Palena Italian/New American

No one needs to tell you to visit Frank Ruta’s precision-cooking operation in Cleveland Park, whether his cafe or the more formal dining room in back, and I hesitated to include it on my list. The obviousness of the choice pains me to a degree. But making room for Palena gave me another chance to praise the chef I admire most in this town. Frank Ruta is to cooking and his culinary team what John Wooden was to college basketball and his ballplayers: disciplined, creative, kind, stern, smart, and always on top of his game. Ruta is a marvel of consistency. Every time I think his roast chicken won’t live up to my memory of it—its skin not crisp, its flesh somehow dry, its flavors lacking their customary depth—I’m happily proved wrong. I also marvel at how Ruta continues to produce such a high-quality tasting menu in his main dining room at a price well below those of some of his more PR-savvy competitors.

3529 Connecticut Ave. NW (202) 537-9250

Our Readers Say

McCain.Why?1) More relevant exrecienpe2) Better plan for the economy -lower taxes is proven to stimulate a recession3) We love Sarah Palin as V. P.4) NRA gun control5) Better forward thinking energy policy drilling in gulf, nuclear plants and no taxes fines on automakers who are already struggling,6) no redistribution of wealth and policies that violate American way of life/thinking.7) scared of Obama and his socialistic/marxist thinking. Do not like Pelosi and Democrats tax and spend philosophy.9) want to keep businesses strong and free form excessive costly regulation10) want to stimulate jobs11) do not want to encourage handouts12) do not want democratic house, senate and white house. all three would be out of control13) some would vote for better family values14) We want less government15) We want less government intrusion and control16) We want freedom17) We think Obama's pro union stance and new regs will cost jobs.18) We think Obama's pro minimum wage stance and new regs will cost jobs.19) We think Obama's ending the secret ballot stance will cost jobs if you do not vote the way OBAMA thinks you should and the ballot is no longer secret you will lose your job.20) We think Mccain has more exrecienpe for foreign policy21) We think McCain has better idieas for intelligent environmentalism.22) McCain is going to have a spending freeze and will seek to have a more efficient Government.23) Palin said they were going to balance the budget by the end of their first term24) Obama has voted for tax hikes 94 times..so we don't believe he will change now.25) McCain can work across the aisle better with both parties.26) because of Joe the Plumber exposing the wealth redistribution plan of Obama which takes money and costs jobs.etc.

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