Here’s the dish! My coworker recently raved to me about the Blue Duck Tavern in Georgetown (located at 1201 24th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20037 inside the Park Hyatt), ensuring it would be a blog-worthy visit. I wrote it down on my list of recommendations people have given me since starting this blog. I knew I’d eventually make it there, but when I learned my DC Metro Church Brunch Bunch group was going to visit the legendary restaurant, I was ecstatic that my opportunity would come sooner than later.
When I arrived at the Blue Duck Tavern, I immediately fell in love with their open-kitchen concept. A perfect marriage of rustic and modern, patrons’ food is created out in the open for all to see. I literally walked through the pastry kitchen and a fresh batch of apple pies on my way to our table. As a food enthusiast, I loved the opportunity to get an up close view of of the preparation and plating of the food. As an OCD clean freak, it was also nice to see the environment in which my food was being prepared. Blue Duck Tavern takes their level of accountability to a new level with their open-kitchen concept.
As I joined my group (at the Chef’s Table in a semi-private area of the restaurant), I immediately began perusing the menu offerings. I’m at a place in my journey with food exploration where I’m willing to try things outside of my taste palate at least once. When our group leader suggested ordering a few plates of the Wood Oven-Roasted Bone Marrow ($17), which they serve with everything bagel crust and spring garlic butter, for the table, I jumped at the opportunity to taste it. The perfectly seasoned marrow was loaded with coarsely ground spices and garlic and just might have been the most delicious thing I’ve ever tasted! I can’t tell you how important it is to step outside of your comfort zone when visiting restaurants. The bone marrow is definitely something I would not have ordered on my own, but now that I’ve exposed myself to something new, it’s an item I will continue to order if offered at a restaurant. Having passed through the pastry kitchen on the way to our table, I opted for an order of Pecan Sticky Buns ($10) to start my meal. Loaded with tons of pecans (that’s pee-cans for us southerners, not pa-kahns) and drizzled in a warm caramel sauce, I ate more of the sharable starter than I anticipated.
Having started with perfectly sweet sticky buns, I knew I wanted something savory for my main course. The thing I love most about dining with large groups is it gives you the opportunity to see (and sample) more of the menu. We ordered a wide variety of entrees including Baked Eggs ($16), the Buckwheat Waffle ($15), the Short Rib Hash ($18), Blueberry Pancakes ($15), and Shrimp and Grits ($20). Everything was fresh and delicious, and they stayed true to their mission of serving “simple, rustic food with an artisan approach.”
The Blue Duck Tavern is definitely on the higher end of the scale of restaurants. At any given time of the day, you can bump into the heavy hitters of the city there, but they manage to maintain a high level of decorum without feeling too pretentious. If you’re looking to make an impression or celebrate a special occasion, it’s the perfect place to be a little fancy and spend a lot of money. While I enjoyed the food and the overall experience, the one (and only) thing I did not appreciate was their primarily a la carte menu. At theses prices, I just feel like sides should be included, not something you have to order in addition to your entree. I’ll definitely be back, in fact, I’m already planning to celebrate a special occasion with dinner there in the near future.
Until next time, folks. Keep dishing!