Jump to content
Nadya

Palena, 2007 James Beard Award Winner Frank Ruta Rocks Cleveland Park - Closed on Apr 26, 2014

Recommended Posts

Can't believe you people didn't got going on Palena yet.

The cafe menu continues to grow and amaze as always. From the latest, bisque with mussels, touch of rice and spinach flan; stuffed Pennsylvania lamb with piquillo bread sauce; and hen gallantine sexed up with pistachios and foie gras have blown my mind.

The menu is so familiar and well-loved by now that ordering became a struggle, although not entirely un-looked-forward to. Should I have something new? Or should I get the best burger in NW?

Of course, last night I figured had to have my burger fix before taking off for two weeks of caviar therapy.

I said it first...Jeff is very dreamy and extremely dexterous with beverages of all sorts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is the lobster burger at Citronelle eligible for "Best Hamburger" consideration? Or is this category limited to beef?

While I really enjoyed the lobster burger, my vote goes to the burger at Palena. wub.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The cheeseburger at Palena kicks more ass than a Cossack dancer in a crowded elevator.

Can I still be part of the group if I say that Palena's burger failed to knock me on my ass?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Can I still be part of the group if I say that Palena's burger failed to knock me on my ass?

I thought it was a little on the small side for the bun it was on and slightly over salted when I had it.

You can be a part of my group.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
<span style='font-size:8pt;line-height:100%'>Can I still be part of the group if I say that Palena's burger failed to knock me on my ass?</span>

When did you have it?

I ask because I've heard from two independent sources that it ain't what it used to be. I haven't had one in about 3 or 4 months, so I'm wondering if they're right. The two possible heretics in question have used words like "dry", "tough", "less flavorful" and "smaller". Both have said that everything but the beef itself is the same as it used to be.

I may need to go and investigate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
When did you have it?

I ask because I've heard from two independent sources that it ain't what it used to be. I haven't had one in about 3 or 4 months, so I'm wondering if they're right. The two possible heretics in question have used words like "dry", "tough", "less flavorful" and "smaller". Both have said that everything but the beef itself is the same as it used to be.

I may need to go and investigate.

I had the burger at Palena this past weekend for the first time in a while. It was ejoyable and tasty, but not up to the level that I remember. I certainly would not use the words, dry, tough, or less flavorful. It just seemed to be missing something. I will say that it still beats others in the area.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So is the burger at Palena still good or not as impressive as it used to be? A dinner decision is pending based on recent evaluations.

I've had this burger at least a dozen times, most recently four nights ago when my mom proclaimed it to be the best she has ever eaten (honestly, that probably isn't saying much). It's not always the exact same thing - sometimes there's a touch too much sauce, other times it's a bit too small for the ample house made bun, etc., but I've never regretted ordering it, and I have regretted NOT ordering it.

Frank (yes, he's a member here), would you consider chiming in and deconstructing your cheeseburger for us?

Cheers,

Rocks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So is the burger at Palena still good or not as impressive as it used to be? A dinner decision is pending based on recent evaluations.

I do like the burger at Mortons, and the burger at Chef Geoff's (especially on the last Monday of the month) is pretty good. But I can't make a claim about "best" easily.

Also, I've heard there's a wagyu burger at Landmark Restaurant in the Melrose that is to die for. Sonoma will also apparently be featuring a wagyu burger, significantly closer to home...

K

Mr. BLB almost always gets the Palena Burger. Except for one really off night about 9 months ago when they served his burger pretty much raw (he orders it medium...), we haven't noticed a significant change in quality. (I just look sad and pathetic til he shares a quarter of it with me.)

One of my fav things to do is order the burger and save half for breakfast the next day. It holds up REALLY well...

Jennifer

P.S. He ordered it on Monday night and it was prettty close to perfection on a bun.

P.P.S. I have noticed a tendancy to go a bit heavy on whatever it is they smear on the buns sometimes though. I can end up with quite a mound on my plate...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll have to say that when I go to a restaurant like Palena, the hamburger is just about the last thing I would consider ordering, given all of the other creative fare on the bill. But with the previous posting, I guess I'll just have to suck it up next time I'm in there and give the burger a try.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'll have to say that when I go to a restaurant like Palena, the hamburger is just about the last thing I would consider ordering, given all of the other creative fare on the bill. But with the previous posting, I guess I'll just have to suck it up next time I'm in there and give the burger a try.

Exactly. We're probably missing a lot of great burgers [or other such fare] that way.

Though in the interest of full disclosure, the burger was what I had on my FIRST trip to Palena, based on it's reputation. tongue.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I managed to have at least a bite or two from 14 different dishes last night over a 5 and a half hour, two restaurant Happy "Hour" last night. Everything was very good, but somehow the highest of the highlights was a hot dog.

If that incredible, spicy, savory sausage they put on a bun with mustard and saurkraut at Palena can be called a hot dog. This is no weenie dog. This is a rottweiler.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My name is Hillvalley and I too am a Palena-holic. I do not wish to enter a 12 step program because then I would lose the perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

I cannot imagine a better place to be than at the bar enjoing the artichoke and fontina panini washed down with a bloody mary. Yet another blissful creation by the chef. This is not your mother's grilled cheese sandwich. Go to Palena, eat the panini, talk to the other people at the bar who are in the same blissful state. You will thank me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi.  I'm Michael and I'm a Palena-holic.  It's been two days since my last crayfish bisque and roasted chicken.

Hi, I'm Michael and I recycle posts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To make our "Happy Hour second round of snacks" that Bilrus mentioned more explicit, the 4 of us had:

- Gnocchi

- Penne with lamb meatballs

- The veloute

- Canederli

- Hot Dog

-Hamburger

- more Gnocchi

- one more entree that mdt scarfed down

All were excellent.

Among the standouts were those luscious lamb meatballs. One of those dishes where you say "Well, I can make lamb meatballs". Not like this you can't.

The canderli were absolutely ethereal dumplings. This jumped straight onto the short list of best dishes that I've had this year.

The Hot Dog was spicy and sweet at the same time. Almost more like a Hungarian kielbasa than what one would typically think of a hot dog. Added bonus was some delicious sauerkraut. I don't generally like sauerkraut, but I wolfed this down.

The hamburger was quite good, but a little salty for my palate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The entree that I 'scarfed' down was a wonderful cut of Kobe beef with a balsamic reduction, served with some braised (?) punterelle.

All in all a fun happy hour(s)! :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last night--

canderli-- I can't say it but darn is it good. (Although I prefer the sheeps milk raviolini....)

the seared yellowfish caeser--not as good as the salmon the first time I had it; better than last weeks salmon. A fine salad!

AND...

Cheesecake -- I love Ann. I miss Ann. I'd sell major body parts to get cupcakes on the menu. But that cheesecake gives new meaning to cheesecake--that sickly sweet junk they serve at famous chain places.

Monday nights at Palena--it's becoming a habit.

Jennifer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good lord, the bar at Palena was CROWDED last night. I got there at 8:30 and waited patiently for a spot at the bar for about 15 minutes (I was determined to try this "Palena Burger" I had heard about). Kate (?), the hostess, was lovely and very accomodating, letting me know on the sly when she planned on seating some folks waiting at the bar. That was a very kind gesture to the starving solo diner -- she gets a gold star.

Dinner was, when put in mere words, pedestrian: a burger and fries. When eaten it was something else all together. Washed down with a glass of Grenache I can say the Palena burger deserves the accolades it has received on this site (and others). If you're a fan of the half-pound monsters served up at some restaurants, beef overwhelmed by bacon, ketchup, and whatever else you want on your sandwich, well this isn't the burger for you. Don't get me wrong--sometimes those burgers really hit the spot. But this was in a different category. The cheese and the sauce were accents to emphasize the beef and the bun -- which were spectacular.

Okay, I realize I'm probably preaching to the choir. But really, this burger was goooood.

Interesting sidenote: I had a couple "Ibitinis" after dinner; the bartender (Kirk? Good guy) informed me once the gentleman departed that I had been sitting next to the drinks namesake. Some Google searching revealed that he's quite the interesting man... funny who one runs into in D.C.

Great, now I'm hungry again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ve been curious about the café menu. Finally went to try what everyone was raving about. Though my friend was astonished I ordered the way I did, I plunged right into ordering hot dog as my first course with Macon-Lugny Chard; middle course was cheeseburger; entrée was the roasted chicken matched well with Les Gaillards Grenacha. Delicioso! Nothing that reminded me of old fashioned comfort food. Just good professional cooking done perfectly no matter what it is!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I’ve been curious about the café menu.  Finally went to try what everyone was raving about.  Though my friend was astonished I ordered the way I did, I plunged right into ordering hot dog as my first course with Macon-Lugny Chard; middle course was cheeseburger; entrée was the roasted chicken matched well with Les Gaillards Grenacha.  Delicioso!  Nothing that reminded me of old fashioned comfort food.  Just good professional cooking done perfectly no matter what it is!

You ate a hot dog, cheeseburger, and roasted chicken in one sitting?! You are my new hero! :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You ate a hot dog, cheeseburger, and roasted chicken in one sitting?!  You are my new hero! :lol:

along with the hot dog , cheeseburger and chicken there was , beet salad gnocchi , bradetto and fries , cheese plate and 3 different desserts. I was witnessing ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You ate a hot dog, cheeseburger, and roasted chicken in one sitting?!  You are my new hero! ;)

You should have seen the look of my friend's face--that's exactly how he worded it! He was just amazed and flabbergasted! With good food and good company--I can eat! So I was like this :P , and not like this :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello my name is Mike and I am a Palena-holic.

I made my second trip in a week (3 in the last 2 1/2 weeks) tonight and had the crayfish bisque followed by the hot dog. That bisque was wonderful and I enjoyed the highlight of spinach flan that was placed atop the soup.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stopped in last night to try a panini, but they weren't on the menu :lol: There were plenty of other interesting new things though-- the menu's been greatly expanded since I was there last (or was that just because it was Mon, when only the Cafe is open?)-- at least 15 dishes on there. Had a great artichoke antipasto plate (which also had bufala mozz, cured meats and fava beans).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On Monday nights only the cafe menu is available. On other nights you can order from the regular menu as well. While I have not had a chance to stop in for Saturday lunch yet, I think the panini are only offered then.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...