Apr 7, 2010

Caesar Salad Search: Palena Cafe

As noted, PB and I are on the search for the perfect Caesar salad. Having started off with the goat cheese Caesar salad at Central, the bar is already set pretty high. But, when we found ourselves in Cleveland Park last weekend with our stomachs rumbling, and we were lucky enough to score a table at Palena Cafe, we decided to see if Palena was up to the task. For those of you who don't know, Palena sort of operates as 2 restaurants. The restaurant is more formal and has several multi-course tasting menus, while the cafe allows you to order a la carte off of the tasting menus or off of a cafe menu. So, in addition to splitting the famous chicken, which was had perfectly crispy skin and ridiculously moist meat, we of course had to try their Caesar salad.

Palena's Caesar could probably be characterized as a bit more deconstructed with an oil based dressing, rather than the creamier style. Unusually, it also featured a small piece of Spanish sardines rather than the traditional anchovies and a breaded and fried slice of lemon. We found the Spanish sardine to be pretty delicious, even if not entirely in keeping with an authentic Caesar salad. Overall, it was crisp and refreshing and the presentation was gorgeous, for some reason I have a thing for wedges. I should note that the picture above is a split portion of the salad.

3529 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008

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