Le DeSales

4.5
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486 reviews
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$31 to $50
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French
"Have you met Le DeSales? You ought to..."
Tom Sietsema/Washington Post

Warm and enticing, Le DeSales is a french restaurant located in South Dupont, across the street from the historic Mayflower Hotel. Michelin-starred Chef Raphael François presents a rustic French/American cuisine in an informal, cozy, and romantic setting.

For its bar program, Le DeSales accentuates Old World liqueurs, with a focus on regional beers and ciders. The custom cocktail menu includes the GoldenBeard and the DeSales Rickey on draft. The specialized wine list includes diversified appellations encompassing regions as unexpected as Macedonia and Portugal, with a concise focus on France, Italy, and California.

Le DeSales is available for large parties, semi-private events, and buyouts. Outdoor seating is available, weather permitting.

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What 486 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
Food
4.5
Service
4.4
Ambience
4.2
Value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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R
Rusty
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 6 March 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

My friend had the orange curry soup and endive salad and I had the beef bourguignin special which were delicious. Service was efficient and very pleasant.

a
afhj
Washington DC
26 reviews
Dined on 5 March 2020
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience3

The $27 lunch special is quite good. Portions are not small! So we decided against dessert. I thought the pate was especially tasty.

h
heyarnold
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on 3 March 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

A delicious meal! For food, we ordered the burrata, the cavatelli, and the duck and split every dish between the two of us. We were both plenty full (and had arrived quite hungry) at the end. The mushrooms in both the burrata and the cavatelli were amazing, and the duck was one of the best I've had. The fat was perfectly rendered and deliciously crispy. We ordered the Daisy Basil cocktail for two solely for the fun of a cocktail meant for two, but it was quite sweet and was reminiscent of a white sangria. That was the only strike on the evening. The bread in the bread basket was beautiful, though a bit confusing to have it served with what I think was a honey butter. It was oddly sweet and I think a nice herb butter would have been a better complement. Regardless, we had a delicious meal and the service was outstanding. We will definitely be returning. I want to dive deeper into their amazing wine list!

F
Fooodddd
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 29 February 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Great food, service, and set-up of the restaurant. Also, while the food was very upscale, the music was 80's and 90's hits which I loved.

BF
BarbF
1 review
Dined on 27 February 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Waitress and chef accommodated food allergies. Would definitely go there again. Delicious! Note: only certain wines available by the glass.

JC
JohnC
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on 26 February 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Tom Sietsema's 2017 review still holds up three years later. The food is excellent, and the $27 lunch special remains a very good deal. Well worth a visit.

MS
vipMatthewS
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on 25 February 2020
Overall4Food4Service5Ambience4

Prices were a little different from the online menu and the in-restaurant menu, but not pricey enough to balk over. Great service and delicious food. Cute spot.

m
marciak
1 review
Dined on 20 February 2020
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience2

great food. fabulous location and excellent service. Our waiter knew how to make my drink. That counts!!!!!!!!!!

BT
vipBeckiT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on 15 February 2020
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience5

Restaurant Week was great here.

KH
KathleenH
1 review
Dined on 11 February 2020
Overall4Food5Service5Ambience5

The charcuterie combo is excellent and you get to pick what you want on it.

W
vipWazza
Washington DC
53 reviews
Dined on 7 February 2020
Overall5Food4Service5Ambience5

Once again, just a great place to have dinner. Not inexpensive, but a good value for the level of quality and the level of service. HIGHLY recommend!

HB
HenriB
1 review
Dined on 6 February 2020
Overall2Food2Service3Ambience1

It is terribly noisy and one cannot have a conversation across the table. Terrible

J
Jason
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on 4 February 2020
Overall4Food4Service5Ambience4

Good service from waitress and maître d'. Cocktails were well made (I had an aged Negroni). Entrees were mixed - one was great, the other was so-so. Prices for everything were a little high for what it was, but within norms for DC.

Biggest reason it didn't get five stars overall was how noisy the restaurant was, even only 60% full on a weeknight. I'm young and have great hearing, and my companion and I had a hard time talking even at adjacent seats. I don't know how someone older or with hearing problems would manage, or how you could talk across a table, or what would happen if the place were packed.

l
viplucretious
Washington DC
29 reviews
Dined on 25 January 2020
Overall4Food4Service5Ambience5

good food, great service. IMHO not a candidate for top tier of restaurants in dc but definitely worth a visit.

MC
vipMichaelC
Houston
41 reviews
Dined on 23 January 2020
Overall4Food4Service5Ambience4

For being a French restaurant I did not totally get that flavor. The prices were reasonable waitress outstanding . We had unexpected guests join us so we all tried several courses all good but none got that yummy taste but overall still a solid 4

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on 23 January 2020
Overall3Food3Service3Ambience4

Lunch menu is a little limiting.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 18 January 2020
Overall1Food2Service2Ambience2

Went for restaurant week.
The food they offered was cheap and not particularly exciting. There was no value in the offering. The service was rushed. Remarkably unimpressive.

ML
vipMargaretL
Washington DC
16 reviews
Dined on 15 January 2020
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience3

Good (but noisy) lunch at Le DeSales. I definitely recommend this place -- especially for those looking for a location for a business/weekday lunch option in the Connecticut and K Street area. The french-themed menu has a nice variety of options that don't require you to forego healthiness for tastiness. Deviled eggs were good (filling could have been a bit creamier) and I like that they came with greens. Pate was quite flavorful as well. My companions had the cod, which came with a very nice and substantial bed of vegetables. Timely and polite service. Very noisy -- three people seated at a small 4-top had a hard time hearing each other.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on 9 January 2020
Overall5Food3Service5Ambience4

Appetizers were excellent. Entrees were not that good. The steak was overdone and the crabcakes were mostly filler. The service was absolutely amazing though! Our server was outstanding. I would go back for charcuterie and cheese.

DB
DwightB
Washington DC
26 reviews
Dined on 9 January 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

Nothing salty and nothing too sweet. The mushroom soup was absolutely great and not a miserly serving. The same for the cod, an unexpected piece of cod within a plate of accompaniments of veggies and other ingredients that were very tasty. All the food was fresh. Not sure what the sauce was but certainly added to the enjoyment of the food. The chocolate tort was good. The presentation was pleasing and the service accommodating. This a go-back-to place. I'm anxious to return for a dinner time menu.

LN
vipLarryN
Washington DC
38 reviews
Dined on 4 January 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Dinner at Le DeSales was excellent. The food was superb, the service was knowledgeable and attentive, and the ambiance was delightful. Highly recommended.

JR
vipJosephR
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on 2 January 2020
Overall5Food5Service4Ambience4

Great service and an excellent meal, well priced.

SL
vipShirleyL
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on 30 December 2019
Overall4Food5Service5Ambience5

Very french restaurant. The waiters are trained and appear to speak french. The menu had enough options but not too many where you are overwhelmed. Servers give great suggestions. I had the duck and the creme brûlée for desert. I would definitely go again and try something new.

M
Maria
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on 28 December 2019
Overall3Food2Service5Ambience4

Wonderful service, good atmosphere, but beef tartar was the worst I’ve ever tried. Serviced on a long baguette with mayonnaise, with tons on onions and a few drops of oversalted beef. Doesn’t worth the money, and tastes nothing like real tartar. Had a stomach ache at night.

Duck pate was great —as always. And service was excellent.

E
vipEdward
Montreal
12 reviews
Dined on 28 December 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

I was celebrating my wedding anniversary and my wife and i were received very friendly.
We were also offered a free glass of sparkling wine for this significative ocassion.
Great service and very good food.
I really recommend it.

AS
ArchanaS
Las Vegas
2 reviews
Dined on 27 December 2019
Overall3Food2Service4Ambience3

Great service. Okay food. I asked the bartender for a suggestion for a fresh drink, he suggested wine. Nuff said.
But the service was great from the bar and the wait staff.

KG
KarenG
Washington DC
19 reviews
Dined on 23 December 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

First time visiting this restaurant and can't wait to go back! Food was amazing ... special lentil soup, flank steak and fries, Duorado, and more! Wine list was very good and the sommelier was very knowledgeable. Great food and wine and the service was perfect.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 16 December 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

I very much felt like a Very Important Person: checked into regularly; easy exchanges with management memorable sea bass - delectable!

L
vipLaney
Washington DC
29 reviews
Dined on 13 December 2019
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience4

Nice location and efficient service. Food a bit overspiced. No bread offered despite ordering soup. Coffee refills not offered either.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 10 December 2019
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience4

Very nice place with good food at a reasonable price

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 10 December 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Dinner with a friend I had not seen in years before a show. Terrific dining experience. Cannot believe the quality you get for money! I had the venison, which was tenderized perfectly and had a phenomenal sauce, and my friend got a pasta dish that was excellent.
Will definitely be back.

LF
vipLouF
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined on 9 December 2019
Overall2Food2Service3Ambience4

Not up to previous meals

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Indiana
3 reviews
Dined on 2 December 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Best cheeseburger ever.

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S
vipSmarttoddy
New Orleans
91 reviews
Dined on 25 November 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Love this place which is walk-able from my hotel. Also great service, a good wine list and wonderful food.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 23 November 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Excellent service, tasty food and great drinks!

DM
DavidM
Baltimore
5 reviews
Dined on 23 November 2019
Overall4Food4Service5Ambience5

Service was excellent. Food was very good with the exception of the Onion soup which my friend had. It was "OK". I would have expected better from a french styled restaurant. Had 4 appetizers and they were all excellent. Lamb and steak dishes were very good. Definitely would return.

J
Jenny
1 review
Dined on 22 November 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Came in with a group of 6 and Chuong, the manager, took great care of us. He gave great recommendations for eating family style. Our favorites: burrata, whole bronzino, beef tartare (AMAZING) and pork loin. Drinks were delicious too, def try the Desales Rickey. Will be coming back!

WB
vipWheatBelt
Washington DC
31 reviews
Dined on 22 November 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Great restaurant in the heart of the city. Food, service and atmosphere were great. I do not drink, but the wall of wine for selection was impressive. Dessert chocolate tart with coffee gelato for two was delicious. I highly recommend this venue. Price point is average for exceptional food. Dine early in the evening or make a reservation because they are busy.

K
Kelley
Cleveland
3 reviews
Dined on 16 November 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

The meal started with the best bread and butter basket I’ve ever had and ended with a silky smooth chocolate tart. I went here by myself on a business trip. I got the beef bavette and a red wine the waiter recommended. It was very good! For dessert, I had the chocolate tart and recommended tawny port. It was a great meal, and I didn’t see any lapse in service even though I was dining alone. I highly recommend Le DeSales!

s
vipsoniap
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on 15 November 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Warm and cozy and food was yummy!

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Le DeSales is rated 4.5 stars by 486 OpenTable diners.

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