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.

“A Gallic Delight!”

Praline Bakery & Bistro
Reserve with OpenTable
Praline Bakery & Bistro is not available for your requested time. Choose another time, or search restaurants with availability.
The time you selected has already passed.
Ranked #3 of 13 Dessert in Bethesda
Price range: $30 - $30
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, 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.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“A Gallic Delight!”
Reviewed November 23, 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.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank ANetliner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

91 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Frederick, Maryland
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“A lovely French brunch!”
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
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank marytwilson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bethesda, Maryland
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“The Bakery has cookies and pastries to die for”
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
Thank Ann D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC
Level 6 Contributor
223 reviews
123 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
“Great place for a relaxed dinner”
Reviewed June 23, 2012

I went to Praline for dinner for the first time this past Monday and the party of 5 sat outside. The menu was consice, but everyone (including one confirmed foodie) found things they liked. I was really impressed with my halibut, a special, and tasted another person's scallops with risoto. The food is very clean, straight forward and well prepared. Sort of french bistro with American seasonal. Really a great surprise (although the lunches were always great). If you haven't been and you live in the area..you need to go.

  • Visited June 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank bumper1965
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level 4 Contributor
45 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Live right next to it...love going here”
Reviewed May 23, 2012

We have been here several times and it has never disappointed. The food is great and the service is outstanding. The restaurant manager is reason enough to continue coming back...he's a great guy who always makes sure we are well taken care of and he makes the entire meal entertaining and fun. We actually used Praline as for our rehearsal dinner for our wedding and it was an ideal choice for our group of 15. Hard to say enough good things about what they have done for us over all of our meals here.

  • Visited May 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Brian K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Praline Bakery & Bistro also viewed

Bethesda, Montgomery County
Bethesda, Montgomery County
Glen Echo, Montgomery County
Bethesda, Montgomery County

Been to Praline Bakery & Bistro? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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