I (E) love Le Diplomate. Ever since I wandered by on a random Sunday afternoon a few years ago. It’s beautiful from the outside, the table and chairs outside feel like something out of a European honeymoon. To be honest, It’s such an enchanting building that the addition of French inspired decor creates a nice ~vibe~. My roommate was given a gift-card through work and graciously decided to share it with me. We went to brunch twice (Saturday and Sunday) that weekend and had the most amazing time. The atmosphere, the food, the decor, whats not to love?
As a huge fan of brunch (especially in D.C.), its easy to focus heavily on the cocktail/drinking portion of that meal. Every time I’ve been to Le Diplomate, the alcohol wasn’t the focus. It’s nice to have a break from alcohol-centric meals every once in a while. Not to say they’re aren’t tons of fun but it is nice to have one or two places where the food (and company) are the focal point. Although I haven’t been to LD for dinner (yet) I’ve been for breakfast, brunch, and lunch which all have the same menu.
My roomie and I have found that the trick is to go anytime before 10:15/10:30 am if you don’t have a reservation (most of the time we don’t) because it opens at 9:30 and doesn’t really fill up until 10:45 am. It’s the perfect treat for a Saturday or Sunday morning when you need some time with your besties. Just a few weeks ago we went right at that time and were seated right away (seriously, get there early and you’ll have an easy time getting a seat) in the back greenhouse-esque indoor/outdoor room. This dining room offers such pretty light, it’s hard not to take a hundred photos.
We started off with iced coffees (they have milk alternative so two points to Gryffindor) and orange juices. I have an obsession with fresh squeezed orange juice (Whole Foods has some of the best in DC) and it was exactly what I wanted in the moment. The coffee was great and is served in tall ice cream sundae glasses, so you get a sizeable amount for the price.
Tess and I always wait with baited breath after being seated at ANY restaurant to see if there will be bread. Le Diplomate knows how to keep people happy while perusing the menu and of course offers a well-rounded bread basket. They have a cranberry-walnut bread that I love although I usually have a weird thing about dried fruit. For the mains, I wanted to get something sweet as I almost always go with the savory option like Eggs Benedict, Norwegian or Salmon Carpaccio (which is amazing if you like smoked salmon).
I decided on the Buttermilk Pancakes which were surprisingly amazing, even though they seem like such a basic dish. They were plated simply and without any over the top toppings because honestly they didn’t need them. They were cooked to perfection, super fluffy, and melted in your mouth. I obviously ate the entire plate (well I took some to-go and ate them before I got home so… that counts). Everything I have ordered from Le Diplomate has been delicious and never leaves me disappointed. The only downside to that specific meal was that our waiter seemed a bit annoyed (but professional). Of course, he might have been having an off day so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.
My two friends got the Norwegian Eggs Benedict and the Eggs As You Wish, both of which come with potatoes which are always cooked to perfection. The Eggs As You Wish, cooked any way you like (obviously) come with bacon and toast. The portion sizes are enough to fill out up and sometimes make you a little stuffed but taking it to go is never a problem. Overall we had a really nice brunch filled with good food, great friends and a beautiful atmosphere.
P.S. They have the cutest matchboxes so make sure to snag one on your way out!