Friday, May 16, 2014

Blue Duck Tavern Breakfast Review

Short Rib Hash

Man can't live on fast casual alone: Sometimes you have to step-up in scale. Hence, last week's visit to the luxurious Blue Duck Tavern at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Georgetown. Blue Duck Tavern has a sterling reputation for fresh, wholesome American fare; and if their breakfast is any indication (I'm returning for lunch next week) it's richly deserved.

BDT sports an open concept kitchen, so expect a little bit of noise (even at 9:30 in the morning.) I asked for a table in the back, and was escorted to a nice spot with a sweeping view of M Street, NW. Service was exceptionally professional; although I like a bit of banter in the morning (especially when dining solo.) You're automatically given water, and I added one of BDT's fresh squeezed juices to the mix... Pomegranate-Orange Juice ($5 for a small glass.) Expect more orange than pomegranate, but this is easily one of the best glasses of juice in town. Great color too.

Wood-Fired Pecan Sticky Buns

If presentation is important to you, you're going to love BDT's popular Pecan Sticky Buns, prepared in the kitchen's wood-burning oven. Before you ask, "Sticky buns... Here?" take note - Yes, they're messy, but they come with handy tongs; and trust me, they're worth an additional trip to wash your hands after. Warm & tasty, I'd love a dash more of salt; but you'll be hard pressed to find a more decadent and gooey start to your breakfast. Two buns ($8) is enough to fill one person, but you know me... Onward and upward!

That usually means eggs, and perhaps BDT's even more famous Short Rib Hash ($15) with two sunny-side up eggs atop a mound of zesty hash (short ribs, potatoes and creamy horseradish sauce.) If the description doesn't grab you, its' gorgeous presentation surely will. Cut through those eggs, and prepare to be dazzled with unrivaled succulence. The ribs below are moist and scrumptious. Can you imagine starting every day with this dish?

Pomegranate-Orange Juice

Hardly anything gets past the staff at BDT. Cutlery is discreetly swapped, in-between dishes (thank you) and water refills are frequent. No mid-bite inquiries either (thanks again) but I would have appreciated a refill on my empty glass of juice. Overall, it's a leisurely experience; although I'm still amazed at how fellow patrons abuse their surroundings (cell phone conversations, loud chatter.) Whatever happened to "stop and smell the roses?"

New Chef de Cuisine Daniel Singhofen recently joined BDT after a four-year stint running since-closed Eola. I was rather hoping for something similar to his delicious Bacon Flight... a trio of incredible bacons, that turned Sunday brunch into a holiday of sorts. Not yet (BDT offers Smoked Bacon Rashers, in addition to Country Ham and Chicken & Pork Sausages) but rest assured, I'll let you know if anything takes flight.

Blue Duck Tavern is a unique, upscale breakfast spot. The open space seems perfect for a buffet; but the individual dishes are superb. Be wary of noise, but prepare to bask in the warm glow of dark oak woods, and comforting wall quilts... not to mention an air of professionalism, one would expect from one of DC's top hotels.