Le Diplomate

4.8
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8238 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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French
Stephen Starr brings his signature brand of hospitality and design to the nation’s capital with the opening of Le Diplomate, located at 14th & Q. Serving lunch, brunch and dinner, the stylish 260 seat restaurant transports diners to the beloved cafés of Boulevard Saint-Germain in Paris. The extensive menu features a variety of classic dishes including Onion Soup Gratinee, Steak Frites, and Poulet Roti as well as contemporary bistro fare, with dishes such as Shaved Veal Tongue with Mache and Bavette de Boeuf à l’Echalote. A thoughtfully curated wine list and cocktail program perfectly complements the cuisine and creates an environment suitable for romantic dinners or lively group gatherings. In warmer weather, enjoy dining "en plein air" in the stunning outdoor café where you can take in the bustling energy of DC while sipping on the perfect kir royale.
What 8238 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.8
food
4.7
service
4.7
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
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EK
Nashville
4 reviews
Dined 13 hours ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding service and meal! Our favorite place to come when visiting DC! Typically I like to try new places but le diplomate is different! I want to come here every trip to Szechuan!!

OT
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The steak and the chicken was outstanding. Our server was on top of our every need. When you have great service and outstanding food and never feel rushed you know you’ve had a superior ding experience. We’ll be back.

d
Baltimore
235 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 2food 1service 5ambience 4

I had the tuna appetizer and the veal with mushroom sauce. The tuna was so salty that one could not taste the tuna. The mushroom sauce was watery and also way over salted.

JS
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

My boyfriend and I really enjoyed our dinner from beginning to end. The duck was cooked perfectly and it went well with the reduction and spinach. We can’t wait to dine at Le Diplomate again!

OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 2food 3service 5ambience 1

Bugs everywhere. The service was lovely, their staff is very nice. But after spending a meal fighting flies, gnats, and other bugs off of myself and my food (indoors with the windows closed) the last straw was when one flew into my eye and I had to go to the restroom to get it out - broken bug parts and all. I’ve never quite had an experience like it in any restaurant. Nice people, good bread, but the bugs are on another level. This is not a clean place.

A
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 1

First I want to say that we love this restaurant and the food and service never disappoint. This visit was a little different... there was a horrible fly problem at our table, maybe due to a decorative pumpkin that was going south, maybe cause we were sat near a window... I’m not sure but it was awful... we could barely enjoy our meal.

N
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great waiter and amazing food, especially the cheese board. We will be back!!

OT
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was beautifully prepared and delicious! Amazing brunch, good service, large portions. Yummy espresso and most wonderful croissant I’ve ever had. Merci!

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

i guess we picked the wrong dishes the lobster omelette was kinda bland the bass was still skinned and just large kidney beans.
the apps were ok the entrees not happy with and the apple dessert was meh also.

o
Washington DC
324 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

My sister and brother-in-law, married a few weeks ago, wanted a dining experience in Washington unlike one that they could get in their home town of Madison, WI. Le Diplomate fit the bill perfectly. They were thrilled and we had the same satisfaction that we experienced during our 12 prior visits to the restaurant. The French bistro is extremely consistent: every one in our party was pleased with every dish, and I have yet to experience a dish there that was less than very good. Portions are large and the food is rich; we left a fair amount of good food uneaten. Service was also exemplary, and our server correctly "read" our table to ascertain how we want the service to be paced, which was less rapid than one might expect from a perennially busy establishment. The place is loud, but we did not have any difficulty conversing with each other.

MJ
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

French onion soup is tremendous, so is ravioli. Half chicken is huge and steak au poivre very tasty. Couldn’t finish everything as too full. I can also recommend the Cremant

K
Tampa
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My sisters were in town and we had a great time. Our reservation was originally for 3, but we ended up with 7 at the last minute. The staff still accommodated us and within 10 minutes of our reservation time they sat our large group. Great service, great food. This is the perfect place if you have guests in town.

M
Washington DC
257 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Always spot on

CM
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful brunch!

J
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 4

I have been going to Le Diplomate for years and it is one of my favorite restaurants in DC. However, it is definitely not a place for a large party or small children. I booked a reservation a month out for Sunday brunch and arrived to find that while we had a large table, it was in the worst place possible, almost wedged into another patron’s back. To make matter’s worse, the high chair for my 2 year old was terrible and would not allow for his legs to fit under the table. The food was good, but the table selection really took away from the experience.

I will be back, but it will be in a party of 4 or less and no kids.

JB
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this place, but be prepared to pay $12 for valet parking because parking in the neighborhood is virtually impossible. Also, try to sit outside because the noise level inside is deafening. But food, service, etc., is fantastic!

t
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

For a business dinner, nothing beats the half-round banquettes!

a
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We go to Le Diplomate every anniversary and Valentine’s Day, and it always hits the spot. We have made our way through the menu and every time we try something new it’s just as delicious as what we previously thought was our favorite. This time I had the Poached Eggs Basquaise, which was just fantastic. The polenta was so creamy and was just top of the line.

FS
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Our server was pretty rude and made the overall experience poorer.

MN
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We enjoyed having lunch here on a beautiful fall Friday. Sat inside but near an open window which was nice. My husband and I were celebrating our anniversary and our server brought us 2 glasses of champagne when we first sat down - a very nice touch. Their bread is fantastic - perfect for dipping in the garlicky butter of the escargots.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a great experience, especially if you love French bistro food. The stake au poivre and duck à l’orange were wonderful.

m
Kansas City
10 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

A bit active. Not the place for a semi quiet meal. But good food and service. Special party really blocking way to toilets.

JL
Washington DC
18 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always superb!!

RA
Des Moines
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Excellent mushroom tart but the steak wasn't that great. The reference for the steak is their pepper steak.

C
Minneapolis
7 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Longtime friends on vacation, good food, good vibrations, good time

JH
Dallas
4 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Great food and atmosphere place to go while in Washington DC

NS
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 8, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Go for the food and skip the drinks. I attended with a friend for my birthday and the food was outstanding. The menu includes traditional french dishes, pate, duck l'orange, tartare, etc. Drinks were okay- We ordered four martinis (rail vodka) which ended up being almost $17/each... Thats way too much for drinks. The wine list was also way overpriced. Bottles of wine which could be purchased at the Trader Joe's next door for $19, were listed at $70 on their menu. Do yourself a favour, go enjoy their food menu and pack a thermos for your drank ;)

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

30th anniversary and they treated us incredibly well! A charming server who took care of our every need. Loved the escargot, the radishes and the steak au poivre.

CS
1 review
Dined on October 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and service are always great. Atmosphere is energetic. Perfect for an enjoyable night out.

RK
Louisville
13 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I am in DC several times a year, and had never dined at Le Diplomate. Partly due to the difficulty in securing a last-minute reservation, and partly due to a local sibling mocking me for wanting to go where “everybody goes to see people.” Well, now I know why this has historically been The Place people go to see and be seen. The decor is charming and cozy, the staff are delightful, friendly, and knowledgeable, and the food is off the charts. The cheese selection alone makes it worth the trip. The trout almandine secures it as legendary. Had we not also had oysters, escargot, and our body weights in bread and wine, we would have definitely tried one of the beautiful desserts we watched pass by. Did I mention the wine selection is outstanding? I will be back, most certainly.

BD
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food, service, all excellent. Noise a bit on the high side 80+ decibels. Our first time here and truly enjoyed it.

T
Washington DC
20 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 4

Le Diplomate used to be my go to place for brunch in DC. Unfortunately the last few times I have been there, the quality of the food has gone down considerably. It is really disappointing. I had the salad that comes with the prawn salad and it was heavily overdressed making the salad wilted. Previously I had the lobster omelette which was spectacular when I first had it and this time there was a quarter of the amount of lobster in the omelette. Didn't expect this deterioration of quailty. However, the bread remains supreme.

X
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 4

The experience was, as the French would say, correct. Nothing was egregiously terrible but it wasn't really good either.

Skip the oysters - mediocre at best. And...the oysters arrived with no explanation of what they were. For nearly $3 an oyster, that is truly unacceptable. The onion soup was more salt than soup. Basically they take your order and then throw your food at you. Entrees were pretty good though. Water glass was never empty but no coke refill. The napkin I was given had stains on it. It was clean but it just shows a lack of attention to detail.

So this is a hot restaurant on 14th St and everyone wants to eat there but the food is spotty and the service is underwhelming. I ate there soon after it opened and it was a really amazing. Now, not so much. Just phoning it in at this point.

CF
Denver
13 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

This restaurant serves typical French bistro food. Both meals we had were perfectly fine (as was the service), but this wasn't food you think about days later, which is, for me, a criterion for giving a restaurant a 5 star rating.

DS
Orlando
40 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

We were visiting DC for a few days, sightseeing, enjoying ‘new to us’ restaurants. We both love the French bistro vibe and were excited to go to Le Diplomate.

The atmosphere was vibrant, fun and what you’d expect in this type of place. The food, was a huge disappointment. This food is definitely not authentic French or even really close to it.

My BF ordered Croquet Monsieur. The bread was not toasted (as it should be for this dish and therefore was soggy), the ham was not French ham but Virginia ham, the sauce was mediocre.

On the advice of the waitress, I ordered a dish of scrambled eggs in a pastry with mushrooms and sauce. I was assured the eggs wouldn’t be ‘rare as advertised but medium whatI ordered. I don’t know if it was the runny eggs or the sauce, but it was not good. I ate about half and later that day, did not feel well.

Disappointed is an understatement for a place we had been looking forward to for a month or more (made reservations early)

My advice, save your time and money and go somewhere else. The breakfast at The Lafayette is excellent and the service terrific.

Debbie S
Winter Park FL

D
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love escargots and this time, delicious garlic over them.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic ambiance and food.

SH
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

Very disappointing experience. This restaurant is a victim of its own success. They are far too busy, and the staff is overwhelmed and undertrained. Results in unsatisfying service relative to the price of the food - fine for an Applebee’s, not this. And it’s surprising they are so busy! The restaurant is very loud (difficult to have a conversation with your family/friends). The food is mixed. We ordered the gougeres for an appetizer which were delicious. But then we ordered the onion soup which was so salty as to be inedible. We had the Trout Amandine, which was also a salt lick! My daughter ordered the duck a la orange, which was fantastic. Overall, food gets a “C”. Wine list is insanely overpriced (but this may be an East Coast wine tax problem- but I think these guys gouge). We did not order dessert. Then, I had to wait and finally ask for someone to process my $300+ bill! Really?? Will not be coming back in future trips to DC.

B
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I would come to Washington DC and spend a week simply trying every item on the menu as a vacation in itself, that is how much we enjoyed the Le Diplomate. Atmosphere. amazing food plus ineffable je ne sais quoi make this our favorite place to eat in the city. Our waiter Nabil recommended dishes that each of us loved and took great care to make sure that our dining experience was unparalleled. Also incredible cocktails! We are now back home in Norfolk and I have no desire to eat out until we come back to the city :-) So much love for Le Diplomate.

SR
Washington DC
23 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Gorgeous, atmospheric restaurant! Food is spectacular. Burger may be the best I have ever eaten. Mashed potatoes to die for. Chocolate mousse dessert beyond compare. Service reasonably good, not great. But I love this place & will keep returning as often as I can!

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