Jun 26, 2013 · 7:00 PM
This location is shown only to members
This is the first event of our new series called "Top Chefs in DC", for discovering some of our cities best chefs. This series will be periodically hosted besides our regular Wine and Food pairing events.
At our next event, we will visit Palena Cafe run by Chef Frank Ruta, who was a personal Chef to the Carters and the Reagans at the White House.
Palena, a small town located in the Provence of Chieti in the Abruzzo region of Italy, is the home town of Chef Frank Ruta’s mother. Around town strawberries and raspberries grow wild. Prickly clumps of juniper dot the paths and untamed flora cover the hillsides. The environment influences the cooking wherein tradition still reigns. Local ingredients are commonly used in what is known as “cucina genuina” or genuine cooking.
Ruta's style is a refined, modern mix of French and Italian flavors, grounded firmly in tradition and technique. On any given night at Palena, there might be a consomme with roasted squash, delicate wood pigeon ravioli; sardines served in a Sicilian-inspired sweet-and-sour sauce of pine nuts, raisins and apple; or rabbit stuffed with escarole and herbs alongside pickled eggplant and crab apple mostarda.
In his first review of Palena in December 2000, Post critic Tom Sietsema called dinner there "required eating for anyone who aspires to cook in this city."
As with our other events, we require no commitments from our members to prepay or buy a fixed price dinner. Our objective is to allow our members to select what they like, getting to discover new cuisines, wines and friends.
Please do not RSVP if your plans of attending are likely to change, as we have a very limited seating with this restaurant and any no shows or late cancellations will minimize our future efforts of making these group reservations.