Le Diplomate is built in the image of a Parisian brasserie serving classic dishes in a well restored corner building. It is a large place (300 seats) with a huge ‘enclosed’ garden room seating area on the sidewalk and unsheltered tables on the other sidewalk. Inside you’ll find a combination of tables and bench seating and free standing small tables. There is not much distance between them. The red upholstery is dotted with brass as are the railings on the few stairs between levels, the columns are lit from within and the ceiling is high. Windows are on 2 sides of the room and there may have been music in the background but it was hard to tell over the hum of the crowd. Paper covers the wood table tops but it is set with a cloth napkin. It’s been here 9 years and really popular so reservations are in order. Service was reasonable but not overly friendly.
First delivered was a Bread basket containing 3 types of bread – country white, baguette and cherry-walnut dark bread. A nice bowl of softened butter was in with the selection. All had good crisp crusts and dense interiors. They were made in house. I particularly liked the dark bread although it was not a good mixer like the others.
Gougeres were made with gruyere, pate a choux and fleur de sel. They were nicely light and really cheese flavored. They were served warm, not hot with a bit of salt on top. There were plenty in an order and a perfect appetizer with lots of flavor.
Steak Frites was herb roasted and topped with maitre d’butter and served with pommes frites. It was a hanger steak cut of beef and cooked a good rare, as ordered. The butter on top managed to slide off the top on the way to the table and moistened the fries more than the meat but there was enough to go around. The fries were a small cut and nicely crisp although likely a frozen product. The meat was tasty and the fries came with mayo for dipping. It was a good and satisfying plate.
We wanted a green vegetable for a side dish. The server checked and the kitchen could offer spinach or green beans. We chose a side of spinach and although the waiter tried to get us to order 2, one was plenty to split for two people. It was nicely tossed with lots of garlic for a fun strong flavor for the baby leaves.
We passed on dessert but I snagged a photo of the menu for your information.