortable in a suit- the summer menu is excellent.

      1. My kids were recently laughing about the advice often given by an administrator at the school they had both attended: "If you have any question that the outfit you're wearing might be inappropriate, go back and change."
        You're taking your dear fiancée to an expensive restaurant for a romantic birthday dinner. Why don't you grab a sharp-looking blazer on the way out the door? It's kind of chilly tonight anyway?

        4 Replies
        1. re: MakingSense

          I've been in a suit and I've been there wearing khakis and a Haiwaian shirt. Both were fine. But since it is a special occasion, I'd dress nicely.

          1. re: dinwiddie

            Ditto. I once saw a 'queen' there wearing a ballerina outfit, sort of, with matching tiara. What a hoot! My standard uniform is an excellent Paradise on a Hanger shirt, ,nice pants and sandals (during summer anyway).

            What did you eat?

            1. re: Pool Boy

              Since I've been many times (my wife likes it) we normally just go for four courses each and chose what we think looks good that night. We end up splitting a cheese course and a dessert. You can't go wrong with anything there, but the fish is usually fantastic. I also like the Moscovy Duck.

              1. re: Pool Boy

                That Ballerina probably didn't suffer a moment of doubt about that ensemble unless the seams in his tights were crooked.
                That's the rule. When you're not sure, rethink what you're wearing. You can always pull off a tie or slip off a blazer. You can't cover up a sweatshirt once you get there.
                I lived in the French Quarter and I miss ballerinas and cowboys and excellent Hawaiian shirts. I'm tired of slobs and people who just dress any old way like they don't care.

          2. In the end, I went with a basic blue blazer and tie. Of course, I think the first commenter was right, in that "sharp" was all you need. Men were dressed in anything from polo shirts to suits, and I fell right in the middle. And, most importantly, my fiancee was the most beautiful woman in the room.

            The food was indeed wonderful. Some highlights: The gnocchi truly melts in your mouth, definitely the best gnocchi I've ever had. Its bolognese sauce was lovely, sweet, and rich. The salmon seviche appetizer was also fabulous, with a nice, tasty bit of salmon that delighted even my non-fish loving fiancee. We both adored the lamb. Desserts were also grand, the chocolate torte and chocolate napoleon left us wanting more. (Sadly, the cheesecake is off the menu!)

            We loved the place, and plan on trying the bar soon -- the raves over the burgers and roasted chicken have our interest piqued!

            Thanks for all your thoughts, everyone.