Le Diplomate1601 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009 (202) 332-3333
Le Diplomate has been a hot spot in DC since it opened in April 2013, by noted Philadelphia restaurateur Stephen Starr. I have passed the place many times but never had a desire to go in because it was always packed with a sizable crowd outside waiting to be seating inside. Too, Le Diplomate has been seriously hyped by the media and DC foodies. I have been disappointed more often than not by restaurants and eateries that received a lot of hype.
This time around I was not disappointed. I lucked into an 11:45 am, Sunday brunch reservation (next available spot was 2:30 pm) and even found parking quickly just four blocks away.
I ordered the Trout Amandine (sorry no photo), which was probably the most perfectly prepared Trout Amandine I have ever had. The trout was flavorful and perfectly cooked, the green beans tasty and crisp but not hard, and the gazillion almonds on top of the fish were toasted to perfection. So so yummy. I savored every single bite of this dish.
I was torn between ordering the Trout Amandine and the Smoked Salmon Tartine so my dining companion graciously ordered the Smoked Salmon Tartine so that I could taste some. A very smart decision on his part :) . It was beautifully displayed with roe, capers, boiled egg garnish, and crème fraîche on top of a toasted baguette.
The complimentary bread basket had a wonderful and hearty cranberry walnut bread and some equally hearty wheat bread. Both were solid and textured, Le Diplomate does a great job on its breads.
We kept seeing plates of food go by with delicious looking roasted potatoes so we inquired and our waiter said it was Lyonnaise potatoes, so we ordered a side. Mmm. Perfect compliment to both of our meals.
For beverages we both had iced tea, it was weak but still refreshing because it was cold.
Our waiter tempted us into having dessert and we shared the artistically beautiful Baba au Rhum--a yeast cake soaked in rum. It was good, full of rum flavor but not something I would get again.
I am a fan of Le Diplomate and I cannot wait to go back to try some of the other menu items. I especially want to try the mussels mariniere and see if Le Diplomate's version can dethrone Montmartre mussels mariniere, which I think are the best mussels in all of DC.
Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)