When I walked through Blue Duck Tavern‘s grand double doors, I knew it was a special occasion, indeed. Instantly I was transformed into a proper lady who doesn’t crack dick jokes, for a night at least. Warm leather booths and comfortable wooden chairs sit in front of large, picturesque windows that look out at brightly-lit trees outside.
Inside, Blue Duck Tavern is elegant and welcoming all at once.The professional, helpful staff made me feel like a princess. After handing over our coats, we were seated among other relaxed, hushed diners enjoying the family-style meals that are a taste of contemporary Americana. Straight ahead, a pastry chef carefully assembled apple pies and poached pears, while others worked in front of a wood-burning oven in the open kitchen.
Start with a salad of sweet, crunchy Brussels sprouts. If Brussels sprouts make you cringe, they won’t here. Served with mushrooms, carrots, and squash, they were a perfect, light accompaniment to the famous roasted bone marrow. The marrow is very rich, very decadent, like a witch’s spell. I was expecting the golden, protein-rich marrow you find in osso buco, but this is different. It’s silky, almost pure fat. Long moats are served in a copper casserole with crostini, roasted garlic and sea salt.
The jumbo lump crab cake sits pretty on a bed of frisée and sweet mustard dressing. It’s one of the best crab cakes I’ve ever had. Fat, phat jumbo lump crabmeat, without a whisper of breading, and full of sweet summer flavor.
The star of the evening was the Muscovy duck breast and confit leg. Extremely tender and juicy, with a hint of ginger. The delicate, crispy skin has texture, while the flavor stood alone. The duck au jus makes a delicious gravy for creamy mashed potatoes. The meal put me in a slumber that I would happily welcome for a hundred years. Sweet prince? Take a hike. Come back when you get a reservation at Blue Duck Tavern.
To end an already magical night, I ordered the sweet chocolate cake, which makes a fiery entrance with its friends, chocolate mousse and rice crisp. Not to be outdone, the caramel cheesecake is creamy, with a lacy gingerbread crisp and cranberry compote. One dessert is really enough for 2 or 3 people, or one pair of thicc thighs.
Blue Duck Tavern at the Park Hyatt Hotel
1202 24th St. NW
Washington, DC 20037
Feature photo courtesy of Blue Duck Tavern