Morning Glory

Breakfast awaits at Palena's new market

Palena's burger and chicken have new competition as objects of this town's most impassioned food cravings: Palena's brand-new doughnuts.

Large, airy rounds dunked in a lemony glaze ($2), they're the kind of treat that cleverly transforms fried dough into a bite that tastes light and refreshing.

And these doughnuts are available daily at the restaurant's newly opened market and bakery.

The closet-size space was the former home of the staff's coats. Now, it houses a small bakery case and a few shelves of well-edited sundries used or made in the restaurant.

Selections rotate daily, and often incorporate seasonal produce. Crumb-topped cakes ($3) have appeared with strawberries or rhubarb, while squares of focaccia ($2.75) were baked with slices of asparagus and a liberal dusting of shaved Parmesan.

Buttery croissants ($2.75), classic bear claws ($3) and thick cinnamon rolls ($3), preferably with a cup of the house Caffé Pronto coffee, could inspire all-new traffic patterns for the morning commute.

If you want to cook like chef Frank Ruta, pick up kitchen-made specials like a jar of salted capers ($15), vanilla sugar ($10) or sorghum syrup ($15).

This is one market on an upswing.

Palena Market, 3529 Connecticut Ave. NW (at Porter St.); 202-537-9250 or palenarestaurant.com/market