Three of us went to Palena last night for dinner for the first time. The food was wonderful, and so was the service, but there was an incredible delay between our first and second courses (we had three courses, ordered up front, and then had cheese and the cookie plate). I think we were seated just after nine (our reservation time), and the second course came at 10:40 - it had to be at least 45 - 60 minutes after the first course. Then, the third course followed immediately after. I certainly enjoy a leisurely dinner, but the huge gap between courses was less than desireable. Also, sometime during that gap, the waiter came to our table to let me know that they were out of the second course I had ordered (shrimp & ravioli) - I would have thought that he would have put that order in w/ everything else, rather than discovering an hour later that the kitchen was out of it. The substitute I chose (terrine de foie gras) couldn't have contributed to the delay.
Has anyone else experienced this at Palena? It seemed to me that it wasn't the waiter's fault, but rather some back up in the kitchen, so I didn't adjust the tip downward. Any suggestions on addressing this sort of problem? At one point we called the waiter over and asked how our second course was progressing and were told that it was being plated and would be up shortly - though I think it was another 15 minutes or so. They did give us two free desserts in addition to the cheese & cookies we ordered, but at that point (almost midnight) we were all ready to go to sleep!! Especially our guest who had a 7:30 flight out of Dulles.