Joe Biden, Kamala Harris Dine at The Diplomat on Memorial Day

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden were joined by Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff for lunch at the trendy French restaurant Le Diplomate on Remembrance Day. This is Biden’s first sit-down dinner as president. He’s previously stopped for bagels at Georgetown’s Call Your Mother and picked up Cinco de Mayo tacos in Las Gemelas near Union Market to highlight the Small Business Administration’s Restaurant Revitalization Fund.

The two couples were greeted with cheers as their procession stopped unexpectedly at around 11:40 a.m., after a morning visit to Arlington Cemetery. They were then escorted through a side entrance on 14th Street.

The Bidens have frequented Philadelphia restaurateur Stephen Starr’s bustling brewery several times before. The president previously opted for the popular “American hamburger,” a riff on the fast food classic featuring American pickles and cheese adorned with miniature French and American toothpick flags.

The restaurant is renowned for welcoming VIPs, or as the staff calls them “PPX”, particularly extraordinary people. Jill Biden was previously known in the dining room as “MA” for “Must Accommodation”. Less important personalities, such as neighborhood regulars, are nicknamed “TTA” for “Try to accommodate”.

The restaurant is a hotspot for the political elite on both sides of the aisle. Barack and Michelle Obama went there. The same goes for Ivanka Trump. (His dad didn’t. He only ate at one DC restaurant in his four years of service – his own hotel’s steakhouse). Almost every senator or big wig you can think of has been spotted there at some point. In 2018, former EPA chief Scott Pruitt got into trouble for wanting to use his motorcade’s flashing lights and sirens to get to a Le Diplomate reservation faster.

Despite his bipartisan support, right-wing pundits already appear to be using the choice of restaurant as an opportunity to criticize Biden. “I imagine the White House advance and communication teams had a day off,” Sean Spicer tweeted, noting that this is a “very high-end French restaurant [sic]. “

Culinary editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind DC’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian as of July 2016, she was culinary writer and columnist Young & Hungry at the Washington City Paper. She is originally from Colorado and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania.

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