Birthday cards on a table

Birthday Celebration-Culinary Finds


Another year on the calendar means another birthday approaches and a time to be celebrated! I keep asking myself every year where is the time going?

Hmmm…I think once you get to a particular milestone age you aren’t as thrilled as what the number says on the birthday cake but always excited to do a little celebrating. Your special day is meant to be celebrated!

But mostly, there is always cake, or is there?

This year was just as fun as ever. My husband is full of creative ideas and plans. He seems to always out do himself in his party planning skills and has a way of making birthdays special.

As a side note, we’ll celebrate 29 years of marriage this year but it feels like it was just yesterday we met as 16 year old’s working in our local southern restaurant. Little did I know my two loves (him and cooking) would intersect in one place!

As I was saying, on birthdays he seems to always bring an added special touch and thought to the table and that’s always impressive and fun. I think he has me beat in the creative ideas department.

This year he didn’t disappoint. It was a culinary tour through Washington, D.C starting in late afternoon with a little gelato by the Wharf, coffee in town, some window shopping down a popular trendy area, and then there was dinner.

LeDiplomat business card

What sealed the deal to this fun day was what I call the slam dunk ending with a wonderful dinner highlighting the cuisine of France. Everything was amazing and I can say that I can’t wait to go back!

Interesting enough, just a day before the city was shut down due to a snowstorm but this day was beautiful. The sun was out, it was warm, and all snow practically all melted! Yeah! That is my kind of way to enjoy the snow, here today, gone tomorrow!

Come join me on our journey.

First Stop-Gelato

Dolcezza shop storefront

Our first stop took us down by the Wharf, OK lets be formal District Wharf. Relatively a new revamped area full of high rise residences and awesome restaurants and shopping that sits right on the waterway.

I might add its a fish lovers paradise with local fresh fish markets and fishmongers ready to please you with shrimp, crab, oysters, and lobster!

Dolcezza was a great stop to enjoy some of our favorite gelato! It brings back memories of our time in Italy. The gelato here is just awesome, might be equally as good as those on the Italian side streets.

Of course I was pacing myself and decided to go with a small cup to start. Just love all their flavors. They even had Georgia Butter Pecan, which made me feel right at home as a Georgia girl.

However, I decided to try a new flavor (Mascarpone Berry) along with a classic favorite (Stracciatella). So so good, creamy and delicious! Mascarpone Berry might be my new favorite flavor! The creaminess of the mascarpone with the mixed berry puree was outstanding!

I told myself I would only eat a little but its your birthday right?

Gelato from Dolcezza
This is a small???

Great first stop, I was excited to see where the next surprise visit would be.

Second Stop-Coffee Anyone?

swings coffee shop storefront DC

Our second stop led us to a new coffee shop we hadn’t tried before. My husband and I are both coffee lovers, who isn’t these days, huh? We love trying new places and finding our favorite places.

Swings Coffee Roasters was a keeper. Loved their location off a busy DC street tucked away under an office building. The atmosphere was fun and the selection of coffee drinks were classic.

I opted for the Latte, skim milk of course. I reminded myself I just had gelato so lets go skinny here. Love the large coffee mugs, reminded me of the many countless “Friends” episodes our family watched.

We timed it perfectly and got a quaint table in the back and chit chatted a bit and even making some tentative bucket list travel plans! Love it!

Slam Dunk-Poly Vu France Sae?

Our last and final stop was a restaurant that has been on our list for some time. It’s so popular that you have to make reservations days and weeks in advance.

LeDiplomate Restaurant

I can tell you it was definitely worth the wait. LeDiplomate is a DC favorite for french cuisine and is always packed! Words is out and locals and tourist know this is the real deal.

1st Course-Bread

If you visit a french restaurant you definitely know the bread is going to be a winner. We were brought a basket filled with three flavors and I can’t decide which one I liked best. Cranberry walnut, sourdough, or the classic baguette…..? Hmmmm I think I’m going with the sourdough.

Bread basket from LeDiplomate

2nd Course-Soup

We started with a classic Onion Soup Gratinee. Wow it was incredible. We reminisced about this dish we first had in Paris many years ago. Who can forget that bubbly, ooey, gooey Gruyere cheese on top. Totally makes the dish doesn’t it?

French Onion Soup in a bowl
Just look at this cheese!!!

It was so good and we were just getting warmed up working our way through the menu.

3rd Course-Entree

After studying the menu and all the amazing choices I can tell you it was super hard to make a decision. I ended up going with the Veal Escalope. It’s been so long since I’ve eaten veal. Hey its your birthday, right?

Oh my goodness, no words could describe after taking that first bite! Heaven in your mouth.

Veal Escalope on a plate
The sauce…….. Oh the sauce

The veal was perfectly cooked and so tender, loaded with mushrooms and onions. Oh did I mention it was bathed in the most wonderful mushroom wine cream sauce ever! I could drink that stuff like a cocktail, it was that good! It gets 5 stars from me!

4th Course-Dessert of Course

Again faced with a hard decision in what to pick! I was secretly wondering if my husband would allow me to just pick one of everything and make it a dessert circus but then I came back to reality. See for yourself.

LeDiplomate dessert menu
Hmmmm…. such a hard choice!

It was a tough decision between the Apple Tarte Tatin, Profiterole, or Pot de Creme. Ultimately, I went with the Milk Chocolate Pot de Creme. It just sounded good and light and it was exactly that. I loved the big quenelle of whipped cream on top sprinkled with those crunchy chocolate balls.

Milk Chocolate Pot de Creme

Digging in and making sure I got the cream with the chocolate made for an amazing spoonful of chocolate paradise. YUM! It was a perfect ending to a perfect day.

Between you and me, I guess I had to admit I was pretty stuffed but also pretty happy!

Remember I mentioned birthdays are filled with cake or maybe not? Instead of cake this year I opened up a new door for gelato and pot de creme. I think I’m okay with maybe not. Maybe only for this year.

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