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.
See availability for 1,000 point tables
Sat 5:30PM - 6:00PM 9:00PM - 10:00PM
The food is excellent and the service great. Get a reservation
The food was great. The service was terrific! We all had a great time.
The portion sizes were on the lighter side, but everything was delicious - the kind of place that you leave feeling good!
Our first time to Le DeSales and we LOVED IT! Fabulous food. Nice menu assortment; limited but with great options. Nice wine list though heavy on the high end bottles when that doesn't seem to be the clientele. Lovely interior. Small comfortable restaurant serving personalized meals. Only thing missing was some good modern or classic French music. The music didn't fit the restaurant. They also could use some soundproofing tiles or fabric on the ceiling to help combat the patron noise. Nice it was so busy, but made it hard to hear at our table. We really enjoyed it and will be back! Yay
A favorite lunchtime spot that consistently delivers good, tasteful food with a unique French uptick. I had the meatballs and foccacia -- at $18 -- something that was very good but easily made at home or local Italian restaurant. The food is served in 'smaller' plates which gives the appearance that you are sampling food. As an appetizer understandable. The atmosphere is fun and upbeat. Twice now I've had lunch with a female business colleague and both times seated in the teeny 2-some seats whereas other male guests are given 4-tops. I'm always left feeling like I have to cram my belongings in a teeny half-booth and been sent to the 'child's table'. Just noticing the practice of the hostess Overall, it's a good option in the location and worth a happy hour visit.
Le Desalles has become one of my wife and my favorite places to go. The food is all great, the atmosphere is lovely, and the service is excellent. If you go, ask for Julie, she is the best!
The only bad thing was that my water glass had lipstick on it. I have no doubt it was an unusual over-site. My wife loves French food and French wine. I’m pretty uncultured. Yet, great food is great food. The food was excellent. The steak and fish were amazing...and so were the vegetables...and so were the deserts. We had a 7:30 appointment, had a great time, and were back in our car by 9:45. We had drinks and coffee, and the bill came to about $200 with a 22% tip. Not inexpensive, but great value considering how great the food was. We’re going to try some other restaurants, but look forward to going back!
This restaurant was great! The scallops were the best ever and the service was impeccable. I highly recommend it to all.
Interesting menu, very tasty, French (mostly). My husband had tagliatelle with rabbit, I pan-fried dorade with red onions and spinach. Only downside: across a low barrier, people mingle and shout during happy hour. We will return but come after 7pm when happy hour ends.
Everything was outstanding except for one thing. My salad was over-dressed and soggy.
Food was amazing and our server did an excellent job helping pair wine with our meals. I wouldn’t consider much of the food traditional French quinine with delicious sauces, but it was excellent. Do yourself a favor and try the duck roast beef.
We had a very nice family get together at Le DeSale. They were able to accommodate a party of 9. The food was excellent. The Bronzino was excellent and I would also recommend the Lobster Bisque. The service was excellent! Thank you for a very nice evening.
We had wonderful seafood dinner with a vegetable appetizer. The restaurant was quaint and lively and the waitress was very friendly and offered great recommendations. I wish they had a few more whole grain and vegetarian options on the menu and featured local ingredients, though.
Delicious food. Amazing service. Slightly overpriced in my opinion though.
Loud but reliably good
Excellent restaurant! Enjoyed it very much! Staff advice was great!
Very interesting menu and excellent service. Our food selections took advantage of the wide-ranging menu: hanger steak, crab cakes and a burger, all wonderful.
We dined there on a beautiful late summer evening so took an outside table. (This also allowed us to avoid the pretty noisy interior.) Since the restaurant is located on a quiet side street this made the experience even better. Eclectic wine list organized in a way that may need explanation, which was readily provided to a good result.
Le DeSales was a wonderful find, in the midst of bustling D.C. It reminded me of some of the lovely bistros I dined when I lived in Europe. The food was delicious, with the typical bistro offerings prepared with that little extra something. The service was excellent, my server was always nearby to attend to me needs and he was very pleasant. The noise level was a bit much for me, but then it was in the midst of a bust lunch service. I can't wait to go back for dinner! I highly recommend Le DeSales to anyone who loves good French food and is a fan of a bistro atmosphere!
Tasty, but small portions
Quaint and lovely. Perfect dining experience.
Short staffed but what a great team. Great food, attentive service. A favorite
Love the charcuterie and the ny strip!
Nice place, food was ‘meh’ - not great but not bad.
Service was good but got appetizer after the meal (tho’ server nicely comped).
Fantastic food, wine and service. A bit too loud for us this visit
I love this place. The food, the wine, all terrific. I love this place, and refer to it as my “.cafeteria”
The Restaurant Week menu was amazing! We sat outside and it was quiet. It was almost like we had a private dinner presentation. The wine pairing was also really nice.
Awesome every time!
I had an absolutely wonderful experience here....the service was stellar. The people who work at DeSales are professional, and yet so warm and personable...that is a hard balance to strike. The food was wonderful. The room is nice, but noisy...of course that's something that can be fixed.
The wine list and cocktail list are thoughtful, good, and we'll presented.
Overall, the experience was great
Much too noisy. Could not hear my dinner partner. The food was just ok. The menu was a bistro menu.
There was one corporate table that simply dominated the entire restaurant. The staff was pleasant and competent.
Great place but the noise level was excruciating. On balance I would recommend it but be prepared to scream at your companions all night.
We had a very nice meal at LE DESALES last Saturday. The food (gazpacho, bavette, foie gras, and pasta) were delicious and flavorful. It's a shame that the restaurant was almost empty; I don't understand why an establishment with this caliber of food is not full on a Saturday night. We did find our server to be a little gruff and unrefined.
We celebrated a birthday and were treated royally. The food and service were impeccable.
Really love how these items were prepared. Tasty!
Really loved everything. It was a wonderfully delicious meal and a beautiful restaurant. Definitely a hidden jewel in DC.
They serve champagne in wine glass!
The tartare has nothing to do with a tartare, it had cole slaw on it!
Even the crème brûlée doesn’t taste like a real one!
The traditional bavette was served with oignons instead of French fries!
Terrific wine selection. Wish I were part of a group, so I could have sampled more of the tempting menu items. The duck pate was excellent.
Food and service was incredible. Very attentive staff and they have a great lunch special
Too loud, tiny salty salmon dish was not good.
Fabulous experience! Everything was perfect. Especially accommodating a 4 year old for lunch on a busy day as well.
Nice place. A little too noisy. Mushroom ravioli with shrimp was delicious.