Blue Duck Tavern
1201 24th St., NW
Washington, DC 20037
Neighborhood: Foggy Bottom/West End, Downtown
Cuisines: Modern, Breakfast, American
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
Nearby Metro Stops: Foggy Bottom-GWU, Farragut West
Price Range: Expensive
Noise Level: Chatty
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.
Appetizers $8 to $18, entrées $18 to $32.
Special Features: Wheelchair Accessible, Kid Friendly, Valet Parking Available, Weekend Brunch
Of all the revivals mounted over the past couple of years, the most astonishing has nothing to do with the Kennedy Center or Arena Stage—it’s this austere exercise in Americana in the Park Hyatt. Without drastically revamping the menu, Sebastien Archambault has reanimated a restaurant whose brand of luxury-class locavorism had flatlined. He can make food-nerd arcana seem as homey as meatloaf—as he does with his roasted marrow bones topped with red wine, apple butter, and granola—and can haul a crabcake far from its Maryland roots while making you grateful for it. (The lobster aïoli is its own reward.) He also can make 1,000 calories feel like 100—no small accomplishment with a menu as rich as this.
In an age of relaxed dress codes, the restaurant wants to be a special-occasion destination. Service bends to the formal, and the wine list is notable for high markups on many pleasant if unremarkable bottles. Don’t miss: Foie gras with a hen egg; glazed veal sweetbreads; roast suckling pig; garlic sausage; rib eye for two; grits with redeye gravy; seasonal crumble; apple pie.
Open: Monday through Friday for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Saturday and Sunday for breakfast, brunch, and dinner. Very expensive.