Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Rate-A-Restaurant #199: Palate

Restaurant: Palate Food + Wine

Location: 933 S. Brand (Glendale)

Type of restaurant: New American/Wine Bar

We stipulated: For a rare night on the town -- Evan's preschool had a "parents night out" event, allowing us to have a date night -- we decided to nonetheless keep things local.

Pork Belly

They stipulated: Sample from the multi-course menu, especially first-time patrons. That includes a mason jar; something pickled; and a few regular-sized plates. Also, in a nod to budget-minded diners, no entree is over $20.

What we ordered: Fall caponata ($5). Potted poulet rillette (mason jar; $5). Pickled root vegetables ($3). Winter lettuce ($10), Gnocchi ($10); Scallops ($13); Pork Belly ($17).

High point: The gnocchi was incredible, while the richness of the potted poulet was nice. We also liked the under-$20 ethos, and enjoyed quite friendly service. Also, the caponata had a nice flavor.

Low point: A lot has been said about the pork belly at Palate... but, at least the night we were there, it was just OK. Also, the pickled veggies selection was tiny... and it felt a bit like they were rushing us.

Overall impression: When we moved to Glendale five (!) years ago, I was struck by the lack of any decent choices. The whole dining revolution appeared to have passed over Glendale -- but lately, the tide is turning, thanks to spots like Palate and Bashan. Palate is a nice addition to the Glendale scene -- and the wine shop/wine bar in the back is an excellent use of space. (The Palate building, once upon a time a storage building, is now a massive wine vault.)


Chance we'll go back: That under $20 rule still adds up over time, making it quite a pricy endeavor. But for special occasions, or even just to check out the wine bar, we will return.

For a complete list of our nearly 200 restaurant reviews, check out our companion Rate-A-Restaurant site.

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