Saturday, March 21, 2009

Blue Duck Tavern

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Blue Duck Tavern was not on our agenda when we arrived in DC, but it ended up being conveniently located across the street from our hotel. J initially happened upon it for a little Saturday afternoon bubbly, and it quickly became our go-to spot for drinks, cheese, and, on our final night in the nation's capital, dinner.

I loved the dichotomy of Blue Duck Tavern's modern, clean-lined interior and (albeit strategically placed) farmhouse rocking chairs. Right down to the combination of contemporary art and framed quilts on the walls, it is very MOMA meets Amish Country, and a perfectly symbolic representation of the menu: pure, traditional flavors delivered with a focus on sustainability.

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Chestnut Soup with Burnt Marshmallow (Path Valley, PA) - $12

Any soup that allows me to indulge my sweet tooth is a soup I have to try. Pureed Path Valley chestnuts with three burnt marshmallows floating on top: so simple yet so creative. I literally scraped every last bit from the bowl.

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Baby Greens with Round Pond Vinaigrette (Path Valley, PA) - $7

J kept his eye on the food pyramid with this one. It was just the prep he needed for what was to follow...

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Traditional Cassoulet (Jurgielewicz Farm, PA) - $26

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After a cold day of walking in the rain, J found this to be just what the doctor ordered. He loved the smokey flavor of the sausage. While he appreciated that the beans were not out of a can, they were a little more firm than he would have preferred. That didn't keep him from getting it wrapped up in a doggy bag and enjoying the leftovers for breakfast.

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Roasted Organic Chicken with Buttermilk and Herbs (Four Story Hill, PA) - $23

I rarely eat chicken, but with the buttermilk and rosemary this just sounded too good to pass up. It was well worth the selection: incredibly juicy and fresh, and paired nicely with...

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Heirloom Grits with Blue Cheese (Anson Mills, SC) - $8

I could eat grits every day: primarily because it is just one more excuse to eat cheese, but also because they remind me so much of visiting the south. The consistency of these was perfectly creamy and smooth, and the blue cheese was a tangy addition.

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Cheese Plate: Grayson, Bayley Hazen Blue and Constant Bliss - $5 per oz.

Blue Duck Tavern is housed in the Grand Hyatt, and offers an easy bar for the consumption of adult beverages, day or night. Two tables are actually enclosed in little glass rooms, creating a human fish bowl that makes for great people watching. Between the bar and the restaurant are two open pantry areas where employees prepare everything from espresso drinks to dessert, creating the illusion of dining at a friend's house.

- K

Blue Duck Tavern
24 & M Streets, NW
Washington, DC 20037
202.419.6755

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