Praline Bakery & Bistro in Bethesda, Maryland is changing the face of Thursdays for many D.M.V. residents. Owned by former White House pastry chefs Susan Limb & Patrick Musel, the bistro will host patrons every second Thursday for an evening of various foods and libations tastings.
I decided to check in for their first tasting, which featured caviar and champagne. Yes, caviar! I last had caviar as a child in Zimbabwe. Random, I know. But as a sushi lover & a fan of seafood, I welcomed tasting the delicacy and looked forward to learning something new.
For those who may not be aware, caviar is fish eggs...salt-cured fish eggs to be exact. Caviar typically comes from sturgeon fish, and historically has been seen as a Russian staple and popular import.
Praline offered us Bowfin Choupique, Salmon Roe, Golden Whitefish, Hackelback Sturgeon, and smoked caviar. The most distinct out of them all was the Bowfin - black in color, and by distinct I mean very fishy.
The salmon roe was one of my favorites, as it was juicy, round and orange. You’ve probably eaten roe before on a sushi dish or appetizer. Another favorite was the smoked caviar, which was buttery in taste and reminiscent of a good smoked salmon.
We paired our caviar with tasty blinis (thin pancakes) & and crème fraiche, which most say may mask the taste of the caviar, but really added to the experience.
Everything was really tasty, and the addition of the champagnes [Crement d’Alsace Brut Rose, William Daniel Pardiac Blanc de Blanc, Prosecco Riondo] made for a refined evening.
As a bonus, Susan allowed us to taste a selection of crepes that the bistro will be rolling out in the next few weeks. As most of you know, crepes are thin pancakes that originate from France. They can be sweet or savory, and paired with some great ingredients.
I tasted two savory ones made from buckwheat flour- ham & cheese, and smoked salmon. The salmon was by far my favorite, because salmon, but there will be 18 different crepes offered by the time the menu is finalized.
If you’re on a staycation in the D.C. metropolitan area and are looking for a taste of France amidst the sprawling Bethesda mansions, Praline Bakery & Bistro is the place to be. It’s tucked away in The Shops at Sumner Place, and French manager, Francoise, will make sure you’re well taken care of. Their next tasting is Choucroute (sauerkraut, sausages, & charcuterie) and beer on January 14th!
For more information on the bakery visit www.praline-bakery.com.
- Nyasha Chikowore