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The Palm, Downtown and Tysons Corner


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The Palm is run by a sharp group of business folks. They are currently running a filet and lobster special for 2 for $89 and on Wed. all wine is 50% off. They were packed with a waiting list Wed. evening in Tysons. Clearly these folks understand that the restaurant business is different in this economy and the focus is to survive... they get it.

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The Palm is run by a sharp group of business folks. They are currently running a filet and lobster special for 2 for $89 and on Wed. all wine is 50% off. They were packed with a waiting list Wed. evening in Tysons. Clearly these folks understand that the restaurant business is different in this economy and the focus is to survive... they get it.

It is certainly working. The Palm is not somewhere I would ever just choose to go on a whim or even for a special occasion. That being said, I've always been a little intrigued by the downtown location and the word on the street that it was popular among both politicians and other famous folks.

My +1 heard about the filet and lobster promotion on the radio and we looked it up online and planned our trip for last night. The bread basket brought out to start was a nice combination of a darker bread with raisins and maybe nuts? This was accompanied by two different types of white bread. My one complaint is that the butter was cold and hard as a rock. How difficult is it to bring out softened (or even whipped?!) butter?

The salad course was good, but nothing phenomenal. My Caesar was a large serving covered in parm, and was certainly a good version, but the mixed green was a pretty plain pile of lettuce with two tomato wedges dressed in a vinaigrette that tasted mostly like olive oil.

Entrees, however, were delicious. We both had the 9-oz filet medium rare with a coldwater lobster tail alongside. I hadn't had lobster for a while because somewhere along the way I think I had a bad meal of it and was turned off for a while. Well, I'm glad I ventured back to the pinchy crustacean because it was a nice sweet accompaniment to the steak. I actually preferred the lobster by itself as opposed to with the butter served alongside. Both filets were cooked perfectly, and I was even able to stop myself from eating more than 1/3 or so in order to save the rest for lunch today. The deal included one side of "Half and Half" which is a ridiculously huge plate of fried onion straws and their homemade chips. We probably didn't get through a third of what was brought out, but both were very very good. This side would certainly feed a group of 4 easily. The second side we got to choose from any of their other vegetable options and we chose the sauteed wild mushrooms. A nicely seasoned combination of probably 3 types of mushrooms, some of which I also came away with for lunch today!

Somehow we managed to save a little bit of room for dessert and we got one of each item offered, a key lime pie and molten chocolate cake. The first bite or two of the cake were heavenly, but after such a heavy meal, the richness was a bit overwhelming. In the end, I think we both enjoyed the key lime pie better since it was a somewhat sweet but perfectly tart end to the meal.

All in all, it was a really excellent meal. And certainly a steal with this promotion! I tried to add up on the menu everything we ordered and I believe the total for two was probably $150+. The fact we got all of it for $89 was ridiculous. The Palm is promoting this as "The Year of the Lobster," so be on the lookout for more similar deals coming up.

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Recently, to my chagrin, I found that a long-time staple of the menu -- "Steak a la Stone" or "Steak a la Palm" -- had been discontinued because it wasn't being ordered frequently enough. Nevertheless after my Mother wailed and nashed her teeth and then rent her garments our waiter checked and found that the kitchen would prepare her this dish. Let me describe it and perhaps encourage others to ask for it so that it returns to the menu: It is a sliced strip steak (cooked to order, of course) served on a bed of toast, sauteed onion and pimento. The toast soaks up the juice of the meat and the onion/pimento mixture adds the perfect savory accompanyment to the meat. Truly delish.

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Well my husband's credit card mailed him a gift certificate to the Palm. It seems legit and doesn't seem like there are any strings (other than using said credit card to pay for whatever isn't covered by the certificate because I'm guessing they are banking on people spending more if they have gift certificate) Anyway anyone ever had the Italian food at the Palm? I'm not really a big steak eater so I guess I'd order an Italian dish, crabakes or a salad and one of those delicious sides.

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I think the Italian side of the menu is a great "secret". Get the chicken Parm!

I've recently discovered, through a friend who works at the Palm in DC, that anything on the Italian side of the menu can be ordered as a half portion (at least at the bar), which is still the size of a generous entree anywhere else. I've had the chicken parm and veal parm and both are excellent. And a half portion of either is only about $16, which is a pretty good deal.

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I think the Italian side of the menu is a great "secret". Get the chicken Parm!

I'm in Atlanta. And, due to factors totally and unequivocally beyond my control, I had to have dinner tonight at the Palm here very much against my will. After all, BettyJoan and others have populated the ATL thread with so many great ideas* and, criminally, I couldn't take advantage of any of them. But, I guess sometimes that just happens.

I've only been to DC's Palm once and it was enough years ago that I don't remember much of anything about it other than to conceptually group it with Smith & Wollensky as big, national, privately-owned, fully priced, corn-fueled steak house chains.

I'd have no reason to go to Palm normally. In DC, why would anyone ever choose it over Ray's, BLT, Bourbon or whatever ones fave local steak house is? I will confess to some bewilderment though. And some respect for the business model. Packed here tonight. Regular stop for politicians and celebs in DC. Excellent service, High prices. No doubt unusually profitable. A good business. Food? Less so but okay.

I had a small caesar salad. Totally ordinary in a cafeteria sort of way and thus overpriced at $8 or $9. Then, not wanting beef I saw one of the million enlarged reproductions of major magazine coverage on the wall right beside me. The article was about the 2009 London opening and mentioned that the company's roots (1916 in NYC) were in Italian food before the steaks and lobster ever hit the menu. So I got the chicken parm. And it was pretty good. A generous portion (though again too high a profit margin at around $30).

Now that that's in my past, I won't be heading to the Palm again anytime in the foreseeable future...unless I have no option to do otherwise.

Not really bitter or anything. Regretful more like it.

* tried to convince the group that holeman & finch (which I tried and loved a few weeks ago and still need to post about) or serpas or bacchanalia would be worth the cab ride...to no avail. but that's a story for another time and, of course, a different thread.

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Well, fine, the Caesar Salad was average at best and the sides were forgettable. However, the lobster was expertly cooked, the service was impeccable, and the bartender made a damn fine Manhattan. That's been the case at all the Palm locations I've been to over the years, and it's enough to get me to return. Oh, and there's this: post-857-0-85234200-1341836694_thumb.jpg

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Despite my protestations above from Atlanta a few months ago, had lunch here (in DC) last week. That was because I barely remembered someone (it was RWBoone) on the board recommending it for a good chicken parm on the chicken parm thread. It was good. Maybe even very good but not great for me. Also, I'm not sure but maybe RW's recc was from the dinner menu because I forgot to get a half portion and don't think it was $32--rather $19 or $20? Something like that. Big, moist, thin, classically salamandered to brown the cheese and make it bubbly. The marinara was fine but nothing special. I did remember and follow the advice to skip the pasta. Sound advice I'd pass along. That left a bit of room to try the dessert which came with the lunch menu--a key lime pie. OK but fairly typical and a bit heavy. All said, I'd get this chicken parm again. This and a la lucia are the two best chicken parms I've found in our area.

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