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Blue Duck Tavern Debuts Heart-Healthy Dishes

Blue Duck Tavern Debuts Heart-Healthy Dishes


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Last month, award-winning Blue Duck Tavern introduced new breakfast menu items to celebrate American Heart Month. The popular Washington, D.C. spot is now serving gluten-free, low-sugar, and egg white dishes made with fresh, locally sourced produce.

On Feb. 19, Blue Duck Tavern hosted a handful of media professionals to sample its new tasty offerings. I approached the breakfast with some hesitation. Sure it was at one of the District’s top restaurants, but could low-sugar, gluten-free items really taste good? As it turns out, yes, they can. We started with this smooth and rich peanut butter and banana smoothie that I’m still thinking about. After drinks, we started on our main courses. A granola bar made with agave syrup (instead of honey), available in cherry, chocolate & almond, and apple cinnamon flavors, tasted chewy and sweet.

The gluten-free sour cream coffee cake was not as crumbly as your average coffee cake, but the spices packed a familiar punch topped off with a crispy crust. We then sampled gluten-free orange scones, waffles, and pancakes, both served with seasonal garnish, and low-sugar marmalades and preserves available in blood orange, pear, and apple. The scones were my second favorite item. They tasted sweet and thick with a lip-puckering orange finish. Chandler Bing would have approved; I’m sure of it. The waffles and pancakes tasted a little thicker than “regular” ones, but were just as tasty. The most filling dish, an egg white frittata, with potato, charred onion, kale and romesco, was a delightful blend of flavors despite being a tad watery. At $6 to $15 a pop, the menu items are very reasonably priced.

Additional items on this overhauled menu include natural low fat or no fat yogurt with fruit, and low-fat yogurt, granola and berry parfait and an organic smoothie. Fresh fruit and vegetable juice with flavors including orange, grapefruit, apple, tomato, ginger-carrot, pineapple and mint (try this one), pomegranate and orange are also available for $5.

Next time you’re in D.C.’s West End and are searching for healthier breakfast options, consider popping into the Blue Duck Tavern. Your taste buds (and your heart) will thank you.

Teresa Tobat is the Washington, D.C. Travel city editor for The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @ttobat88. View her website at teresaktobat.com.


Meet Blue Duck Tavern's New Executive Chef: Adam Howard

Howard took over the kitchen of the one-Michelin-starred Washington, D.C. restaurant in June.

"I've been the man behind the man for the last six or seven years," says Adam Howard. During his time in the nation's capital, he's worked for Bryan Voltaggio and Mike Isabella as a chef de cuisine and a corporate chef. Now, he's come out of the shadows to serve as executive chef at the Michelin-starred Blue Duck Tavern.

His experiences overseeing other chefs' restaurants provided a sense of variety, but not stability. "We were running 10 restaurants by the time I left [Mike Isabella Concepts], so it was just a lot of putting out fires and jumping around," he says. "It's just nice to be in one kitchen again. I have one place to put my shoes."

At his new post at the impeccable, tavern-style restaurant, Howard looks forward to a return to American cuisine and fine dining. "It was always Mediterranean, French, Japanese and Latin, which was great to get outside of my experience and my comfort zone," he says of his time working with chefs like Jennifer Carroll and Jonah Kim on restaurant openings. "[Blue Duck Tavern's] type of fine dining is perfect. There's still a rustic, authentic element to it that I like."

Howard landed at Blue Duck Tavern because it afforded him the opportunity to work with a refined team and a bevy of resources. "Having the tools you need to do your best work is kind of the hardest thing to find in the modern culinary world," he says.

Of course, taking the helm of a Michelin-starred restaurant for the first time with more than a decade's worth of accolades doesn't come without its pressures. Howard says he tries to focus on the job, not the reputation. "I don't want to [lose the first star I'm charged with upholding], but at the end of the day there's so much going on here and it's such a big operation…and I've enjoyed it a lot and put a ton of effort into it, so you don't really have time to think about it."

Howard's upbringing in Pell City, Alabama was bucolic, learning Southern cooking from his grandmother. "My grandparents lived on a big lake and they had a big farm, and all the kinds of classic stuff you picture," he says. "They made all the stuff fresh and picked all their own vegetables."

After attending the Culinary Institute of America and cooking in both New York and Charleston, these deep connections to farming stuck with him. He's been cultivating relationships with farmers in the Mid-Atlantic and is excited about showcasing their produce on his new menus. The volume of the restaurant's orders means that he can even request special varietals to be grown for it.

Blue Duck Tavern's commitment to local sourcing means that the majority of the recipes highlight rather than overshadow the ingredients—a quality piece of protein, a simple sauce and a roasted seasonal vegetable.

In developing his new menu, Howard had to be mindful of the restaurant's past. "There's a lot of signature dishes here," he says. "I know a lot of people that have been coming here for ages. So you kind of have to step lightly."

His tactic was to leave classics alone, save for a few technical improvements. Items like the braised beef rib, the wood oven-roasted bone marrow, the Reuben, and the charcuterie program, have remained.

Beyond that, he has added dishes that blend with the style of the restaurant. New highlights on the late summer menu include spice-roasted halibut with Carolina Gold broken rice pirlau, heirloom carrots, country ham, rhubarb and boiled peanuts, as well as a roasted squash salad with radish, upland cress, cardamom coffee soil, buttermilk mousse and carrot meringue.

These dishes are intentionally layered with multiple components so that they can be executed by a vast team in a busy kitchen. "[We're] making things as simple as possible, but getting a really profound flavor out of it," Howard says. "We can take it apart and put it together, and if something's wrong we fix it and isolate it."

He has also designed the dishes with central techniques that can carry over as the seasons change, while staying true to what's being harvested at the time. For instance, the foie gras mousse is currently garnished with brandied peaches, but come winter, there will be preserved figs in Port or Madeira. The rabbit fricassée with Vadouvan dumplings (a play on chicken and dumplings) might be made with pheasant as it gets colder.

As the summer comes to a close, Howard plans to grow the restaurant's larder by pickling and fermenting fresh produce. They'll also be aging various items for the charcuterie program. Dishes from the fall menu will begin to appear toward the end of September.

"We want to keep building and perfecting things and adding stuff. We have a lot of ideas," Howard says. Thanks to his experience collaborating with chefs in his previous roles, he is receptive to incorporating the ideas of his staff and creating a unified voice for the menu. "It's not just my 17 recipes. It's always better getting other people's feedback and getting other people's little two cents, and it's more interesting to me that way."

His vision for the restaurant under his leadership is to "meet the expectations and then keep providing something new." But he also wants his kitchen to be a springboard for young chefs, like the prestigious places he remembers as he was coming up. "That's where you'd learn how to work with foie or truffles, and break down whole animals. It wasn't in a fast-casual restaurant—it was somewhere with this huge operation that had a butchery room and a butcher and they took the time to do it right because they could afford to, and I think that's kind of going away. A lot of the young folks, they don't have that experience or know how to do it."

In joining Blue Duck's legacy, he recognizes what's come before: "The incredibly talented people that have put their own style on something that's really timeless and continued a long tradition of it." Now, he's ready to make his own mark. "All the pieces were always here. It's just putting in a little more heart and soul and personality."


10 Healthy D.C. Restaurants You Have to Try

For Diet-to-Go customers meal-time can be as set as they want it to be. That&rsquos because customers can choose between a 5-day or 7-day meal plan &mdash and can choose whether they want to receive breakfast, lunch and dinner, or just lunch and dinner.

Yep, with Diet-to-Go, it&rsquos all in your hands.

But what about those days when you just want to get out of the house and try something new? Maybe it&rsquos a special occasion. Maybe you&rsquore going out with friends. Maybe it&rsquos date-night.

Whatever the reason, when you head to a restaurant, we want you to be as prepared as possible and know where to go to get the healthiest (and still delicious) meals in your metro.

Diet-to-Go is starting a mini feature series where we&rsquore sharing our 10 favorite healthy restaurants in the five metros where we offer fresh pickup.

The restaurants featured are sure to light up your taste buds while still keeping you in-line with your weight loss goals.

Our first stop? Washington D.C.


1) Chaia.

Can&rsquot pronounce the name? Don&rsquot sweat it. The delicious creative tacos served up at this retro little joint tucked in Friends of Georgetown Waterfront Park will soon take your mind off it. The menu is 100 percent vegetarian (great for vegans, too, though you may have to opt out of some of the soups), healthy and delicious. Pick out your taco trio and then walk over to the park to enjoy your meal lakeside, followed by a walk.

2) Protein Bar.

Protein Bar&rsquos mission? To change the way people eat, and do it in a way that still tastes good and satisfies. This fast-casual joint is great for lunch, or for a take-home dinner. They&rsquove got &ldquobar-ritos and bowls,&rdquo take your pick. Each bowl is made with locally-sourced ingredients ranging from avocados, to beans, to chicken, to pesto and more. Oh, and did we mention they&rsquore all under 650 calories?


3) Keren Restaurant.

Feeling creative? Maybe even a little adventurous? Then make your way to Keren Restaurant. Don&rsquot let the dive appearance fool you. It&rsquos small, but mighty. Seriously, there&rsquos a reason Keren is usually packed &mdash this place is a gem, especially if you want to satiate parts of your taste buds you never knew existed with Ethiopian food. It&rsquos an absolute must-try.


4) Cava Grill.

Speaking of being adventurous, how about a journey into the middle-land? Yep, we&rsquore talking about Mediterranean food (Mediterranean is Greek for &ldquomiddle-land&rdquo). Cava&rsquos menu is fully customizable based on whatever your taste buds desire (although most people say the &ldquocrazy feta&rdquo is to die for), and the interior has a trendy vibe to it, as colorful as the menu items themselves. There&rsquos soups, pita wraps, sauces, you name it. (And you&rsquoll love it).


5) DC Harvest.

Chef and owner Arthur Ringel has 15-plus years experience in the food business, and he knows his stuff &mdash one taste of his menu, and you&rsquoll find out why. This upscale kitchen spot truly encompasses everything we love about American food. Not the greasy, fried stuff you might get at a chain restaurant, but the kind of American that grandma cooks on a Sunday evening. The menu includes dinner and brunch items, like roasted chicken or brisket (both garnished with healthy sides like quinoa and couscous) for the evening, or things like cremini mushrooms or shrimp and grits for the morning. Mmmm, mmm.


6) Busboys and Poets.

Do you have a quirky, maybe even a bit eccentric, personality? Then you&rsquoll fit right in at Busboys and Poets. The restaurant&rsquos vibe is as interesting as its menu. It&rsquos got lounge chairs, sofas, high-tops, bars and even a bookstore in the back. It&rsquos the kind of place you go curl up with a good book, tap away at your laptop or play a game with friends. And all the while munch down on some healthy, tasty breakfast, lunch or dinner items.

7) Chop&rsquot Creative Salads.

Salad, right? It gets old quick. Unless you find yourself at Chop&rsquot, that is. The restaurant is all about getting super creative with its offerings (hence the name), and it won&rsquot disappoint. Choose from their Destination Salads menu (we&rsquore talking Crunchy Thai Market or Spicy Green Papaya), their Classic Salads (everything from Mexican Caesar to Texas Po&rsquoBoy), their Grain and Noodle Bowls (Mediterranean Falafel, for example) or Warm Kale & Quinoa Bowls. They even have a Create Your Own option. (We won&rsquot blame you if you&rsquore already headed to your car).


8) Restaurant Nora.

When you&rsquore ready to spend a few extra bucks and want to eat 100 percent organic, tasty dishes like pan seared scallops, salmon or veal, head to Restaurant Nora. Known as America&rsquos first certified organic restaurant, Nora&rsquos has been serving healthy, wholesome food for more than 37 years. Restaurant founder Nora Pouillon has received multiple culinary awards over the years and advised many big companies on how to incorporate organic food into their menus. The price tag for dinner will be on the higher-end, but it&rsquos just the thing for a classy date night.

9) Donburi.

Authentic Japanese cuisine all the way &mdash authentic and delicious, that is. Donburi (named after a rice bowl dish in Japan) is known for having some of the most delicious Katsudon in town. (Katsudon is a bowl of rice topped with pork cutlet, egg, vegetables and sauces.) The dish is a big deal in Japan, and for good reason. It&rsquos sure to lift your spirits, especially if you pick some up from this place.

Go there


10) Blue Duck Tavern.

Besides having great service, Blue Duck Tavern has a great ambiance and the menu to match. Dishes run the gamut &mdash everything from roasted quail or duck confit, to crab cakes or steak, to poached pear salads and more. It&rsquos the kind of place you want to carve out some time for (maybe a special occasion or date), because it&rsquos relaxing, laid-back and friendly.

Author: Caitlin H
Diet-to-Go Community Manager

Caitlin is the Diet-to-Go community manager and an avid runner. She is passionate about engaging with others online and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. She believes moderation is key, and people will have the most weight loss success if they engage in common-sense healthy eating and fitness.


The Fat in Duck Meat

The fat in duck meat has pros and cons. For someone on a low-carbohydrate or ketogenic diet, the high-fat content of duck might make it a favorite choice of protein. Most of the fats in duck are healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are considered to be good for you. Despite this, consuming 61 percent of your DV for fat in just 100 grams of duck might sound concerning, especially if you're worried about your health.

While heart-healthy fats like omega fatty acids are good for you, saturated fats aren't the best. Out of the 39.3 grams of fat in a 100-gram serving of duck meat with skin, 13.2 grams are saturated fat. The American Heart Association recommends limiting your saturated fat consumption to 5 to 6 percent of your caloric intake. This is because too much saturated fat can increase cholesterol and your risk of heart issues.

The average person consuming a 2,000-calorie diet should consume about 13 grams of saturated fat a day — which means that a 100-gram serving of duck breast with skin is essentially all of your saturated fat intake. This might be OK occasionally, but if you like eating duck, you may want to take the skin off it — this brings its saturated fat down to just 4.2 grams.


Squid Ink Pasta with Cuttlefish, Chorizo, Tomatoes & Basil


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06/19/2012

Chef Sebastien on WUSA9!

Gearing up for our Park Hyatt Masters of Food & Wine on Sunday morning, Executive Chef Sebastien Archambault appeared live on WUSA9's noon newscast, preparing Poached Egg with English Muffin, Sauteed Spinach, and Fresh Mushrooms.

The Masters of Food & Wine begins at 9:00 am with a Harvest Breakfast on our outdoor terrace, followed by a 'Chef at Market' cooking demonstration led by Chef Sebastien & Chef de Cuisine John Melfi at the Dupont Circle FRESHFARM Market. At the conclusion of the demo, Ann Yonkers, co-founder of the Markets, will lead the group on a tour, interacting with the local farmers and producers. 

A few tickets still remain.  For more information, please call +1 202 419 6768 or email [email protected] 


Meet Blue Duck Tavern's New Executive Chef: Adam Howard

Howard took over the kitchen of the one-Michelin-starred Washington, D.C. restaurant in June.

"I've been the man behind the man for the last six or seven years," says Adam Howard. During his time in the nation's capital, he's worked for Bryan Voltaggio and Mike Isabella as a chef de cuisine and a corporate chef. Now, he's come out of the shadows to serve as executive chef at the Michelin-starred Blue Duck Tavern.

His experiences overseeing other chefs' restaurants provided a sense of variety, but not stability. "We were running 10 restaurants by the time I left [Mike Isabella Concepts], so it was just a lot of putting out fires and jumping around," he says. "It's just nice to be in one kitchen again. I have one place to put my shoes."

At his new post at the impeccable, tavern-style restaurant, Howard looks forward to a return to American cuisine and fine dining. "It was always Mediterranean, French, Japanese and Latin, which was great to get outside of my experience and my comfort zone," he says of his time working with chefs like Jennifer Carroll and Jonah Kim on restaurant openings. "[Blue Duck Tavern's] type of fine dining is perfect. There's still a rustic, authentic element to it that I like."

Howard landed at Blue Duck Tavern because it afforded him the opportunity to work with a refined team and a bevy of resources. "Having the tools you need to do your best work is kind of the hardest thing to find in the modern culinary world," he says.

Of course, taking the helm of a Michelin-starred restaurant for the first time with more than a decade's worth of accolades doesn't come without its pressures. Howard says he tries to focus on the job, not the reputation. "I don't want to [lose the first star I'm charged with upholding], but at the end of the day there's so much going on here and it's such a big operation…and I've enjoyed it a lot and put a ton of effort into it, so you don't really have time to think about it."

Howard's upbringing in Pell City, Alabama was bucolic, learning Southern cooking from his grandmother. "My grandparents lived on a big lake and they had a big farm, and all the kinds of classic stuff you picture," he says. "They made all the stuff fresh and picked all their own vegetables."

After attending the Culinary Institute of America and cooking in both New York and Charleston, these deep connections to farming stuck with him. He's been cultivating relationships with farmers in the Mid-Atlantic and is excited about showcasing their produce on his new menus. The volume of the restaurant's orders means that he can even request special varietals to be grown for it.

Blue Duck Tavern's commitment to local sourcing means that the majority of the recipes highlight rather than overshadow the ingredients—a quality piece of protein, a simple sauce and a roasted seasonal vegetable.

In developing his new menu, Howard had to be mindful of the restaurant's past. "There's a lot of signature dishes here," he says. "I know a lot of people that have been coming here for ages. So you kind of have to step lightly."

His tactic was to leave classics alone, save for a few technical improvements. Items like the braised beef rib, the wood oven-roasted bone marrow, the Reuben, and the charcuterie program, have remained.

Beyond that, he has added dishes that blend with the style of the restaurant. New highlights on the late summer menu include spice-roasted halibut with Carolina Gold broken rice pirlau, heirloom carrots, country ham, rhubarb and boiled peanuts, as well as a roasted squash salad with radish, upland cress, cardamom coffee soil, buttermilk mousse and carrot meringue.

These dishes are intentionally layered with multiple components so that they can be executed by a vast team in a busy kitchen. "[We're] making things as simple as possible, but getting a really profound flavor out of it," Howard says. "We can take it apart and put it together, and if something's wrong we fix it and isolate it."

He has also designed the dishes with central techniques that can carry over as the seasons change, while staying true to what's being harvested at the time. For instance, the foie gras mousse is currently garnished with brandied peaches, but come winter, there will be preserved figs in Port or Madeira. The rabbit fricassée with Vadouvan dumplings (a play on chicken and dumplings) might be made with pheasant as it gets colder.

As the summer comes to a close, Howard plans to grow the restaurant's larder by pickling and fermenting fresh produce. They'll also be aging various items for the charcuterie program. Dishes from the fall menu will begin to appear toward the end of September.

"We want to keep building and perfecting things and adding stuff. We have a lot of ideas," Howard says. Thanks to his experience collaborating with chefs in his previous roles, he is receptive to incorporating the ideas of his staff and creating a unified voice for the menu. "It's not just my 17 recipes. It's always better getting other people's feedback and getting other people's little two cents, and it's more interesting to me that way."

His vision for the restaurant under his leadership is to "meet the expectations and then keep providing something new." But he also wants his kitchen to be a springboard for young chefs, like the prestigious places he remembers as he was coming up. "That's where you'd learn how to work with foie or truffles, and break down whole animals. It wasn't in a fast-casual restaurant—it was somewhere with this huge operation that had a butchery room and a butcher and they took the time to do it right because they could afford to, and I think that's kind of going away. A lot of the young folks, they don't have that experience or know how to do it."

In joining Blue Duck's legacy, he recognizes what's come before: "The incredibly talented people that have put their own style on something that's really timeless and continued a long tradition of it." Now, he's ready to make his own mark. "All the pieces were always here. It's just putting in a little more heart and soul and personality."


Taste Test: Blue Duck Tavern’s Heart Healthy Menu

February is American Heart Month. If you guessed that a slew of restaurants would jump on that promotional bandwagon with a “light” menu of relatively flavorless versions of classic plates, you’re correct. But Blue Duck Tavern is not among them.

The notion that healthy dining means unenjoyable dining is put to rest at Blue Duck this month with this simple but stunning menu– that also happens to be almost entirely gluten free. When pastry cook Victoria Blake was diagnosed with celiac a year ago, she had no intention of changing her career path. Instead, she devoted her time to perfecting and elevating simple breakfast pastry classics so flawlessly that those with no allergies to speak of had a hard time believing her handiwork is gluten free.

The best gluten free food shouldn’t taste or feel (texture is a very important factor here) gluten free, and the menu Blake created with Executive Chef Sebastien Archambault tastes like I should be allergic to it. That’s how you know it’s a job well done. It’s true that removing gluten from the equation is not the sole response to heart health issues, but it hides in a lot of common foods we never think of– soup, pasta sauce, soy sauce, licorice, and even some rice or corn based cereals still have gluten. This menu proves that there are still healthy ways to enjoy breakfast without being banished to the land of no carbs.

In addition to the best gluten free waffles and pancakes that I’ve had since my diagnosis five years ago, the menu features an impressive orange scone, decadent coffee cake, an assortment of muffins, scrambled egg whites with local crab meat and avocado, and an assortment of smoothies and fresh juices that truly restore your faith in healthy eating.

And for those like myself who rely on expert menus like this, fear not– while American Heart Month ends with February, the Blue Duck kitchen will assess this menu and keep the best of its new gluten free items on the standard one.


5 delectable D.C. dishes to eat right now

The best bites of the moment aren&rsquot always found at the newest spots. There might be a recently appointed chef at an old favorite who is creating exciting dishes, a seasonal menu change at your favorite bar or a new twist on a popular dish at an oldie-but-goodie. So, while you&rsquore plotting how to get in to the new hotspot, consider checking out these enticing new offerings around town.

Bing bread at Momofuku CCDC

In case you missed it, this David Chang outpost hired a new chef this spring and rethought the entire experience&mdashno more ramen or buns, and those of you with twitchy backs will be happy to learn that they ditched the chic but torturous stools in favor of real chairs. A cornerstone of executive chef Tae Strain&rsquos new menu is something called bing bread, a pillowy flatbread made with three types of flour. The dough is fermented for 48 hours before it&rsquos flattened out and cooked to order on the plancha. It arrives warm, soft and a little crispy around the edges with your choice of three dips and spreads: butter with honey and gochugaru pimento cheese seasoned with house-fermented chilis and topped with dill-pickled kohlrabi and jalapeños or sunflower hozon, which is a Chang-coined term for a sort of miso-like umami bomb made with nuts, seeds or legumes instead of soybeans.

Roasted Maine lobster &ldquoroll&rdquo at Blue Duck Tavern

Executive chef Adam Howard recently took over the kitchen at this beloved West End dining room, and this lobster is a show-stopping addition to the menu. But purists, take note of the quotation marks around the word &ldquoroll.&rdquo This is not something you&rsquod get in New England, but rather reads more like what would happen if you crossed a lobster roll with a lobster boil. It starts with a three-pound blanched lobster that&rsquos split down the middle and doused in butter loaded up with lemon zest, herbs, roasted garlic and cracked black pepper. The crustacean is then roasted with baby corn and peewee potatoes, all served with herb-buttered rolls and a slaw that&rsquos given a flavor boost with housemade green tomato chow chow. Life hack: The dinner menu features a whole lobster for $62, but a half lobster is offered at lunchtime for $36. While there, try the honey-roasted carrots, the beef-heart tartare made to evoke a Reuben sandwich, and the herbed cavatelli.

Callaloo soup at Spark

Spark is another restaurant that underwent a menu overhaul earlier this year, a move that paid off big-time since the Caribbean-inspired smokehouse was just named to Michelin&rsquos Bib Gourmand list. There are several knock-your-socks-off dishes coming onto the fall menu, but one that stood out for its vibrance, spice and flavor punch is chef Peter Prime&rsquos callaloo soup. Prime, who was born in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, describes this bright-green soup as an old family recipe. &ldquoI sautée greens, onions, garlic and a smoked protein, usually brisket or something with a lot of flavor, with a bit of salt and pepper,&rdquo he says. &ldquoThen add the liquids: lime juice, coconut milk or water stock&mdashmy family would use any delicious liquids we had around the house&mdashand let it all braise for four hours. I then add sliced okra and let everything bubble together, then you blend.&rdquo He garnished it here with olive oil and creme fraiche. Other standouts from the new menu include the curry duck, an eggplant spread and jerk shrimp.

Foie gras mousse at Opaline Bar & Brasserie

The restaurant at the Sofitel experienced a reboot earlier this year, with a polished new dining room and updated menu, but it's still heavily French-inspired. At a recent tasting of the fall menu, which debuts Oct. 11, our table was over the moon for this very rich and silky mound of foie gras mousse served atop a bed of spicy pepita brittle with aromatic grilled brioche and a small jar of housemade Concord grape preserves. Co-chefs Dan Woods and Kevin Lalli say a key step in creating that luxurious mouthfeel of the foie gras mousse is taking it out of the fridge 20 minutes before serving. Then you spread it on the grilled bread, add a dollop of jam, a sprinkle of pepita brittle&mdashand boom, you&rsquove got the world&rsquos classiest PBJ. If you&rsquore not a foie person, there&rsquos an equally alluring pot of curried mussels and a lovely coq au vin on the fall menu that you should not overlook. The hotel also just kicked off brunch for the first time.

Grilled Fisherman Style Octopus with Bagna Cauda at Sfoglina

You can&rsquot throw a fish these days without hitting a menu with octopus on it, so to be worthy of making this list, you know it has to be a pretty special dish. The grilled octopus is perfectly tender, a feat in itself, and infused with a soft, smoky char. The real magic, though, is the addictive bagna cauda sauce underneath. Chef Philip Marzelli, who runs the downtown location that recently flipped from Casa Luca to Sfoglina, confits the octopus in olive oil for two hours before it hits the grill, then finishes it with espelette pepper oil and edible flowers. Follow it up with a hearty bowl of pappardelle sauced with lamb ragu and a slice of hazelnut-laced chocolate gateau for the ultimate Sfoglina meal.


Watch the video: BarSmarts - Service Basics Esp Subs


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