Thursday, August 19, 2010

Restaurant Review: Blue Duck Tavern

In case you have not heard, it's DC Restaurant Week! This presented the perfect opportunity for me to sample some of the best food in DC, some of which is found at The Blue Duck Tavern.

The Executive Chef of BDT, Brian McBride,  was on Capital Cooking this past month and helped us film our Sunday Brunch episode. After hearing Chef McBride's meticulous approach to each dish, I knew I had to dine at his restaurant.

I am certain I was one of the first to request a reservation for Restaurant Week. Originally, I requested dinner but due to a miscommunication with Open Table, BDT was not offering dinner. The staff was kind enough to call and offer complimentary drinks as an apology for having to change my reservation.One of my biggest complaints about DC restaurants is the service, so you can imagine my surprise when someone offered a sincere explanation and attempted to rectify the problem. Needless to say, our service at the restaurant was fabulous. We were well taken care of and our waiter made us feel right at home.
As I waited for my dining partner, Ryan, to arrive, I scanned the extensive menu. Typically for Restaurant Week, restaurants will scale down their menu and feature only the dishes they are known for. BDT must be known for many things because their menu reflected that of a regular menu. At first I thought the hostess handed me the wrong one; I was pleasantly surprised when I realized she had not.

For the starter, I ordered the Oven Baked Bone Marrow. While I was taken aback by the presentation, the Bone Marrow fulfilled any carnivorous feelings I may have had before lunch. Luckily I ordered the Artichoke and Eggplant Tart for the main course because this starter was rich and dripping in natural oils. 
The Artichoke and Eggplant tart reminded me of the homemade spinach and artichoke dip Ryan and I make. It was creamy and fresh but I found the crust to be tough and difficult to cut. Keeping with the vegetables, I also ordered Cucumbers with Yogurt Sauce as the side. These were also delicious but what I kept going back for was Ryan's pureed potato with garlic. What can I say? I'm from the Midwest; I was raised on meat and potatoes! 

Ryan ordered the Braised Escolar, a white fish often called the "super white tuna." The fish was light but the flavors hearty. Normally I would not expect fish to be served in a skillet but in this case, it works! 

Already feeling slightly uncomfortable due to the consumption of too much food, we powered on to dessert. I'd like to mention that the Apple Pie (right) is meant for two people. After expressing my love of desserts to our waiter, he let me order it...just for me. Ryan ordered the Key Lime and blackberry tart (left), which tasted delicious with the homemade whipped cream. Although everything we ate was delicious, nothing compares to the Apple Pie. I fell in love with first bite and had to stop myself from eating all of it!

Outside the weather was dreary but inside The Blue Duck Tavern everything was warm and inviting. We cannot wait to go back and enjoy another enticing meal.

The Blue Duck Tavern is located at: 
1201 24th Street NW
Washington, DC 20037
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Blue Duck Tavern

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