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.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“A real discovery in DC” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Palena - CLOSED

Palena
Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: American, Italian, Pub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Bar scene, Business meetings
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighborhood: Upper Northwest
Cross street: Porter St. SW
Transit: Cleveland Park Metro Stop
New York
Level Contributor
27 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“A real discovery in DC”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 25, 2013 credit card Amex Card Member Review

I had heard good reviews of this restaurant, but I was hesitant when I first entered. It is not until you are escorted to the secret back room that the magic begins. From the tasty tidbits sent out by the chef, to the masterful cocktail menu, this is a winner. Go - and just trust them to send out whatever they want.... it will all be delicious

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank Frank P
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
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Polena”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 22, 2013

The food is great and I don't mind the $3 charge for bread since they make it very clear. Twice, however, when I have added up the charges on my computerized bill, the total was more ($4 the 1st time and $6 the 2nd time) than the total of the itemized charges. When I questioned this, I was told there is a charge for ice for drinks on the rocks of $2 per drink. There is no line item for this on the bill. One has no way of knowing, without asking, why the total is more than the sum of the itemized charges. I would object perhaps less if I could see a charge of rocks or ice $2 rather than just having them secretly add an extra $2 per drink to the bill. Charging for ice is absurd. They justify this by saying it's a bigger pour.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank fulton215
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hampton Falls, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
34 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Nice place”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 16, 2013

If you are looking for a gourmet burger with the rich taste of beef bone marrow, this is the place to go! Very nice folks there, small menu. Lovely place to visit.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Kim C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC
Level Contributor
34 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Restaurant prices with cafe portions”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 12, 2013

An odd place where you leave annoyed despite good food and decent service. Hardly elegant, the cafe section of palena is supposed to be a relaxed environment with affordable food and drink. It misses on the latter point. Pastas were microscopic despite being over $15. How expensive is it to add a few noodles? The crude appetizer was tasty but featured very little actual fish. The best value and taste was the cheeseburger. Not a great recommendation for such an expensive place.
The small portions are obviously a conscious decision and meant to make some sort of statement-- but the message received is that the owners are simply cheap.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank DCGUY1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Cheeseburger for the win”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 9, 2013 credit card Amex Card Member Review

Visited this place with my sister, who lives in the same neighborhood. Went for a late afternoon lunch. Ordered the cheeseburger, based on her recommendation. I was not disappointed. The flavor was excellent, and the homemade bun was also quite tasty. Recommended

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank heyyu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Palena also viewed

 
Washington DC, DC
Washington DC, DC
 

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing