Cheers! Raise your glasses up and start opening up your Opentable app for the first tag team Eat Breathe Sweat post. Although Nikki is our DC correspondent, our NYC correspondent Mandy is just as fit for the District! While in town for the White House Correspondent’s Dinner (no big deal...), Mandy met up with Nikki to try their first Michelin-starred restaurant, Blue Duck Tavern.
For our review, we thought we’d give each of our own two cents about the experience. Two foodies are better than one because math.
Nic: Very dark and moody as all cool places in DC are. Mandy and I really stepped up our game and stunted that night: full hair, make-up and heels. Ya know, as you’d automatically do for a Michelin-rated place. Yet I found that, although the digs were fancy, people were dressed extremely casual. I think I saw someone wearing a graphic tee. Ew.
Mandy: The atmosphere was VERY DC. And by that I mean that it was very dark, private, and elegant. Honestly, what I was looking forward to besides the food was dressing up. Not to toot our own horns, but *toot toot* we looked damn good. That said, I totally agree with Nic that everyone else was dressed very chill which was kind of a buzz kill.
Nic: This is the first time I taste this plate and not immediately regret it. My trauma is a result of ordering tartare that doesn’t pack any flavor, making it really hard for you to justify why you’re spending so much on a plate of raw meat. Blue Duck’s was delicious!
Mandy: Raw steak turns so many people off, but believe me when I say that this plate will turn you *ON*. It was delicious, light, and airy just like a tartare should be. Nic and I hadn't ate all day, so we might be slightly biased. People, order this dish.
Braised Beef Rib
Nic: My favorite plate! The meat was super savory and bathed in the most delicious sauce. Also loved the touch of grains that came with the dish.
Mandy: Although I really liked this plate, and Nic might kill me for saying this--I found it really fatty. The flavors were amazing and THAT SAUCE THO, but I keep being distracted by the damn fat. I mean, I know it's rib, but still while flavorful...I was a tiny bit disappointed. I'd still order the dish again because it might have been just that particular cut. We did go at closing time :)
Nic: Ok, maybe this was my favorite dish. I’ve recently started getting into cauliflower. I used to hate it because you eat first with your eyes, and let’s face it, this veg looks like broccoli fell into bleach. But I couldn’t even make this snarky comment about Blue Duck’s. The ‘flower was bathed in a beautiful, orangey cream with bursts of fruit sprinkled on there. It was so pretty and necessary to complement our main dishes.
Mandy: I'll start off by saying that I have *never* met a flower I didn't like. Lawdd this was so good, I almost forgot it was a vegetable! We had such heavy dishes that this was a great side dish. It was well seasoned, light, and had this light sauce with candied apricots. Please put this down as one of my go-to's if I ever go to prison and have to decide on a last dish. I'm dramatic, but also very serious.
Moulard Duck Duck
Nic: The duck was yums, but it wasn’t my favorite dish. I personally felt that the duck needed to soak up it's sauce a little more... which it did by the time I tried the dish again the next day as leftovers (Does microwaving Michelin-starred food affect its taste? The answer is: It better not because everything was hella expensive. It could at the very least be durable).
Mandy: Nicolle, I feel betrayed. How dare you? This was my absolute favorite dish. It even hurt me to let you take the leftovers lol. I've had my fair share of duck and have always loved the actual flavor of it to be the protagonist. The sauce it came with wasn't overpowering, which I enjoyed, and it was perfectly seared. One way to ruin a duck dish? Overcooking it, and this one was just perfect. I'm convinced this restaurant got the Michelin star because of this dish.
Nic (Again): #TeamBraisedBeefRib
Nic: Our experience was a very “treat yo self” moment, and I loved it. Every plate was so flavorful and played with various textures. I’ll definitely be back.
Mandy: We lived our best life that night and consumed an unspeakable amount of calories, but I have no regrets. We also managed to dodge my boss (which I found out the next week was dining there at the same time we were). I will definitely be back, and I'm excited to try the array of dishes they have.
Mandy: Their wine list was extensive but way too pricey. I'm well versed in the wine world and these people were upcharging 6x the regular price. But it's all good... I'd still give them five stars.
Nic: You tell 'em!