GOLDEN TRIANGLE: FIRST LOOK: Le DeSales Offers Classic French Cuisine with a Modern Twist - Opens March 29th

Le DeSales, the highly anticipated 100-seat restaurant located in the heart of Golden Triangle, will be opening next week. The restaurant will specialize in innovative French cuisine led by Executive Chef/Partner Raphael Francois
Le DeSales offering classic French cuisine with a modern twist, will open on March 29th. Dishes are crafted from fresh, local ingredients whenever possible. Signature dishes include Artichokes with ricotta, lemon forte mandarin oranges; Red Snapper “Crudo” with peas, watermelon and mojito; Blue Crab Simplissime; Eggs with duxelles, green asparagus and croutons (cracked tableside); Smoked Pork with carrots; Hanger Steak, wood-smoked and served with an old-style pesto; Baked Cherry Clams with greens and parmesan cheese, as well as Cod cooked in turnip juice with apricots and roe.
Menu Prices: $12 to $32
Executive Chef Raphael Francois began his culinary career in 1997 working alongside Claude Lavalle at Le Giverny in Tournai, Belgium. From there he went on to hold positions in some of the top Michelin-starred kitchens throughout France and Belgium, including Comme Chez Soi, Château du Mylord, La Maison du Boeuf, Sea Grill, Hôtel de Crillon, Four Seasons Hotel Georges V, Hélène Darroze, Le Chalet d’Adrien and Château de Curzay. The fine dining restaurant Hélène Darroze at the Connaught Hotel in London was awarded one Michelin star after five months, and two Michelin stars in January 2011 under Raphael's watch. Most recently, Raphael held the position as executive chef at Le Cirque restaurant in New York City, where he served for two years.
Le DeSales features an expansive list of New World and Old World wines showcasing production styles and vintages that complement French cuisine. 100 wines are available by the bottle and more than 20 wines by the glass. Prices range from $35 to $400 by the bottle and $10 to $20 by the glass. 
Photo: Washington City Paper
A selection of fresh, seasonal cocktails crafted by Mixologists Lukas B. Smith and JD L. Quioco, who consulted for the restaurant, are also available and priced from $10 to $13 each. The restaurant also features six beers on tap and at least 12 beers by the bottle.
Aziz Safi and Farid Nouri worked with Areetoon Jayanan Architecture & Interior Design to create the 3,100-square foot, 119-seat space, which has a tranquil feel inspired by modern French and Belgian brasseries. Finishes were chosen to create a warm and inviting space. Major design elements include warm hues, custom millwork, old Chicago blanc walls, brown oak beams, and rustic wood flooring throughout. 
Other highlights include a 300-bottle glass-enclosed wine display, benches upholstered in steel-blue velvet, vintage railing sconces in rustic iron, as well as butcher-block dining tables paired with leather and solid oak steam-bent chairs. 
A dramatic eight-foot wall installation of gazing eyes is one of the focal points of the space as is the charcuterie station made of floral and subway tile, which is visible to guests in the dining room and bar.
 The main dining room accommodates 68 guests seated. Those looking to focus their attention on the restaurants expansive wine selection are encouraged to grab a seat at the 14-seat white stone bar or 16-seat lounge. 
All of the front glass opens to the street allowing an open European feel during Spring and Summer months
A sidewalk café with views of the historic Mayflower Hotel is also available during the spring and summer months (weather permitting) and can accommodate an additional 18 guests.

Having the opportunity to visit prior to the opening was an absolute pleasure. Every single person involved with the restaurant was so welcoming, and some of the conversations felt like old friends meeting up after a while. The food that I tasted was exceptional, and certainly persuaded me that a return after the opening is a must. The cocktails created by Lukas (Le DeSales Ricky & Golden Beard) were herb infused masterpieces. In my conversation with Jordan, I learned that the restaurant will open on the 29th with dinner service, that lunches will follow in about 2 weeks and that you can expect to see a Brunch offering 2 weeks after that. The Bar & Happy Hour will begin almost immediately - so there's a good reason to visit Le DeSales, and stay to eat.

General Manager: Jordan Wroblewski
Executive Chef/Partner: Raphael Francois
Consulting Mixologists: Lukas B. Smith & JD L Quioco
Director of Operations: Romeo Santos

Hours of Operation: 
Lunch: Monday through Saturday, from 11:30 AM to 2 PM
Dinner: Monday through Thursday, from 5 PM to 11 PM; Friday and Saturday, from 5 PM to 12 AM
Bar Hours: Monday through Saturday, from 11:30 AM to 12 AM
Happy Hour: Monday through Saturday, from 4 PM to 7 PM. Drink specials will include Red, White, and Sparkling wine selections from $6. Belgian beer for $6, and a TBA Champagne special.

Le DeSales is located at;
1725 DeSales Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20036
More information at