6. Palena Café from Where to Eat in Washington, D.C. During the Inauguration Slideshow

Where to Eat in Washington, D.C. During the Inauguration Slideshow

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6. Palena Café

Palena is known as much for the cheeseburger on the café menu as for the more elegant, seasonally driven food that is served in the dining room. After a stint as the White House chef, it was an interesting move for chef-restaurateur Frank Ruta to set his restaurant in Cleveland Park, far away from the glitzy, lobbyist-packed K Street dining scene. Though the restaurant’s dining room offers sophisticated menu items like Amish poussin, the café really shines as a low-key neighborhood spot, turning out a simple roast chicken from the wood-fired oven and homey pasta dishes like spaghetti with fingerling potatoes, pesto, and garden beans.