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Best Duck dishes in the Boston area?

My SO's birthday is coming up, and he's been egging me on to find a good restaurant that serves a notable duck dish. He's had duck before, but has never been wowed. Somehow he's convinced he should like it, so the question is: What restaurant in the area would you reccommend to go to be wowed by duck? Small, large, cheap, expensive all welcome, but we're not big on fancy (jackets, no jeans).

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  1. Depends if you want a French prep like duck a l'orange or a Chinese prep like Peking duck...

    1. Not to cut the discussion short, but for reference, there was a terrific thread on this in late November:


      1. The two famous ones here are the duck for two at Salts, and the Peking duck at King Fung Garden. They are both worthy of the acclaim, in my opinion.

        Some other duck dishes I've had lately that I like:

        Duck meatballs with foie gras raviolis (an app) at Grotto.

        Anatra alla Peppino (duck leg confit and grilled breast) at Da Vinci

        Smoked duck leg with membrillo at Toro (not on the most recent menu)

        Duck spring roll and duck noodle dish at Aneka Rasa

        Roast duck soup noodle at Eo Noodle in Framingham

        Pato braseado at Dali (nice tart berry sauce on it)

        Kao lao ped hotpot at Chilli Duck, a steamboat-style preparation

        Rice-smoked duck at Sage, one of their best entrees

        Tea smoked duck at Beijing Star (Waltham); look for it on the pink menu (authentic stuff)

        Duck risotto at Sasso

        1. I'm going for King Fung Garden's peking duck for the first time tonight, and I expect to be wow'ed based on the buzz on this board.

          Gaslight had a really nice duck confit on their menu a few months ago, but not sure if it's still there. Gaslight has a nice atmosphere, but definitely not fancy. Found their prices to be very reasonable.

          3 Replies
          1. re: kobuta

            i haven't had it at king fung garden, but i thought the tea-smoked duck at shangri-la was quite good.

              1. re: Taralli

                Really liked it. The peking-style duck that started the meal was fabulous and my favorite. I loved the hand-made wraps - a really nice chewy texture without being tough nor too thick or thin. I thought all 3 dishes (1 being soup) were very tasty, but it was mild disappointment that the stir-fry and the soup were more home-style dishes and more simpler in preparation style. This is a not a knock on the dishes by any means, but when you start off with a great first course, it's hard to then have the next 2 not be even better. It was ridiculous amounts of food for two, and of course my sister and I ordered appetizers. Ugh..bad move. They were all really good, but it just pushed the quantity of food over the edge. Such a great bargain for the 3 courses of duck. I'd highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys duck.

                Edit: And for anyone who may be curious, the other 2 dishes were: a stir fry of the duck meat with lots of bean sprouts, and julienned carrots and I think pea pods in brown sauce and then a light, clear soup of the bones with napa, cubes of tofu and bean thread. All tasty, very home-y dishes.

            1. My favorite duck ever (albeit a ways back now) was at Hammersley's. Not the tea-smoked, simply roast duck. Set the bar very high for others to reach!

              1. Thank you all! I'm sorry I hadn't seen the other duck post, its a gem!

                1 Reply
                1. re: sonicchef

                  Best duck dish by far was at Rialto. Pricey (isn't everything at Rialto?) but this was one dish I was happy to spend thr $$$ on several times. Not sure of the "official" name but it is always on the menu.

                2. One thought that I've been toying with for my next excursion to FuLoon is to order every duck dish they've got on the menu. So far, everything I've tried has ranged from extremely good to divine (jiang Pao duck, Kunming duck, tea smoked duck arguably the best in the Boston area, Crispy Deep Fried duck which was a special). So you could go with an all-duck spectacular (though sadly, no duck ice cream).

                  375 Main St, Malden, MA 02148

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: Dr.Jimbob

                    That would be a worthy endeavor, imagine the looks in the kitchen. Not to go on a tangent, but I was thinking of a Fuloon outing focusing on the special order dishes (2-3 days advance notice). I can't recall but either the Dual Deli Jumbo Shrimp or the Special Cooked Jumbo Shrimp dish was Chef Zhang Wenxue's final test in his culinary schooling.

                    I noticed you did not mention their Peking Duck, have you tried it?

                    1. re: Food4Thought

                      Going for the special dishes is a great idea. A big table and advance notice--bet he's got off-menu stuff too.

                    2. re: Dr.Jimbob

                      I'm glad someone mentioned Fuloon! I was about to chime in with a suggestion to try the jiang4 bao4 ya1 pian4. It is simply divine! I must admit that I found the tea-smoked duck there not very flavorful and a little dry, but I'm also not a particular fan of this dish. I haven't tried the Beijing duck there (special order) but plan to. :) I promise a full report.

                      1. re: lipoff

                        I'm glad you pointed the way for the rest of us to follow, lipoff!

                        I thought the tea smoked duck might have been a little dry, but recently, I was back at Sichuan Garden (another perennial fave of mine) and their tea smoked duck came across quite wan and uninteresting compared with what I had at FuLoon.

                        I too have not yet had the Beijing roast duck, but given that Zhang trained in Beijing, I can't imagine that this duck would suck. However, I have yet to confirm this.

                        Pretty much every outing I've organized has mostly focused on the special dishes (both the regular specials advertised with their own separate book with write-ups and photographs and listed at the top of the menu on the web site and the specials that are mentioned by the wait staff when we get there). Zhang presumably has a fairly wide repertoire and I've been told before that if I had any particular special requests, that I should let them know. I'd probably give them the courtesy of a day or two of advance notice just in case they have to track down some unusual ingredient.

                        1. re: Dr.Jimbob

                          There's also a short "special order" section on the menu, several days notice required. Pricy and I assume for a crowd. Special homestyle duck with scallion is on there.

                          1. re: Aromatherapy

                            Huh ... never looked at that section at the bottom. They are quite pricy, and I'm not so sure they're for a crowd (I mean sure, the fish is bound to be pretty big and probably more than two could handle, but I am not sure they'd be bigger than average dishes). I suspect the price comes from the labor involved in making the dish (hence also the advance notice required to order them). Still, that homestyle duck (Chinese name translates as Beijing scallion duck) sounds tempting at least in principle.

                      2. re: Dr.Jimbob

                        Put the idea out there. Shredded duck with crispy skin and hoisin sauce ice cream? Or a braised duck with foie gras ice cream?

                      3. Surprised the "Duck, duck, goose" at EVOO has not been mentioned.
                        Haven't had it myself, but has been praise-worthy in the past.

                        "Duck, Duck, Goose" - Duck Confit, Seared Duck Foie Gras, Slices of Goose Breast, Lentils, Haricot Vert, Escarole and Sherry - Ginger Sauce 27.00

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Bob Dobalina

                          DDG is not in the same league as the Salts or King FUng dish IMO. I was not impressed with it at all.

                          1. re: Gabatta

                            I have to agree with Gabatta. Duck duck goose entree was not an impressive dish...I suspect the naming of the dish helped with the popularity of the dish all these years.

                            1. re: nasilemak

                              Never had it myself, but my board search did reveal some fans.

                              Another addition: Duck larb at Dok Bua.

                        2. Mistral's roasted duck is wonderful (and, of course, expensive ($34)).

                          1. Great cheap duck dish - Duck Noodle Soup at Shanghai Gate. It rivals the best noodle soups around town (which are usually beef).

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: teaTomE

                              are they still doing duck 3 ways at rendezvous in central square? that was yummy.

                            2. Perhaps a different kind of duck dish, but the duck lo mein at Eastern Pier on the Waterfront is out of this world. It's nothing like the greasy, limp lo mein dishes at your typical suburban Chinese restaurants.

                              1. I'm surprised no one has mentioned straight up Cantonese roast duck. You know, the things they have hanging in the window in Chinatown. Both Hong Kong Eatery and Vinh Sun are reliable and consistent....and of course delicious. Just go and order a 'roast duck rice'. Probably about $6. Warning: the meat is on the bones.

                                A twist would be to buy a whole cooked duck from one of those places (~$16...less than a raw duck in most supermarkets!) and take it home. Then you can carve or deboned it at your own pace. Makes it easier to eat if you have family who can't handle the bones.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: ironmonkey

                                  LOL, I've been eating wonton soup with roast duck at HK eatery for the last few months now, as lunch. Perfect for weathering the cold here. Their roast duck is consistently good.

                                  1. re: ironmonkey

                                    U know what's even better than cantonese roast duck.... is.... Pipa roasted duck, trhose are the butterflied cut roast duck, it does not have as much chinese seasonings on it, me and the wife had half the pipa duck at Best cafe last weekend, she enjoyed it too, it was not as fatty as the regular roast duck, the duck fat juice still oozes when you bite of the crispy skin. i want to go back and have some again. but the jumbo shrimp with veggies on rice was bleahhh, had to put soy sauce and salt coz it was all gingery taste only.

                                    1. A few dishes to keep an eye out for, but not regularly available. There is a Portuguese specialty Arroz de Pato a moda de braga, made with churico, I have had it at private houses and seen it once on a banquet (potentially available as a special in South Coast restaurants???). Also Peruvian cuisine has a simpler dish arroz con pato which I haven't seen in the local peruvian restaurants (they do have stirfried arroz chaufa which is worth trying).

                                      1. Hmmm, no one has yet mentioned a duck confit-based Cassoulet. Bistro Pierrot on Cambridge St in Beacon Hill has a wonderful classic Cassoulet. IMO its a much more festive place than a Chinese restaurant for a birthday dinner, while not being formal, but that's really subjective.

                                        1. This thread is giving me a craving for one of my favorite duck dishes- crispy tamarind duck at Duck Walk in Wakefield.

                                          I've also recently had a duck l'orange at Uncle Pete's BBQ recently that was quite good.

                                          1. Well, we ended up ordering the Peking duck at King Fung garden. It was our first time trying that dish, and I think we'd concur with many posters that the first course of crispy skin/hoisin/pancakes was by far the winner. The stirfry and soup courses were tasty, but incomparable to the crispy skin! Now I think we'll need to try some of the other suggestions, especially interesting seems to be the tea-smoked duck ones! My mouth is already watering! Thanks again all!

                                            1. Had Peking duck at Bernard's in Chetnut hill this weekend. Very crispy skin, moist duck wrapped in nice pancakes with plum sauce and scallions. Delicious. It comes in whole or half duck servings and is alwys available- no ordering ahead.