My husband had a conference in Washington DC that coincided with my birthday, so we celebrated by visiting two fantastic restaurants, Founding Farmers and Le Diplomate.
On the first night we went to Founding Farmers, a restaurant my husband found by accident on a previous visit. It was a good thing I made reservations a few weeks, because this is one hopping place. The bar area was packed with customers waiting to get a table.
We got a tasty drink at the bar, the El Presidente, which had rum, pineapple, lime and a housemade grenadine. I even got a second one with dinner.
The crowd was a nice mix of locals, tourists, couples and families. Everyone would feel comfortable here. It's a really cool looking place, with lots of old-fashioned wood mixed with more modern metal elements.
We started with Farmers' Chips and Crisps served with three dips- pimento cheese, french onion and green goddess. It was so good, we took the leftovers home to snack on the next day.
I had the Southern Pan Fried Chicken and Waffles, and it may be the best entree I have ever eaten. The chicken was so juicy and the waffles with the syrup, oh my goodness, it was the perfect combination. (It came with macaroni and cheese and I ordered potato salad as a side; both were wonderful.) My husband regretted not ordering it too, although he enjoyed his surf and turf, so I reluctantly gave him a taste. Then I reverted to eating like a prisoner guarding her food.
We shared a heavenly vanilla milkshake for dessert and five days later, I am still dreaming about this food. If you get a chance to visit DC, you must go to Founding Farmers. It's three blocks west of the White House.
The following night, we visited Le Diplomate, a restaurant I found on Serious Eats. I loved the vibe in this place, very French bistro. This seemed more like a date place, with mostly couples there.
There is a huge table filled with fresh baked bread, and the cranberry walnut bread in our bread basket was so delicious, i could have just eaten an entire basket of that for dinner and been satisfied.
We started with Onion Soup Gratinee for me and my husband ordered Escargot, which he loved.
For our entrees, I chose the Steak Frites, which came with a butter on top. I thoroughly enjoyed it. My husband raved about his Veal Escalope, which came with a green onion and chanterelle cream sauce. he said it was the best veal dish he ever had, and the accompanying Au Gratin Potatoes rivaled his veal dish.
Before our dessert arrived, two black Escalades pulled up in front of the restaurant, and Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) came in all smiles, and took a table in back. I'm sure they enjoyed their meal as much as we did.
We shared the Chocolate Pot de Creme, and this was the best dessert I have ever had. My husband loved it as well, and there was a little dueling spoons in there for a minute. But have no fear, we both won.
If you find yourself in DC, make sure to visit both restaurants; I know we will be returning on our next trip.
Founding Farmers' website is here.
Le Diplomate's website is here.