Le Diplomate

1601 14th Street Northwest

Le Diplomate brings France’s chic bistro culture to D.C.’s trendy U Street Corridor. Upon entering through its bright blue door frame, the high ceilings, antique decor, and bread-cart centerpiece will have you checking for your passport. The classic French cuisine is on display with colorful salads, juicy steak frites, and rich crème brûlée. The only reminders that you’re still in America are the generous portions and the warm, attentive service. Request a seat in the glass-enclosed and tiled sunroom, where the wall reads “Blanchisserie de Chemise,” an homage to the location’s former life as a laundromat. This District arrondissement certainly welcomes the tasty transformation. Bon appétit!

More Recommendations

Le Diplomate: Washington D.C.’s Best Power Breakfast

“This French bistro has the most beautiful tiled atrium and is popular among Capitol Hill’s elite (including Michelle Obama). Go for breakfast when they serve steel-cut oatmeal with pistachio cream.” —Local food blogger Zach Patton of The Bitten Word on his essential eats in the District. This appeared in the March/April 2015 issue.

Le Diplomate? Oui, Oui!

Le Diplomate opened up not long ago on the 14th Street Corridor, which has seen an explosion in new restaurants in recent years. Although we have plenty of French restaurants in D.C., this is the first that is truly reminiscent of the French bistros that line the streets of Paris. It has already exploded in popularity so much that the only time I could get in was 5pm. We were greeted by the waiter with a bread basket in his hand. The French take their bread very seriously, so I have a habit of judging the quality of a French restaurant by its bread. Okay, maybe that’s just an excuse to eat bread, but let me say, it’s good here. The baguette has that authentic crackle with the airy interior; the butter is lightly salted and whipped. I can eat the whole basket by myself and be happy! Then there are all the classic French bistro menu items. I was more greedy than hungry the day I showed up, so my meal was just the mushroom tart with its buttery, flaky crust and luscious mushroom duxelles topping. I want to marry the person who made that tart, it was so good! My companion had the cheese fondue, and I think she died and went to heaven right there on the spot. Don’t forget dessert—there’s a very talented pastry chef working here! To round out your meal, the restaurant stocks a wonderful selection of wines. Metro stop: U Street http://lediplomatedc.com/

More From AFAR