100 Best Restaurants 2012: Blue Duck Tavern
From soulful bistros to high-gloss steakhouses, there's lots of good eating in DC, Maryland, and Virginia
Reviewed By Todd Kliman, Cynthia Hacinli, Ann Limpert, Rina Rapuano
Comments () | Published January 23, 2012
100 Best Restaurants 2014 100 Best Restaurants 2013 100 Best Restaurants (2011) 100 Best Restaurants 2012 100 Best Restaurants (2010)

Blue Duck Tavern
Address: 1201 24th St., NW, Washington, DC 20037
Phone: 202-419-6755
Neighborhood: Foggy Bottom/West End, Downtown
Cuisines: Modern, American, Breakfast
Opening Hours: Open Monday through Friday 6:30 to 10:30, 11:30 to 2:30, and 5:30 to 10:30. Saturday and Sunday 11 to 2:30 and 5:30 to 11:30.
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Kid Friendly: Yes
Nearby Metro Stops: Farragut West, Foggy Bottom-GWU
Price Range: Expensive
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Recommended
Best Dishes Soft-shell crab; crispy sweetbreads; warm Swiss-chard pie; sturgeon rillettes with caviar; roasted chicken; pork weisswurst with red cabbage; short-rib hash and cinnamon-bun French toast (breakfast and brunch); house-made ice creams.
Price Details: Appetizers $8 to $18, entrées $18 to $32.
Special Features:
Wheelchair Accessible, Kid Friendly, Valet Parking Available, Weekend Brunch


We gravitate to this high-toned farm-to-table destination whenever we're in the mood for brunch and whenever we're trying to satisfy a group of disparate personalities--the passing of silver chafing dishes engenders instant conversation and community. The restaurant is a synthesis of styles--the dining room dressed up with Shaker furniture and quilts, the open kitchen featuring market-like displays of vegetables and fruit--yet the dominant impression is of minimalism. Service is attentive and polished, if sometimes pushy. Still, there are few places in the area where you can spend as much and yet come away feeling comforted.

What to get: House-smoked sturgeon rillettes; blue-Hubbard-squash soup with eggnog; octopus confit with Cabernet aïoli; roast chicken with a zesty, jus-like barbecue sauce; culotte of beef cooked in the wood oven; maple-brined pork chop; crabcakes with mustard dressing; braised beef rib with house-made steak sauce; apple pie for two; candy-cane ice cream with chocolate sauce.

Open Monday through Friday for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Saturday and Sunday for breakfast, brunch, and dinner. Expensive.

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