Blue Duck Tavern's new spring menu is infused with the sense and sensibilities of newly appointed chef de cuisine Daniel Singhofen.
Focused on the fresh purity of locally sourced food, several new menu items stand out, particularly the wood oven-roasted bone marrow. Tenderly flavored with horseradish butter and a parsley crust, the bone marrow is a joyous burst of flavor.
Also noteworthy were the lamb sweetbreads, accompanied by radish and frisee salad with a dash of sorghum butter, as well as the Hunter's salad, made with root vegetable, quail egg and granola -- healthy, but still with a sinful element of salty goodness.
Following the lamb theme, from the new entrée selections, the roasted and braised spring lamb was perfectly cooked, and because I loved seafood I was partial to the beautiful roasted sea bass, but it should be mandatory for every diner to order the wagyu beef. The meat serrated at a gentle touch, delightfully flavored. Just brilliant.
At Blue Duck, the meats don't come with their own sides, meaning you'll have some additional decisions to make. Of course, most diners lean toward the hand-cut BDT triple fries, and who could blame them? However, Singhofen has added three fun, flavorful and very interesting presentations.
First was the Carolina gold rice risotto. The smooth texture of the risotto nestled the coddled egg with a rainbow of flavor, easily bringing together the green asparagus and rainbow chard as well.
Also fun to eat was the roasted cauliflower salad with olives, orange and capers, as well as the heirloom carrots, presented pureed, roasted, shaved and arrayed with hazelnut.
By this point, most diners would be pleading for mercy, but skipping Chef Naomi Gallego's pastries would be a real tragedy. In my mind, no dessert is better than ice cream/gelato/frozen yogurt, so I was partial to the Valrhona Bahibe custard. A deconstruction comprised of black sesame shortbread, caramel, milk chocolate ganache, caramelized banana, passion fruit gel, and peanut marshmallows, the dessert was both a visual and gastronomic feast.