It might take you a little while to get a reservation at Le Diplomate, but when you finally do you’ll completely forget that wait. This 14th St French Restaurant has far surpassed all the hype and is easily one of our favorite dinners this year. A good restaurant is one that catches your attention the moment you sit down; a great restaurant is one that grabs you the moment you reach the front door. Le Diplomate already had us forgetting we were in DC by the time we walked up.
After making reservations 2 weeks prior, our Wednesday date night was finally upon us. It didn’t start off with sunshine and butterflies though – our date night was planned and it was accompanied by torrential downpour. By the time we reached the metro station to board our train we were kicking water out of our saturated shoes. We were heading to dinner and already in a less than a satisfactory mood. We were also running about 10 minutes behind at this point, so we knew we’d have to jump off the U Street stop and run down 14th street. As we joked on the train in an attempt to lighten the mood, we reached our stop to not a raindrop in the sky. As the door closed behind us, we were half debating whether or not we were still in Washington, DC.
Our moods instantly lifted upon our arrival at Le Diplomate….
Clearly, a lot of detail went into every corner of the restaurant. From the bread counter in the very front to the decorations along every wall, we commented several times on the design and decor. You’ll notice that the restaurant is on the noisy side, only a result of how busy and popular the restaurant.
Our waitress, Meghan, immediately started us off with our drink orders and an incredible basket of bread. She then helped us in ordering 3 different types of cheeses that came accompanied with some fruit, sauces, and small slices of toasted bread. We highly recommend trying some cheeses before your meal, selecting 3 types is plenty if you’re getting entrees as well.
From there we placed our orders of Steak Frites for me, recommended by several, and Beef Bourguignon for Al. She has an obsession with the film Julie & Julia and was dying to try this dish. The food truly speaks for itself, but Al continued to describe hers in a French accent, which was both impressive and hilarious. Though we would certainly recommend either dish, the Beef Bourguignon was our favorite of the night.
When it came to dessert we had already received a couple recommendations from people on twitter, which has helped us many times with our menu choices. We selected both the Profiteroles and the Milk Chocolate Pot De Creme, and even after such a large amount of food which we finished every bite! The Profiteroles were the better of two exceptional desserts, simply because they were lighter.
From the ambiance to the food, Le Diplomate is a place we’d recommend making reservations for right away. Service is something we’ve heard from many as being a make or break for a restaurant experience. Le Diplomate wins big here! At the conclusion of the evening, while being handed our check, our waitress made us aware that the initial drinks we ordered had been taken off our final bill because they had taken a couple minutes too long to get over to us. We recalled her apologizing earlier about how busy the bar area had been, but never imagined their attention to detail ran this deep.
As we walked away from the restaurant we had completely forgotten about how the evening started, and the rain that had been soaking the area all day. This was truly an experience we’ll be reliving soon.