The Praline Bakery & Bistro offers elegant contemporary French cuisine on the second level of a small shopping center at 4611-O Sangamore Rd. in a quiet neighborhood of Bethesda. The bakery is open from 8am to 8pm daily, but closes at 7pm on the weekend. The bistro is open for lunch from 11am to 2:30pm and for dinner from 5pm to 9:30pm. The outdoor terrace with its decorative flower pots is very popular on sunny days.
The quality of the food at Praline Bakery & Bistro is good and the staff is attentive and friendly. Customers are generally happy and come back frequently to enjoy a variety of tasty entrées presented in imaginative arrangements. During my visit, the only thing that required a complaint was some wine that was served in a glass with a lipstick mark.
At our table, we made four different selections from the menu. The grilled lamb chops were served with three different types of eggplants on a sauce vierge made from olive oil, lemon juice, chopped tomato and chopped basil.
The roasted shrimp was arranged around tomato-arugula ravioli decorated with sautéed green beans and jus de crustacés consisting of a reduced sauce of puréed vegetables flavored with shrimp.
The sautéed cod fish was prepared with fennel, lemon, raisins and zucchini on a bed of ratatouillie with gazpacho sauce.
The seared paillard of salmon was served over ratatouille and topped with a decorative drizzle of balsamic glaze.
As expected, the desserts were excellent. The chocolate mousse was richly flavorful, and the tiramisu had its characteristic hint of coffee and liquor.
Call the Praline Bakery & Bistro at (301) 229-8180. Find more information about the restaurant at its web site: www.praline-bakery.com