I was a little harsh on Blue Duck Tavern the first brunch time around. The restaurant is undeniably delicious and upscale—one of Washington’s favorite high-end dining establishments, no doubt. But, on that particular occasion, Blue Duck failed to hit the spot for me.
Since that review, more than a year ago, I’ve been to Blue Duck for dinner and for lunch and enjoyed every minute of it. Particularly a spring chilled pea soup with crab I had on my latest lunch date. So, when the folks over at Blue Duck invited me out to experience their special Blue Duck Harvest Breakfast, I couldn’t resist.
The morning began at 9 a.m. with breakfast on the patio, where we sat at a communal table under enormous canvas umbrellas. Following the two-hour seated brunch, guests embark on a tour of the Dupont Farmer’s market and view a cooking demonstration by Executive Chef Sebastien Archambault and Chef de Cuisine John Melfi.
Everything about Blue Duck’s food is fresh, high quality, and just indescribably delectable. It’s just so, so good. Even Oprah thinks so (she was spotted there on her last visit to D.C.).
When I arrived, I was handed a cold, frothy mimosa with fresh squeezed, pulpy, sweet orange juice. It may have been the best mimosa I’ve ever had.
I sat down in front of a wooden cutting board laden with cheeses and garnished with edible flowers. The three types of cheese included two of my favorites: Gruyere and a soft goat cheese trimmed with truffled ash.
Scattered across the table were enormous bowls of fluffy, crusted French bread—cut into slices and still warm.
In addition to French bread, croissants were in abundance. Rich, flaky, buttery and warm croissants—some of the best I’ve ever tasted (I keep saying that, I know!). Of course, all sorts of accoutrements, fresh jams and butters, were available. As for me, I paired the croissants (note the plural) with cheese and blackberry jam.
Continuing on this glorious celebration of carbohydrates, Blue Duck’s pastry chef, Peter Brett, a charming and slight man with a warm demeanor and kind smile, appeared beside me with two more cutting boards of carbs. The first contained two types of muffins topped with sugary crumble—blueberry and raisin bran—and more croissants.
The other cutting board—brandished by this charming French chef—contained Heaven on Earth (alongside blueberry muffins). What does Heaven on Earth taste like, you ask? Blue Duck’s caramel pecan buns.
The woman next to me said, “I’m trying to watch my weight but I have been saving up all week for these pecan buns.” One bite and I understood why.
Also on the table for the first course were lovely platters of fresh fruit, including cherries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, watermelon and dried apricots.
One of the first passed plates was make-your-own salmon blinks: fresh smoked salmon, lemons, sautéed purple onions and avocados on a cutting board. All was fresh and delicious, which seems to be the trend at Blue Duck.
The second—and my favorite—brunch dish on the table was a poached egg with sautéed spinach and wild forest mushrooms. I absolutely love wild mushrooms, and they were cooked perfectly, coated in olive oil and spices.
The chicken fried steak benedict—served with poached eggs, remoulade and polenta—had people all around me ooh-ing and ahh-ing.
Throughout the morning, the waiters kept our coffee cups—on saucers, of course—full with delicious piping hot French press coffee.
The final entrée to arrive happened to be more delicious carbohydrates, this time in the form of French Toast. Frankly, I was horrified when it arrived because I realized I’d have to run a full marathon to compensate for such previously untouched levels of gluttony.
The French toast was made from French bread with swirls of cinnamon. It was topped with powdered sugar and more fresh berries, with fresh maple syrup alongside.
After the delicious meal, we left for the farmer’s market, where I picked up some fresh flowers and headed home. To top off the morning, shortly after the group departed for the farmers market, Owen Wilson was spotted at the Park Hyatt dining at Blue Duck. In a cruel twist of fate, I barely missed him—and my potential to be a Hollywood housewife.
You can check out Blue Duck’s brunch menu, here.
The Bitches say: A+. My goodness, that food—and the whole experience—phenomenal.
Of course, we were invited and this meal was comped (and we will always let you know when it is).
As for Fresh Farm Markets, they have markets in Annapolis (Sundays), Bethesda (Saturdays), Silver Spring (Saturdays), St. Michaels (Saturdays), Crystal City (Tuesdays), White House (Thursdays), Dupont Circle (Sundays), Foggy Bottom (Wednesdays), H Street N.E. (Saturdays) and Penn Quarter (Thursdays). You can follow Fresh Farm Markets on Twitter and also follow the Dupont Market specifically.
Blue Duck Tavern
1201 24th Street N.W.