Category: "Washington, D.C."

Blue Duck Tavern - Washington, D.C.

April 30th, 2008

Link: http://www.blueducktavern.com/gallery/blueduck/home.html

The Blue Duck Tavern welcomes you with wholesome American fare prepared through simple, time-honored cooking methods such as roasting, braising, preserving and smoking. The new contemporary neighborhood tavern, designed by Tony Chi, evokes the warmth and convivial setting of a residential kitchen and gathering place.

Fresh produce and ingredients, arriving daily from regional purveyors and artisans, are an integral part of the seasonal menus featured at the Blue Duck Tavern.

Executive Chef Brian McBride and new Chef de Cuisine Michael Santoro prepare many dishes in the wood-burning oven, a focal point of the inviting open kitchen and the heart of this restaurant.

If the restaurant owners actually cared about this review, they couldn't be happier with the night I was there. It was an absolutely beautiful spring evening which allowed us to have dinner seated outside at Blue Duck.

Blue Duck features one of the more interesting menus that I've seen. You have appreciate the freshness that comes with the seasonal ingredients they feature, but I'm a little gunshy about a few items offered (e.g. "hot pigs trotter"). And I definitely was thankful for the plate of freshly sliced prosciutto that was given to us shortly after our basket of bread.

I'm not normally one to indulge in the seafood selections when I have other options, but I figured when I'm that close to Maryland I would do myself a disservice by not getting the Jumbo Lump Crabcakes. The crab cake entree was two substantially-sized crab cakes with plenty of crab meat in each. They were very good, but I must admit that they were nothing compared to the Wood Fired Diver Maine Scallops, which were easily the best scallops I've ever eaten. Consider that I've already stated I don't eat much seafood, but I love scallops.

For sides we went potato times two. The Roasted Fingerlings with bacon and onion were maybe a little under seasoned, but nothing that couldn't be addressed table-side. Or maybe they were very good but overshadowed by the Hand Cut BDT Triple Fries which were delicious, though I did wonder what might be a fun dipping sauce for them.

When you walk into Blue Duck, you are conveniently herded past the station where their popular apple pies are prepared. They recommend one to share, and it is plenty big enough for two people. "Would you like vanilla ice cream with that?" Of course I would. A small, nearly-personal pie with a delicious caramelized brown sugar top served with three big scoops of vanilla ice cream.

I guess I should mention the bottle of 2005 Montes "Alpha" Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile that we had. It, as well as everything served, knocked my socks off.