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“best birthday meal ever!”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Le Diplomate

Le Diplomate
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Ranked #14 of 3,196 Restaurants in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: French, European
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions, Families with children, Bar scene, Large groups
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Brunch, Breakfast, Drinks, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Valet Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Level Contributor
25 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“best birthday meal ever!”
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Laura287
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,360 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Hilton Head
Level Contributor
75 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Good food Very popular”
4 of 5 bubbles 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
Thank dakesale
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
112 reviews
71 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Enjoyed our after dinner cocktail.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 4, 2013

After dining in Penn Quarter, we decided to explore a different neighborhood and ended up at Le Diplomate. The bar made for a lovely cocktail spot! Staff were friendly and knowledgeable, bar had a nice ambience, and the drinks were wonderful. Enjoyed the seasonal mulled wine. Would like to return for dinner.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
Thank GOYAYTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
48 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
“Solid food, big restaurant, nice, but not authentic French”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 1, 2013

We enjoyed our dinner here but I would not say it is authentic French. Places in France tend to be smaller. Atmosphere is definitely more American-Paris, than Paris-Paris. That being said we had good food, not fabulous, but good. Went there to have a romantic dinner for my birthday since we vacation in Paris a lot - wished we had chosen somewhere else. I would recommend this for brunch or lunch instead. They do have a lovely patio

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank gallou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
98 reviews
69 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Fantastic Brunch Choice”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 25, 2013

First, let me say that reservations are a must as getting a table can get tricky during the popular times. Once you get past that hurdle, the atmosphere is great. The space has charm and you could be excused for thinking it has been there for years. There was a lot of hustle and bustle around our table, but we didn't mind. The service was fantastic- attentive and helpful without the feeling over being hovered over. The food and drinks were exactly what I was looking for- the duck was great and the specialty mimosas were spot-on. Can't wait to go back for dinner.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank RichDC87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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