Le Diplomate

4.8
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8227 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 8227 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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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined 21 hours 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 a day 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.

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

Always spot on

J
1 review
Dined a day 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 2 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 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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

a
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined 2 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 3 days ago
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

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

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

Always superb!!

RA
Des Moines
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
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
5 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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

JH
Dallas
4 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Great food and atmosphere place to go while in Washington DC

NS
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
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!

OT
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 3

Food, as always, was great. Service...not so much. Hostess who seated us wouldn’t allow us to switch tables to one we spotted that we liked better closer to the window

MB
1 review
Dined on October 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great experience in dining. I like the atmosphere at the bar, too. Le Diplomate is a fun place to gather.

DE
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 5ambience 3

While our server, Madison was excellent, I found the food to be overpriced. We had the Dover Sole. It was unpalatable but the potatoes were good. We ordered the Barbac à l'Armagnac for dessert; the bread was stale. However, the pâté de Campagne was edible. Overall, while the concept is a good one, the restaurant fell miserably at putting together a french menu that does not live up to its standard. We will not be going back.

TM
Washington DC
115 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

An excellent venue for dinner with friends before Studio Theatre. The food is excellent and the service prompt and attentive.

M
Washington DC
257 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

Always great but staff still suffer from attitude

OT
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service, delicious food, attentive staff, beautiful atmosphere

OT
Atlantic City
2 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service. Great food. Overall great experience. Highly recommend.

OT
Las Vegas
4 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Run don’t walk to Le Diplomate! We were lucky enough to get a reservation for this fantastic establishment and so grateful as this was one of the best dining experiences my family and I have ever had. Every dish was better than the next! From the appetizers to the main course, I couldn’t decide who’s was better because they were all outstanding. We finished eight the chocolate pot for dessert, it’s hard to describe except sublime, I so wish this restaurant was located closer to my home!

PC
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Le Diplomate reminds of Paris on the busy 14th Street area. Food is delicious - we enjoyed the bread basket and seafood choices a lot.

SC
Richmond
7 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Le Dip is one of my favorite places to go in DC. Everything is amazing, from the bread and butter to the service/ambiance and the food itself, whether you're trying something new (we had the vol au vent and the polenta) or sticking to a classic (we usually get the steak frites, moulles frites, steak tartar). It's always a delight to go!

T
Philadelphia
20 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Being from Philly, I consider this Parc South. Delivered what I expect from Starr. Delicious food. Server wasn't quite up to snuff from my experience.

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