My trips back to America have become bicoastal. On my way to California, I now touchdown in DC to visit family and friends. This offers an entire new arsenal of restaurants, hotspots and foodie destinations to try.
Blue Duck Tavern is no novice in the DC dining scene. Serving up what they like to call ‘wholesome American fare’, the Park Hyatt resident has long fed locals, visitors and political partiers alike. The restaurant’s design is stunning, capturing different aspects of historical American elements creating different pockets of varying ambiances throughout. The white marble bar top was hosting a girl’s night out, low cushioned seating by the window had casual meetings and after work drinks taking place, the main dining room had families and dates piling their plates with the soundtrack of the open kitchen and along the towering front windows overlooking their impressive herb garden and a moody sky overhead was where we were seated.
Our dinner started as all good meals should: freshly baked sourdough with whipped, salted butter. We decided to share starters. Although, when dining with me, you don’t have much choice. The Wagyu beef tartar with morels and mustard seed was a stunning start. Just look that yolky goodness. Go on, have another look. I’ll wait. The coddled egg with guanciale, asparagus and almond was a balanced combination of fresh, light ingredients paired with heavy, hearty components. Our main courses arrived in silver pans with serving spoons, making sharing very convenient. I chose duck breast served with rhubarb butter. And tried bites of tender Wagyu beef with chimichurri and suckling pig. We also shared sides of toasted faro with peas, almond and preserved lemon, roasted woodland mushrooms with olive oil croutons and beans with pickled blackberries. After dinner, I snuck through the kitchen on my way to the bathroom to say hello and ended up chatting away with a lovely CDP and Blue Duck’s Executive Chef, Sebastien Archambault. I was told that next time I was to try the hanger steak, as this is Chef’s favourite. Now he tells me. I then spied the restaurant’s specialty set out to cool. There were rows of freshly baked apple pies, which I momentarily considered swiping off the counter using my dress as a basket and running. Alas, I composed myself and continued on my way. I took a sneaky outfit snap which you’ve already seen on Instagram, but I’m loving this mustard yellow dress and these heels (which are annoyingly discounted, lucky duck) which have an awesome gold buckle on the side. I returned for green jasmine flowering tea and a browse of the dessert menu. Besides a very greedy order of desserts, I was surprised with a candle lit sorbet of passionfruit, mango and tangerine. We decided the apple pie needed a little something extra. So topped it with an order of vanilla bean ice cream. The meyer lemon icebox cake was a thing of beauty and of taste. A flavourful and delightfully textured lemon crémeux was topped with lemon gel, graham cracker cakes, cream cheese, blueberry pearls and tasmanian pepper meringue. As we waddled away through the lobby, we discovered this cool piece on display. They nailed it, don’t ya think?
Our meal at Blue Duck Tavern was absolutely delicious and service was impeccable. The atmosphere is vibrant and decor appropriate for any occasion. I’d highly recommend a visit for an enjoyable evening out in Washington DC. If you make it there before me, be sure to tell me how the hanger steak is!