Bonjour, mes amis. I hope you enjoyed that, because it is probably the extent of the French that you’ll hear for the rest of this post. Even though my knowledge of the French language is – er – dicey at best, I do enjoy a fine plate of French food. You can get that at Le Diplomate, and you’ll be very happy about it.Trying to find something to eat on 14th street can be a little overwhelming because there are so many GOOD options. Le Diplomate sits cozily on the corner of 14th and Q Street, and sports the perfect atmosphere of a classic, French bistro. A bright red, neon sign invites you into through the doors, where the ambiance is buzzy and slightly noisy. The wait staff are monochromatically dressed with crisp aprons and ties, and the bar area sparkles like a starry night.
I’ve been to Le Diplomate a few times, and the best thing about it is its consistency. The food is almost formulaic, so you can be sure that the salmon, or the steak, or the delicious egg thing that you ordered a month ago will taste exactly the same all of the time. It’s comforting, actually. Nobody needs surprises popping up on your plate, amiright?
I usually start with this little dandy, which is the Salade Verte. It’s super clean and crisp, and has a little bit of a bite from the red wine vinaigrette. There is also a slight licorice undertone from the addition of tarragon.
I happened to stop in on a Thursday, and the special of the day was Dover Sole Meuniere. Because it is sort of expensive (and by sort of I mean very. Like, $50 a plate) my dining companion and I elected to share it. The fish was oh-so-delicious, though. The sauce was buttery and bright, and the Dover Sole was perfectly cooked.
I’ve also had the skate at Le Diplomate several times, which is a delicious and significantly less expensive alternative to the Dover Sole. Plus, you can get it every single day.
If you don’t really roll with fish, another popular option is the Steak Frites, which is served with a generous smattering of French Fries.
In closing, Le Diplomate is pretty delicious and I have never once gone wrong there. The only issue is that you shouldn’t just expect to show up and get a table, because it is usually pretty crowded. So do yourself a solid favor a make reservations, you won’t be disappointed. Pinky promise.