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“Great date, average food”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Cafe Deluxe

Cafe Deluxe
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Ranked #464 of 3,199 Restaurants in Washington DC
Price range: $10 - $25
Cuisines: American, Bar, Cafe, Pub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Special occasions, Kids, Business meetings, Local cuisine, Families with children
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Brunch, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Neighborhood: Upper Northwest
Indianapolis, Indiana
Level Contributor
116 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
“Great date, average food”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 4, 2012

This restaurant is one we like kind of in spite of the food. There's nothing wrong with the food! It's good, it's just very average and unexceptional. (Except for the mac and cheese, which is one of the main reasons we go). However, we keep going back because its location (right by the Cathedral) and its outdoor seating (we've never sat inside) make it ideal for a date. It's so much fun to walk around that neighborhood eat a good, if not exceptional meal, outdoors, watch the Cathedral light up at night, and then walk around the corner to Something Sweet for dessert.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank BlueHorizon7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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151 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
37 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Wannabe neighborhood bistro but good”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 20, 2012

Cafe Deluxe is one of those restaurants that you've been to many times because it's there; a neighborhood joint, not quite a "destination"......well at least it used to be so........
When it opened in Cleveland Park (more like Cathedral Heights) back in early 2000 (I think), it was "the" place to go in the neighborhood. Touted as having a French Bistro feel, it serves mostly american comfort fare. The location it currently resides on Wisconsin Ave, NW, just a block from the National Cathedral used to reside a Thai restaurant, which name escapes me. The decor is geared to look like a Parisian Bistro; dark wood bar, booth tables with white table cloth and covered with white butcher paper; the servers all wear white Dress shirt and tie with long bistro aprons.......classy. Cafe Deluxe also offers outside seating with red umbrellas. The ambience........really just a neighborhood joint that offers a slightly fancier look and offerings. Within the last year or so this particular location has expanded; the consignment next door to them closed and Cafe Deluxe took it over and now offers seating up to 160-200, and the opportunity to have private functions.

The prices are very reasonable, most of the featured wines cost under $10, main courses $12-20. Starters ranging from Asian inspired crispy chicken spring rolls and Ahi Tuna to Roasted beet salad; Main courses contain your typical items: Steak, Fish and Chicken and a lamb shank that is decently prepared.....not always.
They also have hot sandwiches, but unfortunately, I usually pass on sandwiches......especially the cold ones, although the burger follows the trend of using a Brioche roll. On one occasion I tried the lump crab cake with corn and asparagus, while decent and well prepared....it is so outdated. I remember preparing a similar dish during my stint as a chef back in 1999. The grilled meatloaf should be passed on......while novel when it first opened, it wasn't very well prepared then, it still taste the same now, never mind the grilled description.
Skip the salmon, it has yet to evolve in the way it's prepared. FYI, farmed salmon should be avoided as much as possible, they're not environmentally sustainable and taste watered down compared to its wild brethren.....enough of my salmon rant......
Just last night I went with a good friend for a pre-concert dinner; we shared the roast beet salad (typical these days to have this on the menu) which was good, but not different than what Matchbox offers. We also shared the herb roasted chicken and the special of the evening: grilled grouper fillet with corn sauce, tomato relish and risotto cake.The grouper was good, nicely prepared, not dry or overcooked and perfectly seasoned; the corn sauce, a nice sweet compliment to the fish..........BUT again that is so '00 and passe.....
We also shared the herb roasted chicken, served with mashed red potatoes and asparagus......now you've probably heard me saying that I almost always pass the chicken on the menu, however, this time I was surprised by the flavorful of the preparation. It was a half chicken, semi bone-in, roasted with a dry-rub; most likely thyme, tarragon, oregano.....but there was this sweetness that is hard to describe. It was a perfect combination of earthy, savory and sweet. The garlic mashed red potatoes is probably an instant pre-prepared product; unfortunately the asparagus was slightly overcooked.

Dessert choices are pretty much a pass, but if you need to get one.......rule of thumb, almost always get the Creme Brulee if offered on the menu.

In summary, Cafe Deluxe passes for a fancy neighborhood bistro with reasonably priced gourmet-like food preparations in need of reinventing itself at some point.

Visited July 2012
Thank Jadorevelo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, Va
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Wonderful food, great service, will definitely return.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 26, 2012

A friend recommended and I am do happy that I found Cage Deluxe. The prices are reasonable the lamb sandwich was awesome and the service WOW! We will definitely return.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank dorothyhutcheson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
21 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Excellent food and value”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 28, 2012

We had a big group and the service was great. One dish came out late so the server brought a nice bowl of soup without being asked for the person who's dish was late. All the food was excellent for the price.

  • Visited June 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Mmmck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waterford, VA
Level Contributor
105 reviews
61 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Still Consistently Good Cleveland Park Choice”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 18, 2012

Went with 2 groups, a group of six 13 year olds and three of my family/friends (25-60 yr olds). We all enjoyed our food and the service. No complaints. Great food, service, atmosphere & location. Only complaint was that my buffalo burger was undercooked - I think they gave my "medium" burger to my sister-in-law who ordered hers "medium-rare" and vice versa. But really not a big deal. I could have sent it back but not worth it. Otherwise, everything was perfect. Can't believe it's as good as it was 15 years ago!

  • Visited June 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank HerbyD428
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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