Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Le Diplomate....Stephen Starr brings the cabaret act to DC

Le Diplomate
1601 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

Stephen Starr's new restaurant in DC, Le Diplomate, is open and cranking. 
I scored a reservation for 7:00 last Friday and had a chance to run through some of the menu. 
This is the station where the servers put together your bread basket. It is right next to the host stand and is quite the tease.
Here's what it looks like when it gets to your table.  The baguettes were my favorite. Crusty, airy, authentic. Don't fill up on the bread though....better things await.
We had two youngin's with us, and the plan was for them to split an appetizer and then split an entree. Due to a lucky mistake they were able to get a couple of appetizers, the first being this mac n' cheese. Very tasty. The Panko topping was perfect and there was an herby component to it.
Naturally, I had the fois and chicken liver mousse. Very light and tasty. I wouldn't bother with the toast though.  The baguette was a perfect vehicle for the mousse.
One of the managers who happens to be a friend of mine dropped off a few extra appetizers for us to try.  This was the Mushroom Tart.  It's got Pioppini mushrooms and truffled Pecorino cheese. Earthy, flaky, and scrumptious is what that was. 
This is the Steak Tartare de Parc. It was served with a raw quail egg. Nice touch. The meat had great texture. Lots of horse radish, capers, and mustard. 
I stole a bite of the ravioli from my son. Nice execution. The ricotta was silky smooth.

This was the Duck dish that the kids shared. Confit and breast. The confit was perfect. The breast, unfortunately, was not. Too tough to bother chewing when everything else was so good. No one bats .1000 right? 
I had the Dover Sole. It was a very nice preparation.
My wife had the Trout Amandine. Her dish was my second favorite, right after the confit. 
The lemon browned butter and crispy almonds were just right...
We shared a couple of desserts as well.  This was a conversation piece: An interesting take on a Napoleon. It tasted as good as it looked.

Is that an intentional volcano in my Vietnamese Coffee? Crafty.

 It's meant to be casual and does a good job at it. There were people in little black dresses...and there were people there in shorts and flip flops. It's got a great vibe and it's exactly what it's supposed to be. A cafe. They serve brunch and dinner. I'd bet that they will open for lunch at some point.
If I were in the area and wanted some quality French food in a casual atmosphere, I'd be there in a heartbeat.
Well done Team Starr.

Le Diplomate on Urbanspoon


TasteUSA said...

I enjoyed my first meal here a little over a week ago..but what caught my attention more than anything was our excellent "French" Server - he took care of everything and had a sense of humor..the food was very good too, like the really salty French Fries (Freedom?), the duck pate and the Lup de Mer..oohh, and a very buttery Tarte Tatin - Yummm!

David Smelson said...

My server was friendly, if a little....distracted. I know I'm a tough customer though, so it's hard to judge sometimes.
I'm sure I'd be a regular if I lived nearby.