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Feb 4, 2011 09:41 AM

Palena Dining Room

I'm hearing and reading some different things about the dress code. Can anyone clarify?

3529 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

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  1. I've been in a suit and in jeans and a nice shirt, nobody said anything. That said, I'd say that it is better to go a little dressed up if you are planning on being in the dining room.

    1. I was just there the other night and I saw people in jeans, suits, and everything in between - in both the bar and the dining room. Personally, I wouldn't wear jeans to the dining room unless they're a little dressy and paired with a sportcoat. I went with nice slacks, a button down shirt, and sweater, which, looking around the room, seemed to be the primary choice for my male 30-something cohort. In the bar, just don't look like a slob; but, they will still serve you even if you do.

      3 Replies
        1. re: dinersaurus

          That's what I went with and felt very comfortable. On a side note, and probably a more important one, we had a fantastic meal that's comparable with some of the better meals I've had in the area. The pasta course blew me away!

        2. FYI, tomorrow's WASHINGTON POST magaine includes a review of the re-done Palena -- both dining room and cafe. Based on the review, if you haven't yet had your meal at the Dining Room, you're in for a fabulous experience. (The review of the cafe is fractionally less wonderful.)

          3529 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

          1 Reply
          1. re: Indy 67

            I hadn't been to Palena in quite some time but I used to go there frequently - especially to the bar - before moving from DC a couple of years ago. I'm happy to say it was as good as I remember. Of all the places I've been in DC, I crave Palena (along with Obelisk) the most of all - more than Komi, CityZen, Citronelle, and others of that ilk. Palena manages to produce such well executed food without seeming too fussy. If you want an experience, then a Komi makes sense; but anymore, I just want to eat and enjoy straightforward food without the tricks. Palena delivers in that sense.

            The only knock I have is that the decor seems so spartan now, especially in the bar. The old bar was so cozy and attractive. The new bar has all the cheer of a medical clinic.

            CityZen Restaurant
            1330 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024

            3529 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

            3000 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007

            1509 17th St NW Ste 1, Washington, DC 20036

          2. I've gone dressy (jacket, even jacket & tie) and pretty casual (really great Hawaiian shirt, nice pants and sandals) -- it's all good.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Pool Boy

              Your Hawaiian shirts are legendary on here!

              1. re: gregb

                I've seen many of Pool Boy's shirts. Sometimes you need sunglasses.

              2. re: Pool Boy

                Last time I think we both ended up wearing oxtail stew :) It seemed to be appreciated well.