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Beef Review
By Reggie

Euro Bistro -what's that?On a recent visit to Washington DC, I made it to the Palomino Euro Bistro. To say the least I was excited. The Palomino is a 3 star restaurant according to the local critics, and I was expecting my visit to be the pinnacle of a what had been a perfect evening.

The evening started with a live performance of the Capitol Steps. The Capitol Steps are a musical comedy troupe comprised of former congressional staffers. With a couple of weeks to go before the election the humor was poignant and side splitting. The performance took place in the Amphitheater of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. Fortunately, for my sore stomach and dry throat from all the laughter, the Palomino is located inside the International Trade Center just down the hall.

After a short walk from the Amphitheater, we arrived at the bistro. It was about 9:30 PM, and it appeared that the evening was in full swing. The decor was stylish and true to the Mediterranean theme. We presented ourselves to the hostess. Fortunately, we had reservations. Our table was ready -- our chairs were not. We stood in the foyer and waited while the hostess sought chairs. After deciding to get them from the bar, we watched as she carried them one by one to our table. It wasn't until she picked up the fourth of five chairs that one of the waiters helped her.

After we were finally seated, we were greeted promptly by our waiter, who told us he would be back to take our drink order. We got the kind of welcome you might receive at Chi-Chi's not a 3 star restaurant. Still, we were relaxed, and eager to order drinks. The menu sported a wide variety of beers on tap, so I was pleased.

When our waiter returned, I had decided that I wanted to have the Widmer seasonal listed on the menu. I asked him what the seasonal beer was, and he told me he did not know, but he would check. He stopped taking our order to ask the bartender. When he returned he told me it was a "fall beer." Was it a fall wheat or pumpkin ale I asked. Again, he did not know for sure. I ordered it anyway.

Beery DisappointingWe waited quite a while for our drink order. When our waiter returned, he had everyone's drink but mine. It seems the bartender failed to tell him that they were out of the Widmer seasonal when he inquired into what kind of seasonal they were serving. The bar was also out of limes to go with the vodka drinks my sister and her fiancé hoped to enjoy. While our waiter explained the lime shortage in Washington DC I settled on the Redhook seasonal listed in the menu.

As it turned out, they were out of the Redhook seasonal too. They were also out of shrimp cocktail that my sister so desired. Finally, they were out of the mixed greens with citrus vinaigrette salad that I ordered. Of course, we discovered this at presentation time instead of order time. After we settled for our second and third choices of beers, drink garnishes, appetizers, and dinner salads, Beau (my sister's fiancé) had had enough and went to talk to the chef who only blew him off.

We didn't want to let the amateur service ruin our evening, so we didn't. Beau, who entertains clients frequently in DC, vowed that he would never bring them to the Palomino, and left it at that. Our collective positive state of mind was not diminished.

Unlike everything else the bistro offered that evening, our main courses were not disappointing. The presentation was artistic. The portions were healthy. The food was rich and flavorful. Too bad everything else was in such disarray. We spent $80 a head before tip ($400) to settle for second class service and selection. When you have a choice, spend your money better. The good food elevates my ranking to 2 out of 5 BB & B's.

Ranking:  out of 5 BB&B's.

Price: $80 a head before tip.


1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Ronald Reagan International Trade Center
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 842-9800
More loca
tions across the USA

URL: www.palomino-euro-bistro.com