Wild Bill and Blair were in town this weekend visiting Jeffo in Reston. On Saturday night, we all met up in Cleveland Park to go to Palena... the restaurant that John's been working at since finishing at L'Academie.
First, this place is IMPOSSIBLE to get into! It's very small, so it's very difficult to get a reservation for a day you want... and the front of the place (the Cafe') doesn't take reservations... so we got there early and were in line for the minute when they opened the doors! It felt like we were in line for a soup kitchen or something... just crazy that all of these people line up in the cold to get into a place!
I was so excited to see that John came upstairs from the kitchen to see us... and I pulled out my camera... embarassing the crap out of him... and snapped a pic of our favorite chef!
Anyway, we got a table and got situated... and then saw the menu! We were sooo out of our league... I can't even remember the crazy stuff on there, but do remember noting that I was not going to get the Pennsylvania Braised Rabbit. Yes, wow.
Bill started off the drink ordering with a "Cleveland Park Side Car." I don't think he anticipated the girlie drink they brought him...
John sent up some appetizers for us - some sort of gnocchi dish and a ravioli dish... both were amazing! I ended up ordering a pasta with lamb meatballs.... YUM! It was heaven... I could have eaten three servings of that... it was great! Joe got the famous burger and really liked it.
Overall, I was just so excited to finally get to Palena... John has really made it to the big show and I'm so excited for him! :)