We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Delicious French Food” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Praline Bakery & Bistro

Praline Bakery & Bistro
4611-O Sangamore Rd., Bethesda, MD 20816
3012298180
Menu
Improve this listing
Ranked #22 of 297 restaurants in Bethesda
Price range: $30 - $30
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: MacArthur Blvd
Transit: Metro Red Line to Friendship Heights, then Ride On Bus 23 to Sangamore Rd.
Description: Praline Bakery & Bistro opened its doors on Sangamore Road in Bethesda, Maryland, in April 2006, the culmination of years of partnership and planning by co-owners Susan Limb and Patrick Musel, whose love of fine cuisine and talent for creating delectable pastries led them here. Together, they wanted to build a welcoming neighborhood place where people of all ages could gather for a good meal, a quality pastry, or coffee. Every day, we try our best to provide just that.Praline Bakery prepares pastries fresh daily, using the finest ingredients and no preservatives. Come in and taste some of our delectable breakfast pastries and cakes which include traditionally made croissants, which include butter, chocolate, and almond, and danishes, such as apple walnut, pecan raisin, and raspberry almond twists. We offer a variety of cakes that is sure to please almost any palate – from French chocolate mousse to an American carrot cake.Praline Bistro is open for lunch Monday through Saturday, dinner Monday through Sunday and Brunch on Sunday. All meals our prepared by our culinary team led by Executive Chef Christian Gautrois.
Bethesda, MD
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Delicious French Food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

Praline, despite being in a strip mall, has a limited menu so the chef can excel in a few outstanding dishes, depending on what is fresh in the market. Unusual appetizers include tuna tartare and excellent soups; entrees that we love include grilled scallops with risotto, shrimp with pasta, grilled tuna - always with unusual sides. Desserts from the downstairs bakery are worth the added calories. The upstairs bistro is quiet, with friendly service.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

46 reviews from our community

86% Recommend
    19
    21
    5
    1
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Bethesda, Maryland
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
62 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Incredible Special Dinner with Beer Pairing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2012

It seemed like an unlikely prospect -- a beer dinner at a French restaurant. But, liking Belgian beer, I joined a friend for a special beer dinner featuring beers from the Flying Dog Brewery. We were not disappointed. The beers were delicious, accompanied by a short presentation by representatives of the brewery, and paired to the courses. The first course was crabmeat in a pastry shell (it was so delicious we had a second one) paired with a blonde beer. Next was a very lovely salad with peaches and an equally suitable beer. Then, a shrimp dish followed by the main course of a small filet and a small lamb chop. The food was beautifully prepared and presented, and just delicious. The grand finale was a small Belgian waffle cut in half with chocolate sauce on one half and fresh strawberries on the other. And that was served with a special ale that had a sweetness that complemented the dessert. Can't wait for the next special dinner at Praline.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“A Gallic Delight!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2012 via mobile

We dine at Praline roughly every 10 days, so we're exceptionally well-qualified to review it. This restaurant delivers excellent value for fine French bistro fare, provided that you know where to concentrate. We recommend it heartily for consistent and imaginative French cooking at a good price. While Praline is not inexpensive, it delivers great value for the quality and satisfaction that it provides.

If you're planning a visit, be aware that the restaurant menu combines French and American-accented casual fare (generally on the right side of menu) and more authentic French specialties, which change frequently, on the left-hand side of the menu. To fully enjoy the talent of Chef Christian Gautrois, focus on the left side of the menu.

Chef Gautrois, a native of Lyon, is passionate about food. Produce is typically sourced from Virginia's Northern Neck, and Chef Gautrois periodically adds such Gallic delights as veal tongue and tete de frommage (head cheese) to the menu. The moules frites (mussels and French fried potatoes) are excellent, as are such French bistro standards as onion soup, cassoulet and boeuf borguignon. The chef also does a fine job with duck, game, fish and shrimp. Salads and soups are nicely done. Some of the best items on the menu are the appetizer specials (left side of the menu)-- 2 will make a lunch and 2-3 a dinner. Be aware that the menu here changes daily, depending on what is seasonal and on the decision of the chef. Note also that this is a smaller place that tends to close early-- from Monday to Thursday, you are well-advised to be seated by 7.30 or 8 pm, at the latest.

Desserts are baked on the premises, courtesy of Praline's bakery, housed on the restaurant's first floor. They are typically excellent. You can't go wrong with the walnut dacquoise, a house specialty. The lemon cake and tiramisu are also delicious. Oddly, we can't recommend the coffee here-- the teas are generally preferable.

Service here can be bumpy or delightful, so be flexible. Praline is especially crowded at lunch, and service can suffer. We've also encountered bumps on slow nights from Monday-Thursday. That said, the maitre d's, Phillipe and Agnes, are knowledgeable about the menu and very helpful about the day's choices. It is a good strategy to ask to speak to the maitre d' for an overview of what is on offer, and for advice on wine options. Praline's wine list offers a thoughtfully chosen selection of French vintages, including many moderately-priced options.

The best place to sit here is on the umbrella'd outdoor terrace, which offers charm during good weather. The interior seating is most attractive at lunch, when the high-ceilinged atrium provides natural light.

Washington insider story: Praline was founded by a former White House pastry chef and a colleague who cooked at the White House on special occasions. The spouse of the latter is still a sous chef at the White House. The staff of the French Embassy reportedly frequent Praline's bakery for good macarons and pastries.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frederick, Maryland
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“A lovely French brunch!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

Yesterday I treated a good friend to brunch at the Praline Bistro. The decor was cheerful (although a little worn). The eggs Benedict with salmon were delicious. The trout was tasty--but the presentation a little off. The service is excellent. I took home a very good individual goat cheese and sun dried tomato quiche. Plenty of free parking is a bonus. I will definitely go back to try the other specialities!

  • Visited November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bethesda, Maryland
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“The Bakery has cookies and pastries to die for”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2012

The ginger cookie with some kind of light lemon, barely there, glaze will make you swoon. Actually everything in the bakery will. I am not a huge french food lover so for me the resturant is just ok, but that has more to do with my tastes than therr food.

Visited October 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Praline Bakery & Bistro also viewed

 

Been to Praline Bakery & Bistro? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Praline Bakery & Bistro, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.