July 2, 2013

Le Diplomate

Lately we've done a good job of visiting new restaurants and crossing them off our ever growing list of places to try.  Le Diplomate was one of those places, and it certainly lived up to all the hype!
Le Diplomate DC
Walking into the restaurant, you're transported to a Parisian bistro, filled with globe lights, a checkered tile floor, and the aroma of freshly baked breads.  They also have several tables outside for you to enjoy some al fresco dining.

Once seated, we began to peruse the menu, filled with traditional French bistro fare.  We were presented with a bread basket, filled with an assortment of breads, to whet our appetites.  We decided to start the meal with their selection of 7 cheeses that included a goat cheese, 2 varieties of brie, a bleu cheese, and a couple semi-hard cheeses.  Overall, they were quite tasty, and a perfect way to kick off the meal.  Like any French restaurant worth its sel, La Diplomate has a wine list that doesn't disappoint.  There is a wide selection of French bottles, and there are some exquisite choices by the glass as well.  Our server was helpful in recommending both a red and a white to pair with our meal.  Being this was French cuisine we went with French wines.

For our entrees, I chose the moules frites, prepared in the mariniere style.  It is a traditional white wine sauce, that had great added flavor from fresh thyme and bay leaves, as well as some butter to round out the broth. My only complaint is that they left the sprigs of thyme and the bay leaves in the broth.  The frites were perfectly crisp on the outside, and fluffy on the inside, just the way fries should be.

Justin went with the Monday night special, veal sweetbreads, as his entree.  They were served on a bed of greens.  They were really flavorful, but he enjoyed the ones at the Red Hen more.  Our dining companions enjoyed the steak frites and the beef bourguignon, commenting that they were both delicious dishes as well.

Dinner was rounded out by a couple of desserts.  We couldn't visit a French restaurant without trying their creme brulee, and it didn't disappoint.  The portion was pretty large, and easy to share amongst several people.  The top was a perfect golden brown, while the inside was extremely light and creamy.  We also shared the apple tarte tatin.  The apples were nice and carmalized, yet still had some bite to them, while the pastry of the tarte was very light and flaky.

Overall, it was a delicious meal, though the service was a bit slow.  They definitely weren't trying to rush us through our meal, which I liked, but it could've been paced a tad bit faster.  The food itself lived up to all the rave reviews the restaurant had received upon opening, though the atmosphere really stole the show.  You truly feel like you're on some cafe set from a French film.  Even for a Monday night it was very lively.  This isn't a romantic spot per se, but a great place to enjoy some authentic French food with some friends over a bottle of wine or two.  We will definitely be back to check out brunch or some of the other nightly specials.

No comments:

Post a Comment