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“Delicious food, unassuming atmosphere, friendly staff” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Praline Bakery & Bistro

Praline Bakery & Bistro
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Ranked #4 of 14 Bakeries in Bethesda
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: French, European
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff
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
Level Contributor
43 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Delicious food, unassuming atmosphere, friendly staff”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

We visited Praline for the first time last night, having decided to try it on the strength of the reviews. Everyone is right - the location might be a bit off-putting, in a sort of strip mall (but we were intrigued by other offerings at the mall so might return to check them out), and the inside is perfectly nice but not fabulous. I was impressed with how friendly the owner?/maitre d'? was when he seated us - he seemed delighted to have us there. The staff was warm and attentive (after a brief dead time in the beginning waiting for someone to take our drink order), and the food did not disappoint. I had the Praline salad and found it delicious, and I had the special seared sea scallops on butternut risotto with brussel sprouts - what a heavenly dish! The scallops were perhaps the teensiest bit overdone, but basically this was a fantastic dish. My dining partner had the burger, which he said was delicious - albeit a bit small (and for $15, he wants a big burger!). The french fries were lovely - some of the best I've had. We look forward to going back so we can try the chicken pot pie. Although the regular menu is indeed fairly limited, there were numerous specials, so I felt that we had plenty to choose from. My one disappointment was that I had looked at the menu their website ahead of time and was thinking I'd like the Vegetable Napoleon - but it was missing from the menu! Praline, please update your online menu, so you don't tempt and then disappoint in this way (luckily the special that I had more than made up for the let-down). With good-sized glasses of wine that aren't too overpriced (my Merlot was lovely, and only $7), we definitely plan to return to Praline. Especially since we were too full for dessert, and we must return to try what their bakery has to offer!

  • Visited February 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Nature4Me
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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85 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    32
    40
    9
    4
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Praline's delivers the (baked) goods”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2013

A combo fine dining/bakery establishment located within the unassuming confines of a Bethesda strip-mall, Praline's was a pleasant surprise for a recent Sunday brunch. The grilled vegetable wrap was delish, though the side of salad was a bit overboard on the greens. Bakery items are fresh and good. Service was excellent.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
Thank GoodTaste14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
190 reviews
137 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Good Neighborhood Bistro”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

Paline's operates a retail bakery on the first floor and the bistro on the second floor up a flight up stairs. The bakery is good but a bit pricey. The Bistro section has very good quality food and service. Although the menu is notably smaller than most at only about twenty food items or so, they are generally executed and presented quite well. Service is generally good, although the limited space (due to the strip mall location) leads to a disjointed layout of tables inside and a small outdoor patio. The specials are generally quite notable and you come away with a French gourmet experience. Plenty of parking at the mall and reservations are easily made. The menu could use for some expansion and the limited space makes for a more "close" experience with your fellow diners, still Praline's is a very good choice for some upscale food in a suburban location.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
Thank John W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bethesda
Level Contributor
39 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Good but should try harder!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

Praline is underappreciated. BUT it also could try harder. The location is limiting-- in a shopping mall. But the breads, pastries, soups, etc. are terrific French preparations using excellent ingredients. I'd like to see a little more effort to get to the top.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
Thank paulasween
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Neighborhod feel, top quality food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

Nobody would think that a small bistro tucked in a neighborhood mall would be more than ok. but Praline challenges that with excellent french-american food, awesome service, friendly staff, and a great atmosphere. i like sitting at the outside big patio, so i tend to go mostly from spring through fall, but the indoors area is also nice. it's not fancy, mind you - remember, it's the food and service you are coming for. the wait staff will leave you alone with a pre-meal drink if you so wish - no hurrying. the fish is always done perfectly, the meats succulent, the sauces delicious, and the french fare was certified and approved by a french friend who was visiting - and asked to go there a second time. try this place - you will not regret it! BTW, december was only the latest visit to Praline - we go all the time.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Astrid C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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