Upscale Restaurant Pleases Stomach, Pinches Wallet
Published: Friday, October 21, 2011
Updated: Friday, October 21, 2011 10:10
Although its name may suggest otherwise, the Blue Duck Tavern is a truly upscale eatery. Located in Foggy Bottom, this budget-buster is worth the splurge for a special occasion.
The wait staff reflects the high-end nature of the restaurant; the waiters were very helpful and eager to elaborate on the dishes available on the menu as well as provide their own personal recommendations. Be forewarned, however, that they tended to suggest the pricier menu items.
In addition to its woodsy yet modern decor, another aspect of the interior that distinguishes this upscale eatery from the plethora of others along M Street has to be its open kitchen. Patrons are encouraged to walk through as their food is being prepared and to strike up a conversation with the chefs about their food. This fosters interaction with food creation on a level most other restaurants fail to provide.
The Blue Duck Tavern, however, is not for the culinarily unadventurous. With dinner selections including oven-roasted bone marrow, crispy veal sweetbreads and braised rabbit, those unaccustomed to such gamey fare may be caught off-guard. Yet don't be scared away, as there are other options for the simpler palates. On a recent trip with my family over Parents' Weekend, the three of us split, at the recommendation of our waitress, the squash soup with eggnog reduction and caramelized walnuts, the roasted Maine scallops, the huckleberry pork chops and the creamy rice side. Each dish was delicious in its own way, but the clear highlight of our dinner was, without a doubt, the braised beef rib. As described by our waitress, these carefully selected cuts of meat are braised for two to three days in their own dishes before being finished off in the oven for 18 hours and then served to hungry customers. This process may seem exceedingly complicated for a piece of meat, but I can say it was one of the juiciest and most tender pieces of meat I have ever tasted; clearly, something about the process works.
We decided to stay for dessert and concluded our stellar meal with standard coffee and tea and one of their delicious apple pies topped with house-made honey vanilla ice cream, which made for one incredibly delicious and filling meal.
While the prices and slightly snooty atmosphere are not by any means college-student friendly, the Blue Duck Tavern is one restaurant that deserves some attention. It is definitely a restaurant to bring the parents to and have them pick up the tab.