Duck. It’s a dicey topic for me, but after last week’s invitation to try out Blue Duck Tavern’s late summer menu – I’m a huge fan.
Let’s get something clear – there is only one duck entree on the dinner menu here, as the rest of the menu is diverse and rich with seafood, meat, pork, and excellent vegetarian options.
The dinner featured a range of their freshest menu selections, and I broadened my foodie horizons with several of the dishes. The appetizers impressed, as we tried Scallop Carpaccio (with tiger milk, AVOCADO, citrus lead salad), Panzanella Salad (cherry tomato, red onion, basil), Smoked Eggplant Puree Flatbread (with cucumber-tomato salad and goat yogurt) and Oven Roasted Bone Marrow – a Blue Duck Tavern specialty. I will admit that I steered away from the marrow, as I couldn’t get behind something I have used as dog treats. That being said, those who ate it had amazing things to say about the smoked tomato butter and Parmesan crust. Maybe next time.
The entrees were beautifully presented and I couldn’t find a thing not to love about each one, though the bison was my favorite. The meal included a Lightly Smoked Swordfish (resting atop succotash, bacon and garden beans), Roasted Bison Hangar Steak (with a charred eggplant and tomato compote), and Carolina Gold Rice Risotto (corn, shishito pepper, and bay leaf crumble).
Dessert followed soon after with an equally impressive spread. Scott is the resident sweet-eater, but that night I indulged in Milk Chocolate Guinness Ice Cream, Red Fruit Profiterole, and Peaches and Cream. If I had to choose a favorite, I’d lean toward the profiterole, but only by a bit.
The meal was paired beautifully with wines from around the world, and the selection of wines at Blue Duck is diverse and representative of all major regions and countries. I appreciated that they began the meal with the Cab Franc Rosé from Boxwood Winery in Middleburg, VA, as Scott and I have been experimenting with rosés of late. We love to see Virginia Wine represented well at area restaurants, though it is often easy to gravitate toward tried and true selections from California, France, and Italy.
The ambiance in Blue Duck Tavern sets a standard – an open kitchen is the centerpiece of the restaurant, and the high ceilings and warm decor pair beautifully to allow conversation to remain intimate without the confines of small table space and dark corners.
Though this was my first experience at Blue Duck, it won’t be my last. Have you been? What was your favorite dish?