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Brunch: Blue Duck Tavern

March 20, 2012

I’ve had Blue Duck Tavern on my to-eat list since moving into the city, especially once I started walking past daily.

It’s always one of the top-rated restaurants in Washington, named one of America’s best restaurants by Zagat and consistently among Washingtonian‘s 100 Very Best Restaurants in the DC area.

Blue Duck has also been Allie’s dream DC dining destination for ages so for her birthday this weekend, we walked a few blocks to West End to celebrate.

First impression: amazing service. We had to wait to be seated because of a slow party and the host immediately offered us complimentary drinks as a consolation. Nothing like a free mimosa to get a brunch started! The fantastic service continued throughout the meal — we were impressed from beginning to end. Our server explained unfamiliar menu terms without us asking and made alterations and substitutions to fit every person’s dietary restrictions.

Since our table wasn’t clearing out anytime soon, we got to sit at the Chef’s Table — the same table where the Obamas sat. (Michelle couldn’t stay away.)

With a view directly into the kitchen:

Once we were seated, I realized that every. single. thing. on the menu sounded incredible. There’s a huge emphasis on local, sustainable food so from top to bottom, the menu sounded fresh and delicious.

Blue Duck Tavern is not for someone trying to stay on the budget. The entree items are fairly reasonably priced (in DC brunch dollars) but $7 for a pot of coffee? Yikes!

Good coffee but still…!

I had a hard time choosing just one entree but thankfully I was at a table of sharers so I knew I’d get a bite of everything. I ordered Scrambled Eggs with Scallops with Potato Röesti.

The potatoes were basically a giant latke, accompanied by a little pot of scrambled eggs and scallops. They were the best eggs I’ve ever had but I wasn’t expecting a giant fried potato, which was absolutely delicious but way too big and heavy.

Other winning dishes around the table included fresh oysters, Spiced Pumpkin Soufflé Pancake with Autumn Caramel (epic), Baked Eggs with Pipperade and Crème Fraiche, Eggs Benedict and Short Rib Hash with Olive Oil Poached Egg and Horseradish Sauce.

After eating ourselves to the point of being stuffed, we had to order dessert. After all, it was a birthday celebration! The Rhubarb Strawberry Cobbler with Buttermilk Biscuits won the day, and the server also brought out bowls of strawberry ice cream and cherry blossom sorbet to try.

Best sorbet I’ve ever had. I’m not usually a sorbet fan but this was incredible.

So what’s the verdict on Blue Duck? Is it worth the hype?

Yes. For incredible service and really great food, Blue Duck is worth visiting for a special occasion. It’s not necessarily the best brunch in the city but it’s pretty close. For its few downfalls (really overpriced coffee, weird portion sizes/ratios) everything tasted incredible and the experience was impeccable.

Now that Blue Duck’s crossed off the list, which DC restaurant should become my #1 must-eat brunch spot? Acadiana is already lined up for Easter.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Life's a Bowl permalink
    March 20, 2012 10:37 am

    YUM! Def many delicious sounding dishes… Would have a hard time making up my mind!

  2. March 21, 2012 7:38 am

    I am going to be in DC this summer, and I may have to add this to my list of things to do. The food looks amazing!

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