Le DeSales

4.4
346 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$31 to $50
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
French
"Have you met Le DeSales? You ought to..."
Tom Sietsema/Washington Post

Warm and enticing, Le DeSales is a french restaurant located in South Dupont, across the street from the historic Mayflower Hotel. Michelin-starred Chef Raphael François presents a rustic French/American cuisine in an informal, cozy, and romantic setting.

For its bar program, Le DeSales accentuates Old World liqueurs, with a focus on regional beers and ciders. The custom cocktail menu includes the GoldenBeard and the DeSales Rickey on draft. The specialized wine list includes diversified appellations encompassing regions as unexpected as Macedonia and Portugal, with a concise focus on France, Italy, and California.

Le DeSales is available for large parties, semi-private events, and buyouts. Outdoor seating is available, weather permitting.
avatar copy

Private Dining

Book your next event with us

View details

Specials

Instantly increase your points with dining rewards

See availability for bonus point tables

Sat 5:30PM - 6:00PM 9:00PM - 10:00PM

What 346 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.3
service
4.4
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
83% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
Sort by
Newest
Filters
OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Excellent food. Thought portions were small and felt rushed a bit

Report
Helpful
p
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First time at this great restaurant, hopefully not our last! Welcoming atmosphere, seated promptly, delicious recommendations from our waitress, enjoyable evening for the four of us!

Report
Helpful
GS
Washington DC
110 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Was craving the beef burger at DeSales and was not disappointed by this succulent burger, cooked as specified, carmelized onion, served with a lightly dressed and crispy green salad. My starter as the onion soup, best in DC and served hot! My date had the full bronzini fish cooked to perfection. Two grey goose martinis, two glasses of red wine, espressos and another perfect dining experience at DeSales.

Report
Helpful
OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Met a friend for lunch. Service was prompt and the food was delicious!

Report
Helpful
GS
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

The pate and any traditional entree is the way to go. Service was excellent. Front of house was very nice and accommodating. An excellent dinner experience.

Report
Helpful
MC
Washington DC
23 reviews
Dined on March 26, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Nicer looking than its earlier incarnation (“Panache”), but the food isn’t nearly as good, is way overpriced, and frankly a little weird. I had some odd thing of chopped vegetables, wild rice, and a couple of bite-size pieces of dry, overcooked white fish, for 19 bucks. I mean, what were they thinking? My friend had a burger, smallish, which looked otherwise okay. Service is genteel, but the name of the place is plain awkward. Are you supposed to pronounce it with a French accent or not? It’s named after the street it’s on, DeSales, which most people say in the regular American way, but then it’s got that “Le” stuck on the front if it. I get that that’s a little picky, but when a restau is as disappointing as this, it’s easy to find little things to be annoyed about.

Report
Helpful
T
New York Area
44 reviews
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Restaurant was very good and accommodating to my wife, as it was her birthday. Server was excellent.

Report
Helpful
MG
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on March 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, service and ambiance of a small French bistro

Report
Helpful
T
Washington DC
110 reviews
Dined on March 20, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 3

I frequented this research multiple times when it opened approximately two years ago and enjoyed the visits each time. When the chef/owner was present. Thus I was looking forward to my visit this week. It was disappointing. The service was very poor. After the waiter took our order we never had any further interaction with him and I had to approach the hostess to obtain the check. The food was fine but nothing comparable to my prior meals. Nice atmosphere but very noisy. Hopefully the chef/ owner will return to the kitchen and take control of the restaurant.

Report
Helpful
FD
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on March 20, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 4

The food was great, but things move at a very slow pace. Not good if you are in a hurry.

Report
Helpful
PM
1 review
Dined on March 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had such a wonderful experience there! It was my first time there and my waiter, Felipe, was incredible. Very knowledgeable about the dishes and was very attentive to my needs. I ordered the lobster and although it was a little difficult to eat, it was rather delicious. The bread and the honey butter was to die for. I had two baskets to myself (oops). I highly recommend this place!!

Report
Helpful
RA
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

A very cozy and warm place. Classy without being pompous, with a very singular decor that makes this place interesting for a casual dinner with friends you value. The waiters and waitresses, in accordance to the french tradition, do not rush you into ordering and give you space while being prompt to respond. The food is delicious, although our lamb could have been served warmer. The bass is very good. The noise level is lower than average restaurants in DC and you can hear each other talk without the need to shout. It was the second time I went with friends. The 1st time was at lunch, this time was in the evening. Food quality and taste was consistent. We will go there again for sure!

Report
Helpful
OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Right next to mayflower hotel, convenient

Report
Helpful
OT
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

The food was delicious but the service wasn’t great. Our water glasses were empty more than once during dinner.

Report
Helpful
OT
Washington DC
60 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is one of my favorite lunch spots in Washington, D.C. The menu is creative and the selection is diverse. The portions are just right for lunch. The friggitelli peppers are delicious and come salty style. The organic salmon is delicious and blended perfectly with the underlay of greens. The beef babette is a hearty portion of tender beef served at the proper temperature. Best of all you can select the lunch special with an appetizer and entree, or entree and dessert with wine to accompany what will surely be a memorable meal.

Report
Helpful
TP
1 review
Dined on March 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of my favorite spots! I love that it's tucked away, has amazing food and great staff!

Report
Helpful
OT
Tampa
4 reviews
Dined on March 4, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

This was the worst French restaurant we have ever gone. The service was very poor, our server was not polite at all! He did not even come and ask whether the food was good or we needed anything! I think the manager should send all the servers to a training to learn how to respect customers and how to serve food. The food quality was the worst we have ever had in a French restaurant. They did not even call and confirm our reservation, seemed like they didn’t even care if we showed up! It was actually our anniversary and after seeing all the disrespect, we didn’t even bother to mention it was our anniversary night. The food presentation was worse than what you get in a mediocre franchise restaurant. If you care about the food quality and the way to be treated in a restaurant, never choose this place.

Report
Helpful
LC
Orlando
1 review
Dined on March 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food is amazing and service is exemplary.

Report
Helpful
OT
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We had the lamb for 2. It was great. Very European portion sizing so you aren't overwhelmed. Ambiance and service are fantastic

Report
Helpful
OT
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Le DeSales has an upscale feel with very reasonable prices. We had a reservation (would recommend) and were seated very quickly. The individual who seated us also took my coat to hang at the front for me. Our server was friendly, knowledgeable, and very attentive (always made sure waters were filled and let us know that our food was on the way). Would highly recommend the House Aged Negroni. The portions were not huge but reasonable. The gnocchi is served in a gorgonzola sauce that was different than expected but quite good. The chocolate tart was also very good. Overall, we had a great experience!

Report
Helpful
SS
Denver
1 review
Dined on February 28, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 2

Food was mediocre and our server rushed us despite the restaurant being empty. Picked this for my mother's birthday and it was a flop. Others have had better experiences but I was disappointed.

Report
Helpful
k
Washington DC
31 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really Nice. Service was Excellent and the Food was Excellent. My wife had the Bronzino and I had the Venison Tenderloin. Overall, a very nice evening. The atmosphere is upscale but also relaxing. This was our second time there...We will be back again.

Report
Helpful
MS
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 1

Food was good, tho, typical small French portions. A second server eagerly tended to our wine list considerations. Place was way too loud and no ambiance

Report
Helpful
k
Washington DC
31 reviews
Dined on February 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We stopped in for a late lunch, so it was not crowded and nice and quiet. The food and service was really great. Lobster bisque was excellent. We had the salmon salad and the Chesapeake Salmon. My wife is kind of particular about her salmon, and she was delighted. Overall, a very nice meal...we would recommend Le DeSales and look forward to returning.

Report
Helpful
X
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

I'm sure the main menu is creative as well as delicious but the Valentine's Prix Fixe offering was not. The Amuse-bouche, unimpressive. The first course, Almaco Jack with Lime, Coconut and Japaleno had thoughts of grandeur that were not ultimately met. The burrata, undone by the pockets of salt and the arugula covering. The second course, a New York Strip with Pistou was delicious and well cooked but was under a bed of arugula and cheese (not on top, the salad was on top of the steak) that did not complement the flavor of the steak. We had both desserts with the Creme Brulee wowing us while the chocolate mousse, while ok, seemed to be improperly folded and therefore unnecessarily dense.

TLDR: Good steak, Somewhat good dessert. Everything else was ok.

Report
Helpful
SC
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Took care of us great on Val day.... great place. Will return, highly recommend.

Report
Helpful
OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

The lobster soup is too salty and the steak is just so so. The server was nice though.

Report
Helpful
OT
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Great biz lunch.

Report
Helpful
OT
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great lunch venue. Service was great and food delicious. We had the lunch special which was great value. Will return!!’

Report
Helpful
OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 3ambience 5

Not worth the money

Report
Helpful
v
Miami
7 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Great for my birthday

Report
Helpful
o
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Nice place but too loud to hold a business conversation or to talk with a date.

Report
Helpful
JP
New England
55 reviews
Dined on February 5, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Great meal, excellent service

Report
Helpful
SD
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Really great place - delicious food, very nice ambiance (feels European), and overall a very enjoyable experience. Service can be a little slow - but it also tends to be busy.

Report
Helpful
GS
Washington DC
110 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

The entrees are superb, I had the venison which was perfectly cooked and tender, my date had the entire branzini fish. The martinis were perfect, fries salad was crisp and well dressed and the wine list perfectly complimented each portion f the meal. Les Desales is a treasure in a city that boasts good French cuisine, but don't let the name fool you. There is something for everyone on the menu and you "don't have to dress to the nines" to get a meal worth a million. This is my 4th or 5th visit and I have never been disappointed.

Report
Helpful
r
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on January 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What more can I say? All was good, well, and fine.

Report
Helpful
DM
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on January 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this place! Working my way through the lunch menu.

Report
Helpful
MW
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

The food was surprisingly good! We have been to a lot of restaurants in DMV area with high ratings (and some are way way way more expensive) but ended up finding the food just so so.. But Le DeSales is tasty! From appetizer to dessert, every dish is a pleasant surprise even if it only comprises simple day-to-day ingredients. Will be back!

Report
Helpful
NC
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Went in for restaurant week and enjoyed the appetizer, main, and dessert. Tried the wine pairing and was great. Not giving the the five starts because we noticed everyone was being given bread to start and we weren’t even asked. The place wasn’t too noisy until we were getting to leave. Overall food was very tasty, especially the onion soup.

Report
Helpful
LA
1 review
Dined on January 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The lamb was excellent! Very nice ambiance and attentive waiter.

Report
Helpful
1
2
3
9

Tweets by Le DeSales