Summer Sets In Well At Blue Duck Tavern
We are fortunate to experience all four seasons in Washington, D.C., whether it be in our fashion, fragrance or sports but eateries also savor in this quarterly transformation with innovative culinary fare that celebrates the latest seasonal ingredients.
One restaurant that does this well is Blue Duck Tavern.
This summer Executive Chef Ryan LaRoche, Chef de Cuisine Brad Deboy and Executive Pastry Chef Naomi Gallego are keeping our palates (happily) surprised with a myriad of savory dishes and desserts, respectively, that use timely produce and ingredients, such as tomatoes, crabs, corn, scallops, fruit and berries from trusted locally sourced purveyors.
I was recently invited to try out Bluck Duck Tavern's newest seasonal menu items and was more than impressed. Not only was the restaurant's decor beautiful, the service was on point and the freshness of each ingredient was incredible. Among my favorites were the B.L.T. Gazpacho Salad, Seared Diver Scallops with Glazed Pork Belly, Barbecue Baked Beans with Braised Bacon and the Market Dessert: Fruity Pebbles Ice Cream.
Come discover these dishes and more ...
Lavender Lemonade (accompanied by a cute little pot of agave syrup for sweetness). There's nothing more refreshing than a cold glass of lemonade on a hot summer day and Blue Duck Tavern elevated the stakes by adding one of my favorite herbs to this typical citrus-based drink - lavender. I can guarantee you that this symphony of flavors will make you want to enjoy it until the last drop.
Wood Oven-Roasted Bone Marrow with Everything Bagel Crust and Spring Garlic Butter. Blue Duck Tavern's updated version of its bone marrow dish was introduced in Spring and continues to be a hit. I have to admit, I enjoyed the original, but the everything bagel crust topping does add a nice crunch and spice. Best way to consume it is to take a piece of the toasted bread, top it with a hearty spoonful of bone marrow and then spread the oven-baked garlic right over it. SO good. Pro tip: It goes very well with a glass of rosé.
B.L.T. Gazpacho Salad. A truly perfect melange of one of the most popular American sandwiches and beloved Southern Spain cold soups. The gazpacho is the dressing (clever) with a side of cream that includes bacon fat and is garnished with a joyful jumble of tomatoes, croutons, lettuce, and onions. This seriously defines summer. Your stomach will thank you, mine sure did!
Seared Diver Scallops with Glazed Pork Belly and White Asparagus Fermented Green Garlic. Scallops and Pork Belly in one dish?! Yes, please! This really is the finest from land and sea. Each forkful, with a spoonful of jus, will leave you wanting more.
Barbecue Baked Beans with Braised Bacon and Tobacco Onions. This vegetable dish was one of my favorites. It is as addictive as candy. The sweetness of the bbq beans meshed incredibly well with the savory bacon, onions and chives. A side dish to be shared with good friends.
Braised Bouchot Mussels with Sweet Corn Broth, and Stewed Tomato Garden Basil. This colorful steaming pot of plump mussels marinated in a delightful summery concoction of basil, tomato and corn will entice all senses. Make sure to soak up the sauce (which is pure decadence) with the freshly baked bread, you won't regret it.
Market Dessert: Fruity Pebbles Ice Cream. This market dessert (meaning short duration on the menu) is an ice cream masterpiece that is nostalgia at its best. Each velvety bite of fruity pebbles ice cream swirled with crunchy fruity pebbles was a magnificent ending to an unbelievable meal. Pro tip: Be sure to ask what the market dessert is because I am 100% positive that you will get a surprisingly good treat.
Now, I did not have any cheese this time, but did you know that Blue Duck Tavern also has their very own cheesemonger, Sophie Slesinger and from what I've previewed, let's just say that she has a true knack for picking out good local cheeses. Starting this fall, she will be hosting a Cheese 101 series that I am sure will be a hit (and that I plan to sign up for), so be on the look out for more information.
So I say challenge your palate and treat yourself to what will be an incredible meal at Blue Duck Tavern. Enjoy breakfast (which I hear is amazing), lunch or dinner on the restaurant's picturesque outdoor patio (where you may see an actual blue duck!) or inside in their cozy dark wood-laden restaurant.
A big thank you to Darley Tom, Executive Chef Ryan LaRoche, Joseph Cerione, General Manager and the entire Blue Duck Tavern Staff!