Starting a new year meant rolling out a new menu for the French bistro and bakery, Praline. They have added a whole new selection of crepes, offering both savory ones for meals and sweet options for desert. As a French bistro, they felt that the crepes were needed, not only to add a tasty classic, but also to bring a cohesive connection to their artisan bakery downstairs.
For the locals living in the Bethesda area, they may have probably heard about the bakery. Praline offer goods from cookies, chocolates, pastries, cakes, and the irresistible French macaroon. Upon entry the sweet smell of the bakery fills the air as your eye is drawn to the immaculate display, and diverts the attention of anyone with even the mildest sweet tooth. The bakery is a distraction for many because even the owner Susan Limb admits, “Many regulars have forgotten, or don’t even know, about the charming bistro upstairs.”
Everything produced from the Bistro and Bakery is made in house from scratch, and if possible, locally sourced ingredients. So it was no surprise that the new featured crepes are a sensation. For those who have traveled to France desire the crepe they had at a tiny bistro in Paris, Praline offers crepes that are on par with anything you can find at a French Bistro or a street cart in France.
Susan Limb wanted diners to enjoy the authentic of enjoying crepes, so she is pairing them traditionally with a semi-dry hard cider. This may seem like an odd combination at first, but it works. The subtle sweetness and gentle fizz simply complements the savory crepes.
Praline’s bistro is not limited to just crepes as they do have a full menu offering such French classics like escargot, Beef Bourguignon, Poulet Grand Mere, and Ratatouille. However, Americans typically do not think of a savory crepe as a meal, and this mindset is limiting. However, with an open mind, try are the three most popular crepes:
The Norvégienne is wrapped up in the thin, moist and spongy crepe is crema fesca, which is a lighter, fresher version of sour cream that balances the Norwegian smoked salmon with added flavor and texture from the spinach.
The Champêtre is stuffed with sautéed mushrooms in a cream sauce and Herbes de Provence, and proved to be bursting with delicious flavors.
The Maraichère is a seafood crepe packed with crab, scallops, and shrimp in a cognac lobster sauce, a natural choice for any seafood lover.
For the sweet crepes, the classic and always favorite is the Nutella and Banana stuffed Antillaise, or the Normande with baked apples and cinnamon.
However, as a special treat and because there isn’t anything else like it, try the signature cake created by Co-owner and Executive Pastry Chef Patrick Musel, called the Walnut Dacquoise. This cake has layers of light cake and in the middle is a layer of walnut butter cream, crushed walnuts, and flakey pastry. If you like any of those things, you will love this cake.
Praline does not disappoint and before you leave, make sure to grab a box of goodies from the bakery!