Really, we aren’t into food at all. Why else would we venture into DC on a Sunday evening with 8 of our friends to try out the chef’s table at Blue Duck Tavern? While we had high expectations for the meal, the restaurant surpassed them all.
To begin with, the table itself was stunning–a long rectangular wooden table, almost Shaker in its appearance. Because we were only feeding 10 (the table can hold up to 12 people), at the end was a slim rectangular tray with Granny Smith apples. The vivid green of the apples contrasted nicely with the rich wood tones of the table.
The introductory dish was a charcuterie dish, with prosciutto, salami, mortadella and other cured meats. They came garnished with mustard and cornichons. The cured meats were all delicious.
There was then a series of appetizers. (Every course was served family style, which I thought was a terrific way of serving for the evening, as every diner could decide for himself/herself what and how much to eat.) The appetizers were cod, salt-cured salmon, raw oysters, and mussels in a garlic and white wine broth. Everything was delicious, but my favorite was the mussels. The broth was super yummy!
The main courses were pan-seared hake (a mild white fish), wild boar “lollipops” (that’s what we call it when they are served like rack of lamb) and Porterhouse steak. The hake was well-prepared, not overdone and was accompanied by a sauce that set off the flavor of the fish nicely. The wild boar was good, if a little bit gamey, while the porterhouse was all that a porterhouse should be—aged, tender, flavorful, and rare.
The side dishes that came with the main courses were Brussel sprouts (these were not as good as Oyamel’s but still surprisingly good, especially for Brussel sprouts), wild mushrooms (my favorite!—the mushrooms were amazingly flavorful), and cheese grits. All were quite delicious.
For dessert, we had mango, blackberry, and macadamia nut crumble and a bittersweet chocolate crumb cake. Both were fabulous, and you could only choose a favorite based on how high chocolate ranks on your personal pantheon of food groups.
Definitely an enthusiastic A for the meal. And the company made the evening an A+!