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Blue Duck Tavern

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Missy Aug 28, 2006 11:29 AM

Anybody been to Blue Duck Tavern??? Sietsema seemed to like it quite a bit last week, and hubby is looking for a business lunch place. He's booked at Corduroy-but this looks like it might be nice as well.

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    EricDC Nov 28, 2006 09:35 AM

    I agree with CMACDC and LisaB - just went to Blue Duck for dinner and I was generally impressed.

    An associate had bratwurst and he was very pleased; I had a half roast chicken and it was quite good. The fries (thrice fried, yes with duck fat) were GREAT; the grits had good flavor but weren't at all "gritty" - the consistency was like creamed mashed potatoes. Not what I expected, and I think not as good as it could have been.

    Their oysters are exceptional, and great value; their carrots and mushrooms were just fine, however - but WAY overpriced. $7 for a small dish of carrots? $12 for a side order of mushrooms!?!?! Come on, now... especially given that entrees come with NO sides (literally... items are served just as the menu says they are, served in a little pan with nothing but the star item), I thought this was just too much.

    As for everything else? The wine list was good, and the desserts were - well, here was my take. I didn't love the ice cream (too icey, not creamy enough), but the apple cider sorbet was great. If you're expecting icey, sorbet is OK. The hot chocolate was GREAT, one of the best I've ever had.... didn't try any of their "real" desserts, so I can't fairly comment.

    Would I go back? Sure, but not regularly. The sides were all less good than they should have been for the money, IMO, except for the fries. The mains and apps were all winners - others I dined with ate capon and crab cakes and really enjoyed them, so it seems like all the mains and apps were hits with the crowd.

    Just, stay away from the sides, except the fries.

    4 Replies
    1. re: EricDC
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      shellymck Nov 28, 2006 01:04 PM

      We went for Thanksgiving and were unimpressed with the food and the new renovation. Melrose had been one of my favorite places for special occasions and I found the new incarnation too cafeteria-like all the while keeping very high prices, prices not in line with the quality of the food. No tablecloths, silverware clanking loudly on the bare stone/marble tables, noise from the semi-exposed kitchen--all this made it seem like you were in a cafeteria. And I have no idea why they called it a tavern when it's more a Scandinavian modern style. Not cozy at all. The thanksgiving meal was $80 pp and I think it's the same set up for their brunch, appetizer and dessert buffets with main dishes selected from a menu. The dishes were not even plated-they were served family style from small casseroles. Last year we ate at Bouley in NY--it was far nicer and less money.

      1. re: shellymck
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        Dakota Guy Nov 28, 2006 01:21 PM

        The Blue Duck Tavern is not in the same class as Bouley (a favorite of mine in NY) although Bouley is also more expensive.

        1. re: Dakota Guy
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          shellymck Nov 28, 2006 02:18 PM

          Actually the meal we had last year was four courses, amuse-bouche, petit-fours, parting gift of bread and cookies, for $75pp. Plus the rooms are drop-dead gorgeous. In retrospect I guess it was a bargain.

        2. re: shellymck
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          Pappy Nov 28, 2006 01:24 PM

          While I had no problems with the prices, and I fouond the cooking and ingredients to be of a very high quality, my sentiments regarding the renovations were very similar to yours. After years of adoring Melrose, my wife and I left Blue Duck "Tavern" wondering what circumstances would ever cause us to return to that cold, sterile, loud and uninviting enviornment.

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        LisaB Aug 29, 2006 07:04 PM

        I thought it was good and definitely different... but I'm not so sure it was worth those prices... yikes!

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          CMACDC Aug 28, 2006 09:22 PM

          I had a business lunch there today and liked it as well. Service was extremely good. The bread with their butter was addictive. The server recommended the bratwurst, which was excellent -- not nearly as heavy as most bratwursts. The grits were not as good; too overly creamy to my taste. Overall I'd definitely go back.

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            DC in DC Aug 28, 2006 02:54 PM

            I've been and highly recommend it. In addition to the fries mentioned above, and the ice cream, believe it or not, the vegetarian entree is absolutely to die for...

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              Dakota Guy Aug 28, 2006 12:38 PM

              I ate there mid-July for dinner. I enjoyed the food and the service was good. Serving every item in a a separate dish seemed unnecessary when I was dining alone but a nice idea for a group. The one thing I highly recommend are the french fries -- doubled cooked with the last being in duck fat. Oh my were they good. The rest of the meal very good but nothing that made me want to rush back. Of course, I feel the same way about Corduroy.

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