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“Rather disappointed!”
Review of Palena - CLOSED

Palena
Price range: $31 - $50
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Business meetings
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighborhood: Upper Northwest
Cross street: Porter St. SW
Transit: Cleveland Park Metro Stop
Chevy Chase, Maryland
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Rather disappointed!”
Reviewed July 21, 2012

Met friends at the cafe for early cocktails and dinner - service staff need work or we just got the "D" team that night. The cafe is supposed to open at 5:30 so that's when we gathered only to be locked out while the wait staff were having a meeting. They knew we were there but simply ignored us until I fussed at 5:40 PM. It was hot outside so we went into the little "shop" in the front of the cafe - where most of the shelves were bare. When we were finally seated, we again waited until finally a server approached our table and asked if we wanted any drinks. I asked for a Rye Manhattan to which she said she thought they were out of Rye, so I went with bourbon, Another person in my group asked for a drink called "Endless Summer" and was told that they didn't have the ice cubes for that drink! And, so it went. The prices for the food seemed higher than I had remembered them, but it's been a while since I was there. I thought the price for a few slices of tomato
with burata and balsamic- while delicious- was high. Won't be going back. It just wasn't the same place that I've enjoyed before.

  • Visited July 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Vicky329
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

114 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    38
    35
    16
    16
    9
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Maryland
Level Contributor
28 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“still talking about dining room for anniversary; cafe was a treat, too”
Reviewed July 6, 2012

Dined twice. Once in cafe during the week: casual setting, good service, delicious food. 2nd time in dining room for double anniversary celebration. The four of us are still talking about that meal two weeks later. Food was excellent, with seasonal items featured. Servers were knowledgeable, friendly and efficient. One of us had the 5-course menu, while the others went with the 3-courses. Staff made it work just right for us all to be able to taste. Highly recommend.

  • Visited June 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank SamOnLanier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
400 reviews
275 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 132 helpful votes
“Love it - former White House chef”
Reviewed June 15, 2012

Frank Ruta, former White House chef before being fired by the Bush's for being "too french", his food is to die for! Love the fry plate! Who knew fried lemon slices could taste so good? Excellent bar atmosphere as well.

Visited September 2011
Helpful?
Thank ExPat0331
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
“NO REPLY to a bad food brunch!”
Reviewed June 13, 2012

We had dined at this establishment several times over the years and always enjoyed our food and the atmosphere but thought it was pricey for what it was.

One Sunday we had brunch for the first time at Palena.

I ordered a bloody mary to start; it consisted of tomato juice and vodka. My husband took it to the bar and asked if they could add some worcestershire sauce, tobasco, celery salt or seed. The bartender handed him a bottle of tobasco and said she did not have any of the other ingredients. We asked our server for salt and pepper so I could add some seasoning to the tomato juice and vodka. After our third request, we finally got the salt and pepper.

We started our meal by sharing the Caesar salad, which the kitchen kindly split between two plates. After some time our server asked if we were enjoying the salad. I was honest and told her there was so much lemon in the dressing it was sour. She offered to exchange it but we chose not to as we were on somewhat of a schedule. The added fried lemon was just over the top and completely not necessary. She did say she would inform the chef that the dressing was too lemony.

My mixed grill was fine, a little boring and overpriced. But, my husband was thoroughly disappointed the flattened fried breaded veal dish. Not only was it dry but the description didn't mention that it was scallopini and fried.

On top of everything else they charge you for bread. And, it is enough for 4-6 people not 2. We shared with a couple sitting next to us because he had eggs over easy and no bread and asked the waitress if he could get just 1 slice. Really!

All-in-all a very disappointing experience.

I didn't review this restaurant initially but instead sent Palena our complaints. Guess they aren't worried about repeat customers because there was NO REPLY!

  • Visited March 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Kostasgal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DC
Level Contributor
55 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“They do it all well”
Reviewed June 5, 2012

Had a lovely dinner at Palena the other night. They do everything well, from the cocktails (try "The Bitter End") to things as normally prosaic as a hamburger or roast chicken (they are far from boring, reminding one of how much ingredients and preparation matter) to the more exotic menu items. It ain't cheap, but it is worth it.

  • Visited June 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank PeteB2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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