Mike Berman’s Washington Watch

August 10, 2013 8:51 AM

Restaurant: Le Diplomate

Le Diplomate

1601 14TH Street NW
Washington, DC 20009
Debbie and I had a pleasant evening with Hilary and Campbell at Le Diplomate. This French bistro seems to be one of the current hot destinations in Washington. Stories are legend about folks waiting for up to 45 minutes after their reservation time to be seated. One serving person told a customer that, if they wanted to be seated near their reservation time, they should make their reservation for 5 p.m. or 9 p.m.

Hilary made our reservation, and she and Campbell were already at a perfect corner booth in the main dining room when we arrived at 6:30 p.m. There is a large bar on one side of the main room, and by 7:30 p.m. people were many layers deep around that area. It was hard to tell if they were waiting for tables or just enjoying the drinks and socialization. There is another inside room just past the bar. The restaurant is located on the Northeast corner of 14th St. and Q St. There is sidewalk seating on the 14th St and the Q St sides of the restaurant.

We started dinner by sharing an order of Escargots in hazelnut butter. Hilary and Campbell ordered a half Lobster, a Frisee Salad, duck confit, poached egg, and Macaroni Au Gratin. Debbie selected Roasted Duck Breast, lavender- honey, artichoke, fennel, almonds. I started with an excellent Onion Soup Gratinee, sans cheese, and followed that with Lamb Shank, Moroccan couscous, barissa, yogurt.

As the evening wore on, the sound and congestion grew, but the service was timely, friendly and professional.

The men’s room is of good size and well maintained. There are side-by-side white ceramic washbasins in a wooden counter top. To the left there is a floor-to- ceiling wall that comes out about four feet, and then there are two white ceramic floor based urinals with a couple foot-long walls between them. The white ceramic commode, along with a diaper changing table, are located in a separate room with a wood, shuttered door. The floor is covered with large grey tiles. The walls are covered with horizontal white tiles to about shoulder height. Above the tiles the walls are painted a goldish color up to the ceiling.

There is valet parking on the Q Street side of the restaurant.

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