Le Diplomate has some fantastic things on the menu. Their half roasted chicken with au jus, the peppery steak au poivre, and not to mention a phenomenal burger – you really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. However their plats du jour, or plates of the day, should not be overlooked. Often special items, or daily specials on many menus are items that are specially ordered in smaller quantity, or only prepared for, that certain day. Sometimes it is because the item is very expensive and the restaurant can’t regularly stock it in case it doesn’t sell. Take for example Le Diplomate’s Thursday special Dover Sole Meunière priced at $48 taking the slot for the most expensive item on the menu. Eater DC recently ran a story on the Dover Sole at Le Diplomate and published the following:
General Manager William Washington explains that this means taking the best elements out of French bistros from the 1950s up until today and combining them under one stylized roof. And no self-respecting idealized brasserie would be complete without serving dover sole, Washington says. That’s why, even though the costs are “staggering,” it’s a must-have menu item for Le Diplomate.
“We’re almost paying people to eat the dish, it’s so horrifyingly expensive,” Washington says. “But what it does is build the whole experience. It’s a treat. Customers remember dover sole.”
We love the throw back idea of a daily special and you will too. While everyday has something amazing, we love the specials offered on Tuesday and Sunday. Also it’s worth noting we’ve found the restaurant a tad less crowded with reasonable wait times in case you’re just popping in on these nights as well.
Tuesday Special – Lobster Risotto
We just love the perfectly cooked, plump arboreal rice and the rich cream sauce it’s swimming in. The lobster is also very noticeable in this dish. A large claw tops the dish with tender, sweet lobster pieces throughout. Reasonably priced at $34.00 for the amount of lobster one receives, and taking into account that each risotto dish must be prepared to order. There is much work that goes into this seemingly easy dish. For a warm, comforting alternative to pasta, we love coming on Tuesdays for the lobster risotto and a great glass of wine.
Sunday Special – Chicken Marengo
If you like braised chicken dishes, and aren’t afraid to dip perfectly toasted bread into a rich, flavor packed sauce at the end, then head to Le Diplomate on Sunday nights for their daily special, chicken Marengo. This classic dish dates back in time and was named to celebrate the Battle of Marengo, a Napoleonic victory of June 1800. They serve it here at Le Diplomate very traditionally: chicken leg, thigh and breast are sauteed in olive oil and garlic with pearl onions, tomatoes, and mushrooms. Served in a small cast iron skillet nestled in a deep and complex sauce of au jus, red wine, and herbs, this decadent dish is finished with a perfectly cooked over easy fried quail egg. Served with toast points for sauce collection, this hearty dish is perfect for a cold night, yet oddly light enough for a warm spring afternoon. However we prefer to be bundled up sipping some Port and enjoying this amazing French classic.