Stephen Starr Is Making News In Philly And Washington D.C.


Leading off the news today, Starr’s D.C. outpost, Le Diplomate, got a big, wet, sloppy kiss of a write-up in the Washington Post. Roxanne Roberts gushed about the place (and about Starr), talking about the famous people who’ve come through the doors (Michelle Obama, Newt Gingrich, Joe Biden, etc) and Starr’s history.

For us, the most interesting stuff was about the restaurant itself and how it has quickly become one of the hottest addresses in a city full of very hot addresses. Here’s Roberts:

The bistro is the brainchild of Philadelphia restaurateur-impresario Stephen Starr, who made his fortune correctly predicting what audiences want — and even he’s surprised with the success of the Marais-inspired mob scene, his first foray into Washington. It’s not a power spot in the traditional clubby, steak-and-martini sense, nor the only French restaurant in the city.

But the guy from Philly guessed that Washington was primed for his meticulously detailed brand of theatrics. It’s not just about the food, or the wine, or the bread. What we want is an experience, this time a two-hour trip to Paris complete with crusty baguettes, steak frites and naughty pictures in the bathrooms.

Nice, right? But that’s not the only news on Starr today…

Sure, things are going swimmingly for Le Diplomate in Washington D.C., but closer to home, it looks like there’s trouble in Philly.

The Insider is reporting that Starr and Aimee Olexy (who are partnered up at Talula’s Garden and Talula’s Table) are done before they got started in Fishtown–at a location where they were due to open another of Olexy’s locally-sourced, garden-based restaurants. Word is, things fell apart because the project was taking too long and there was no chance it was going to hit its proposed spring opening date, but there were apparently some other issues as well–though what those might have been, no one is saying.

As to whether or not Starr is going to continue developing some other concept there? Klein doesn’t think it’s likely, but you can check out all the details over on the Insider.

How Stephen Starr Made Le Diplomate The Hottest Table In Town [Washington Post]
Starr Olexy Fishtown Restaurant Is Not Happening [Insider]