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Palena Cafe-how is it?

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chicken kabob Mar 23, 2009 08:30 AM

I am thinking of going to Palena alone tonight. Is it worth going? What are the must-have dishes? Thanks...

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    Ericandblueboy Mar 23, 2009 08:33 AM

    Better make sure they're open. It's definitely worth going.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Ericandblueboy
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      chicken kabob Mar 23, 2009 08:40 AM

      I just called- Cafe is now open on Mondays. Thanks

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      Elyssa Mar 23, 2009 09:08 AM

      Totally worth it (and I've dined there alone many times). If they have a soup or consumme of some sort, get it! I still dream about the Spring Consumme from last year---filled with ramps, morrells and all sorts of goodness, including a quail egg.

      The Palena burger is of course famous and delicious. I hear a lot about their roasted chicken but have never tried it (mostly because I find it hard to tear myself away from the burger).

      I think you will really enjoy it. Plus its quite affordable, especially considering it's one of the most well-respected chefs in town. You can order off of the cafe menu (cheaper) as well as the dining room menu (more pricey).

      Make sure to report back :)

      2 Replies
      1. re: Elyssa
        DanielK Mar 23, 2009 09:15 AM

        I agree. Cafe at Palena is a great place for a solo diner, though you may still have to wait for a seat at prime dinner time, even on a weekday.

        For the main, definitely get the burger or chicken. And if you don't choose the soup for your starter, get the fry plate with your main instead. Or get both, and take home leftovers.

        Then, you'll have to come back, because you just had such a great meal!

        1. re: DanielK
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          chicken kabob Mar 23, 2009 09:28 AM

          Thanks for all the recs. The soup and chicken sound great. I would get a burger but I frequently go to the BGR Joint in Bethesda (including last night) and they are SO good there, too...I hear Palena Cafe has amazing desserts, also...Cannot wait to try it- I will report back.

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        pineapple sage Mar 23, 2009 04:12 PM

        Gnocci are not to be missed. Soft pillows of heaven. Also, if the fontina and artichoke sandwich is available, it's great too.

        1 Reply
        1. re: pineapple sage
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          chicken kabob Mar 23, 2009 04:43 PM

          Just got back from Palena. The service could not have been better! I had the fry plate and roast chicken-both very good. For dessert, a chocolate napoleon- that was my favorite part of the meal. Thanks for all the suggestions. And, yes, I thought it was a good place to dine alone- especially because the staff were so welcoming and nice.

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