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“Feels and looks Parisian. Extraordinary service” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Le Diplomate

Le Diplomate
1601 14th St NW, 202-332-3333, Washington DC, DC 20005
202332
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Ranked #11 of 2,558 Restaurants in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: French, Bistro
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions
Dining options: Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner, Reservations
connecticut
Level Contributor
63 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Feels and looks Parisian. Extraordinary service”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2013

Had dinner with close friends. Atmosphere superb, waiter ( Rob) highly attentive and it has a sommelier who may well be the BEST IN DC!
Busy place and noisy when full but service never feels over extended.
Appetizers we chose included duck pâté, fois gras mousse and raw oysters. Each was terrific.
Duck confit, ravioli and trout almandine entrees. All great. The only slight disappointment ( and its slight) is that the frites for the table did not seem to have been prepared in true French style, meaning they should be blanched, partly fired, then fired a second time when serving ( that gives the excellent exterior crispness)
Small criticism

  • Visited December 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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730 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
645 reviews
215 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 591 helpful votes
“Deserves the highest marks”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2013

Washington has been buzzing since this restaurant opened, so my wife and I were delighted to be invited there for lunch yesterday. As he described, the restaurant owners took an old, rundown laundry and transformed it into a Parisian Brasserie. It does indeed have that warm, friendly and (admittedly noisy) appeal. Despite the decibel level around us, we found ourselves chatting away for nearly two hours, enjoying the cuisine, the wine and eventually the espresso and profiteroles. Warning: you get four profiteroles with loads of chocolate syrup on the side. One is enough for three people.

My wife and I are still talking the wonderful food and the setting. In my view, Le Diplomate has moved up to one of our top ten in the DC area for lunch. The French onion soup and the green salad alone are both "must orders", but do keep an appetite for appealing brunch/lunch menu. Prices on food are excellent, although I must say the wine list, which is a good one, is the usual rip off. They do offer a house wine, but as one who has a pretty good knowledge of French reds, I ordered an overpriced but reasonable 2010 Cairenne.

I do give Le Diplomate the highest marks for lunch. It is relatively convenient for tourists and area locals alike. For dinner, it would take a commitment to come here unless one is staying close by.

This is a very, very busy place, so be sure to make reservations.

  • Visited December 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Washington, DC
Level Contributor
93 reviews
60 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Top notch food but REALLY noisy”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2013

I wanted to stay at home and serve my wife my specialty: Indigestion. But she wisely insisted on going out to Le Diplomate. From reading the other reviews you already know that both the food and the service are outstanding, so I won't bother to add more.

However, the place is really noisy. We were there on a Friday night and the place was filled. Okay so there was going to be the sound of silence. But it was impossible to carry on a conversation, so we ate while communicating in pantomime..

But while we were there, Bill and Hillary came in and sat at the table next to ours. After the waiter recounted the specials he asked Hillary what she wanted. "I'll have the steak," she replied.

"And the vegetable?" asked the waiter.

"Oh, he'll have the steak also." :-)

  • Visited December 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Vienna
Level Contributor
22 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“best birthday meal ever!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2013

I love reading restaurant reviews, and blogs on best places to dine, in the Washington DC area. I live and work in the burbs so am always envious that all the best places seem to be in the District, and too far/no time to check them out. For this birthday I decided I was going to pick one of the places I hear raves about; I decided on Le Diplomate. Best decision ever! I made reservations three weeks in advance for 5:15 on a Friday, best I could do. Hallelujah, they have valet parking, crucial in this part of the city; the hostesses were so friendly, the restaurant décor is casual yet upscale French café, with lots of evergreens and lights and poinsettias for the holidays, really beautiful. We started with some specialty cocktails; I had the Josephine, which was delicious; and we ordered a carafe of the "rouge" mixed wine, which is several red varietals mixed and served in a label-free 750 ml wine bottle. It was delicious, our group ordered a second bottle! We started with the mushroom tart to share. It arrived on a wooden plank, it was just the right size for three or four to share, the pastry was so flaky, and the filling-delicious. My husband had the mushroom soup; it was also spectacular, luckily for us he shared with everyone. I had the daily special, boulliabase, a very flavorful mix of sea bass, mussels, shrimp, some other fish, and a wonderful broth with saffron. I used some of the baguette from the very generous bread basket to soak up every bit of the broth. My dining partners both had the beef bourginouine, deliciously browned and tender chunks of beef with carrots and onions in a delectable sauce, with potato puree. We all agreed that everything was just perfect. Our server and the assistants hit just the right balance between making sure that we had everything we needed, without being in the way. During the meal the manager asked if things were to our liking and I did tell him that it was my best birthday meal ever-which it really was, and I've had quite a few! Later they presented me with a dish of chocolate ice cream with a charming dove-shaped thin cookie, and a lit sparkler in it; sadly the sparkler died out just as my sister got her phone ready to take a picture. But wait-our server observed this and within a few moments brought and lit another sparkler so she could capture the moment! What great attention to the little things. I cannot imagine that any of the other highly touted restaurants I'd considered, could have topped this great meal. Expensive but worth it.

  • Visited December 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Hilton Head
Level Contributor
44 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Good food Very popular”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2013 via mobile

This restaurant is very popular. We had been wanting to eat there on several previous visits to DC, but had been deterred by long lines and waits. We finally got seated outside on a old but sunny day after Thanksgiving.
Food and service were very good.

Visited November 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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