When word began buzzing around town that Stephen Starr was opening a restaurant in the District, I was curious to see if it would garner the attention of its sister restaurants in Philly (*Starr Restaurants are also in New York, Florida and New Jersey). The Starr restaurants are as much of a household name as the Eagles in Philly so people truly love what they’re serving. DC opened its arms wide where a reservation is almost impossible to secure even on a weeknight and the corner of Q and 14th street is always packed with foot traffic to and from the restaurant. Understandably the restaurant is packed to the brim: the French fare is authentic and good.
Stars of the hour included the french onion soup and the steak and frites. The french onion soup meets dead in the middle with its wine and beef attributes to the broth. The restaurants venture into lamb could use some more direction than the blah Moroccan spice mix permeating the dish. The charm of the interior reminds you of times spent in a Parisian café on Champ-Élyseés. Steven Starr has his hand on the cities pulse. A location on 14th streets booming corridor and a menu that tastes like times spent in France, Le Diplomate is just the first of his empire to grow around these parts.