Le DeSales

4.6
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453 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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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.
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Sat 5:30PM - 6:00PM 9:00PM - 10:00PM

What 453 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.6
service
4.4
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Indiana
3 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best cheeseburger ever.

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S
New Orleans
86 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love this place which is walk-able from my hotel. Also great service, a good wine list and wonderful food.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent service, tasty food and great drinks!

DM
Baltimore
5 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Service was excellent. Food was very good with the exception of the Onion soup which my friend had. It was "OK". I would have expected better from a french styled restaurant. Had 4 appetizers and they were all excellent. Lamb and steak dishes were very good. Definitely would return.

J
1 review
Dined on November 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Came in with a group of 6 and Chuong, the manager, took great care of us. He gave great recommendations for eating family style. Our favorites: burrata, whole bronzino, beef tartare (AMAZING) and pork loin. Drinks were delicious too, def try the Desales Rickey. Will be coming back!

WB
Washington DC
29 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great restaurant in the heart of the city. Food, service and atmosphere were great. I do not drink, but the wall of wine for selection was impressive. Dessert chocolate tart with coffee gelato for two was delicious. I highly recommend this venue. Price point is average for exceptional food. Dine early in the evening or make a reservation because they are busy.

K
Cleveland
3 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The meal started with the best bread and butter basket I’ve ever had and ended with a silky smooth chocolate tart. I went here by myself on a business trip. I got the beef bavette and a red wine the waiter recommended. It was very good! For dessert, I had the chocolate tart and recommended tawny port. It was a great meal, and I didn’t see any lapse in service even though I was dining alone. I highly recommend Le DeSales!

s
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Warm and cozy and food was yummy!

OT
Washington DC
60 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience2

Worth stopping by for well prepared foods and good set price lunch choices. Good wine list, well chosn.

WD
Baltimore
13 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Great dining experience! Staff was friendly and attentive with the exception of missing my mother’s wine with her order—otherwise a 5 out of 5. I loved my duck meal and the waiter caught an allergen of mine in the plate as prepared and told me and the kitchen swiftly accommodated. Great time and delicious food :)

KS
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

The service and ambiance was awesome! It was a great value!

OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience4

The food was wonderful but the lamb for two was brought to the table on a wooden cutting board and the juices from the lamb poured off the board onto my velvet slacks. Perhaps a different board or another serving plate would take care of that problem. Everything else was fine. I would recommend this restaurant

OT
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This restaurant was a complete delight. The ambiance and decor, the impeccable and very friendly service, and the food was fantastic. Can’t wait to come back.

Z
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Everything was very good, but the beer menu is poor

AA
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 30, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Our waitress was absolutely amazing but the food took a really long time to come out.

w
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on October 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had an excellent dinner of beef babette. It was cooked perfectly. Our server, Julie, was great. Friendly, made a very good wine selection. We will definitely recommend Le Desales.

DN
Richmond
1 review
Dined on October 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Le DeSales is an excellent choice if you're staying at the hotel across the street and want a change of atmosphere. The restaurant has the feel of a European bistro with reasonable prices, excellent food, and attentive service.

OT
1 review
Dined on October 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I loved it there. The service was better than I expected. I want to go back there already. I definitely recommend it.

MS
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on October 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It has become my go-to place after work with a marvelous happy hour, heavenly food, and waitpeople who are so charming, smart, and personable. Just a lovely spot.

M
London
40 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food and service was outstanding. This is our second time to have dinner. Very good

EK
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything at Le DeSales was above and beyond my expectations. You enter a warm & welcoming restaurant that speaks to a chic and friendly venue. The manager- Chang & the service are top notch. The wine choices are carefully thought out and pair beautifully with the amazing cuisine. My business requires dining out frequently and I am rarely wowed to the degree that I was due to the incredible team. The chef is brilliant. Our server provided great guidance and we started with the burrata that was accompanied by a sublime mushroom medley which was woodsy & slightly smoky. It was fabulous. We also enjoyed the duck pate which from a visual & flavor standpoint was spot on. We then had the lamb for 2, and it was unparalleled. I noticed there seamed to be a lot of "regulars" and it makes sense as this restaurant is off the charts. Enjoy!

JP
New England
90 reviews
Dined on October 15, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

While everything was good, the service and food quality wasn't quiet as good as previous visits. I'll still try it again when in the area.

M
New York Area
26 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The food is excellent and the service great. Get a reservation

MA
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was great. The service was terrific! We all had a great time.

SD
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The portion sizes were on the lighter side, but everything was delicious - the kind of place that you leave feeling good!

c
Washington DC
48 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Our first time to Le DeSales and we LOVED IT! Fabulous food. Nice menu assortment; limited but with great options. Nice wine list though heavy on the high end bottles when that doesn't seem to be the clientele. Lovely interior. Small comfortable restaurant serving personalized meals. Only thing missing was some good modern or classic French music. The music didn't fit the restaurant. They also could use some soundproofing tiles or fabric on the ceiling to help combat the patron noise. Nice it was so busy, but made it hard to hear at our table. We really enjoyed it and will be back! Yay

G
Washington DC
26 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

A favorite lunchtime spot that consistently delivers good, tasteful food with a unique French uptick. I had the meatballs and foccacia -- at $18 -- something that was very good but easily made at home or local Italian restaurant. The food is served in 'smaller' plates which gives the appearance that you are sampling food. As an appetizer understandable. The atmosphere is fun and upbeat. Twice now I've had lunch with a female business colleague and both times seated in the teeny 2-some seats whereas other male guests are given 4-tops. I'm always left feeling like I have to cram my belongings in a teeny half-booth and been sent to the 'child's table'. Just noticing the practice of the hostess Overall, it's a good option in the location and worth a happy hour visit.

JV
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Le Desalles has become one of my wife and my favorite places to go. The food is all great, the atmosphere is lovely, and the service is excellent. If you go, ask for Julie, she is the best!

NM
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

The only bad thing was that my water glass had lipstick on it. I have no doubt it was an unusual over-site. My wife loves French food and French wine. I’m pretty uncultured. Yet, great food is great food. The food was excellent. The steak and fish were amazing...and so were the vegetables...and so were the deserts. We had a 7:30 appointment, had a great time, and were back in our car by 9:45. We had drinks and coffee, and the bill came to about $200 with a 22% tip. Not inexpensive, but great value considering how great the food was. We’re going to try some other restaurants, but look forward to going back!

JM
Raleigh
4 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This restaurant was great! The scallops were the best ever and the service was impeccable. I highly recommend it to all.

LH
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined on September 24, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Interesting menu, very tasty, French (mostly). My husband had tagliatelle with rabbit, I pan-fried dorade with red onions and spinach. Only downside: across a low barrier, people mingle and shout during happy hour. We will return but come after 7pm when happy hour ends.

KH
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Everything was outstanding except for one thing. My salad was over-dressed and soggy.

A
Denver
10 reviews
Dined on September 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was amazing and our server did an excellent job helping pair wine with our meals. I wouldn’t consider much of the food traditional French quinine with delicious sauces, but it was excellent. Do yourself a favor and try the duck roast beef.

k
Washington DC
45 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a very nice family get together at Le DeSale. They were able to accommodate a party of 9. The food was excellent. The Bronzino was excellent and I would also recommend the Lobster Bisque. The service was excellent! Thank you for a very nice evening.

v
Washington DC
51 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall5food4service4ambience5

We had wonderful seafood dinner with a vegetable appetizer. The restaurant was quaint and lively and the waitress was very friendly and offered great recommendations. I wish they had a few more whole grain and vegetarian options on the menu and featured local ingredients, though.

OT
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious food. Amazing service. Slightly overpriced in my opinion though.

j
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2019
Overall5food4service4ambience4

Loud but reliably good

PB
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent restaurant! Enjoyed it very much! Staff advice was great!

e
1 review
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Very interesting menu and excellent service. Our food selections took advantage of the wide-ranging menu: hanger steak, crab cakes and a burger, all wonderful.

We dined there on a beautiful late summer evening so took an outside table. (This also allowed us to avoid the pretty noisy interior.) Since the restaurant is located on a quiet side street this made the experience even better. Eclectic wine list organized in a way that may need explanation, which was readily provided to a good result.

D
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Le DeSales was a wonderful find, in the midst of bustling D.C. It reminded me of some of the lovely bistros I dined when I lived in Europe. The food was delicious, with the typical bistro offerings prepared with that little extra something. The service was excellent, my server was always nearby to attend to me needs and he was very pleasant. The noise level was a bit much for me, but then it was in the midst of a bust lunch service. I can't wait to go back for dinner! I highly recommend Le DeSales to anyone who loves good French food and is a fan of a bistro atmosphere!

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