100 Very Best Restaurants 2014: Blue Duck Tavern

No. 7 on this year's list.
The sweetbreads appetizer at Blue Duck Tavern. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

The Park Hyatt hotel might be as sharp-angled and modern as minimalist spaces come, but step into its restaurant and you’re immersed in a world of spindly Windsor chairs, cooling apple pies, and antique patchwork quilts. From the showpiece of a kitchen—tricked out with a wood-burning oven and a blue Molteni range—chef Sebastien Archambault works wonders with farm-stand bounty, fashioning Chesapeake crab into lemony, caper-studded cakes and shaving raw Path Valley Brussels sprouts into a cider-spiked salad. Pastry talent Naomi Gallego is a new arrival, and she has already spiffed up the menu with milk-chocolate s’mores and a cinnamony panna cotta dessert that’s a riff on a bowl of cereal. 

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

Don’t miss: Roasted bone marrow; roasted quail over cornbread; suckling pig with pork jus; seared scallops with stewed tomatoes and pickled okra; farro salad with dried fruit; roasted cauliflower with cheddar fondue; grits with Gouda; sugar cookies; apple pie; seasonal ice creams.

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.

Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.