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.
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Sat 5:30PM - 6:00PM 9:00PM - 10:00PM
Excellent food. Thought portions were small and felt rushed a bit
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!
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.
Met a friend for lunch. Service was prompt and the food was delicious!
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.
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.
Restaurant was very good and accommodating to my wife, as it was her birthday. Server was excellent.
Great food, service and ambiance of a small French bistro
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.
The food was great, but things move at a very slow pace. Not good if you are in a hurry.
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!!
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!
Right next to mayflower hotel, convenient
The food was delicious but the service wasn’t great. Our water glasses were empty more than once during dinner.
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.
One of my favorite spots! I love that it's tucked away, has amazing food and great staff!
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.
Food is amazing and service is exemplary.
We had the lamb for 2. It was great. Very European portion sizing so you aren't overwhelmed. Ambiance and service are fantastic
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Took care of us great on Val day.... great place. Will return, highly recommend.
The lobster soup is too salty and the steak is just so so. The server was nice though.
Great biz lunch.
Great lunch venue. Service was great and food delicious. We had the lunch special which was great value. Will return!!’
Not worth the money
Great for my birthday
Nice place but too loud to hold a business conversation or to talk with a date.
Great meal, excellent service
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.
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.
What more can I say? All was good, well, and fine.
Love this place! Working my way through the lunch menu.
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!
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.
The lamb was excellent! Very nice ambiance and attentive waiter.