After arriving at the reception on Tuesday, April 24th, showcasing Blue Duck Tavern’s spring offerings, I soon realized that the building was part of a hotel complex, (I’d never been there before), and asked Andrew the General Manager what hotel it was part of. “Park Hyatt,” he told me—and quickly assured me he wasn’t offended by my asking, “We prefer to be thought of as an independent restaurant in our own right then as that place at the hotel.” That pretty much sums up the whole ethic for Blue Duck Tavern, when six years ago, the Park Hyatt re-named and radically re-designed its old hotel restaurant into an entirely new modern direction designed around family style, farm-to-table, sustainable meals. The tables and chairs are Shaker style, the floors are hard wood or stone, and the lovely outdoor terrace area sports planters of mint and rosemary for the restaurant, as well as a tiled fountain perfect for al fresco style dining in warm weather.
Even though, this was a spring themed reception it was rather chilly outside and the heat lamps for the occasion were much appreciated. Guests enjoyed a selection of suitable spring-y drinks from prosecco, to Rosé, to grapefruit martinis. Everyone enjoyed the incredibly fresh salad greens, the spring rosette (made with fresh greens), the pan-seared salmon, and the hand-churned strawberry ice-cream. The ice cream was a labor intensive process on the part of the staff but it certainly yielded yummy results.
All of this was quite appetizing but the highlight of the evening was sampling dishes from Blue Duck Tavern’s new breakfast menu. Beginning May 1, Blue Duck Tavern will serve a daily breakfast from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. In keeping with their local food concept, all eggs come from Amish farms. Pancakes will be served in cast iron skillets, with bottles of Bliss Maple Syrup. Fresh squeezed juice will be offered as well as coffee and tea from the Park Hyatt’s Tea Cellar.
There will be home-made granola, artisan oatmeal, French toast made from Brioche bread pudding pressed into slices and baked, as well as an assortment of fresh baked pastries and croissants. At the reception, guests got a taste of some of these delights including Short Rib Hash with Olive Oil, and an Anson Mills Grits with Smoked Gouda dish that was simply divine. (And I’m not even a fan of grits!)
Dishes to come will include Eggs Benedict with Pork Belly and Source Choron or Poached Eggs and Horseradish Sauce. Those of you who prefer traditional down home cooking will be relieved to know that Hot Biscuits and Gravy will be included on the menu as well. Before leaving for the evening guests were given some of Blue Duck’s upcoming muffin selections as party favors. These muffins were in a word; scrumptious. All foodies will be sure to want to sample the new breakfast menu and start their day, (and the month of May) off right.
Blue Duck Tavern
1201 24th Street NW
Read Charlene Giannetti’s review of Blue Duck Tavern