There are precisely four things that motivate me to be out and about when it’s cold and raining outside. Brunch is one of these things. After a recent visit to Chicago and an even more eventful St. Patrick’s Day, I spent my Friday night recovering. Despite my early bedtime, I still struggled to make it to brunch on time. I consider myself to be a very punctual person, unfortunately most people I surround myself with are not. Even when I’m running late, I somehow end up being the first to arrive. This was the case with this brunch— despite my hangover.
Despite the drab weather, I was super excited to check out Blue Duck Tavern when they invited us in to brunch as I had read our previous glowing reviews (see here.) I have a tendency to gravitate towards people from the tri-state area, so I asked my friend Raja to join me for the afternoon. After all, we share similar experiences growing up and the same frustrations with moving to a new city.
Blue Duck Tavern is located conveniently inside of the Park Hyatt in Foggy Bottom near Georgetown. When you walk in, you’re greeted by a gorgeous spread of afternoon tea. There’s an open kitchen, allowing you to watch the chefs work their magic in front of the bustling fire from the wood burning oven. The detailed furnishing and rustic oak tables provide for an upscale yet inviting atmosphere.
I’ve been eyeing the sorbet mimosas for quite some time as I waited, so I decided to begin with the raspberry sorbet mimosa while I waited for Raja. Blue Duck Tavern offers a daily selection of sorbets and—in true Bitch fashion—I had to taste all three. The brunch menu features an array of options made with fresh seasonal ingredients found throughout the region.
Once Raja arrived, he chose the mango sorbet mimosa. At first, the mimosa was strong but sweetened gradually as the sorbet melted. It also came playfully adorned with rock candy, which immediately brought me back to field trips to the rock quarry in elementary school. Sadly, this was not a bonding moment for Raja and I— as he wondered why he had never been to a rock quarry before.
Our server recommended a number of items that all sounded delicious, so we placed our full trust in her hands throughout our meal. Turns out this was a wise choice. We began with pecan sticky bun that arrived nice and toasty from the oven. The pecans were a fantastic touch and the buns weren’t overly sweet, which we really appreciated.
Next up, we tried the baked eggs and an order of the hand-cut fries. The baked eggs were presented beautifully and come with black beans, fresh herbs, avocado, and cheese—with the option to add chicharones. It was a perfect transition from sweet to savory. I don’t mind a runny egg but Raja thought the eggs were a bit undercooked. The jalapeños were a bit too spicy for me, but the heat from the dish was comforting on a rainy day.
While I was already starting to fill up, our server insisted we try the hand-cut fries. The fries were light golden stacks of deep fried mashed potatoes. We both absolutely loved these and thought the spicy aioli was a splendid accompaniment to the potato bricks.
I have a weakness for all things citrus, so naturally I had to have the lemon ricotta pancakes. The short stack includes poppy seed streusel and comes topped with blueberries and chamomile honey. The pancakes were light and fluffy and the citrus flavor did not overwhelm the dish.
Raja had run eight miles prior to brunch, so he was in desperate need for real protein in a man’s portion size. He decided to go with the chicken biscuit. The crispy chicken biscuit was topped with collard greens and and an egg fried sunny-side-up. This was his absolute favorite item of the brunch: the egg was cooked perfectly and the biscuit was flaky. Moreover, he enjoyed the combination of flavors with the sriracha and apple butter.
Brunch did not disappoint at Blue Duck Tavern. In fact, we could have not have asked for anything more. The service was impeccable and I was surprised to see how busy it was even on a rainy day. While our meal was complimentary, we both thoroughly enjoyed our experience.
The Bitches say 5 flutes for impeccable cuisine in a pristine ambiance.
Blue Duck Tavern serves weekend brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.