Blue Duck Tavern: ‘Dem Bones

Blue Duck Tavern Bone Marrow

The menu at Blue Duck Tavern is a moving target. It changes with the seasons, or with the chef, but there’s one thing that we hope never goes away: ‘Dem bones. It’s as simple as that. We’re talking about The Best Thing on the Menu: Wood Oven-Roasted Bone Marrow with Horseradish Butter and a Parsley Crust.

Marrow is nature’s margarine (and far more spreadable than butter), so don’t miss out on the perfect bite at BDT. First, smear marrow on still-warm toast, then smash a roasted garlic clove on top before digging in. While you’re feeling guilty about calories (Anthony Bordain calls marrow God’s Butter), remember that it contains essential fatty acids and at least eight vitamins and minerals.

Blue Duck Tavern Dessert

Another stunner comes in dessert form. Pastry Chef Naomi Gallego is a wizard of epic proportions. Just look at this deconstructed Meyer Lemon Ice Box Cake consisting of Lemon Cremeux, graham cake, cream cheese blueberry pearls and Tasmanian pepper meringue.

It looks like an underwater ballet set in a coral reef. Sometimes when things get too artsy, they don’t taste as grand. But this sure does. Nothing says where the hell are you summer more than the pairing of blueberry and lemon.

Bone Marrow not your BTM? Share your favorites in the comments section.

Spice 6: Naan Pizza

Spice 6 Naan Pizza

There’s nothing better than food that proves you wrong. Fast casual CAN be flavorful. Fast casual CAN mean from-scratch cooking. Fast casual CAN be so good that it warrants a trip down Rhode Island Avenue to Hyattsville, MD.

Meet Spice 6, a fast casual Indian restaurant that only shares one thing in common with the Chipotle concept: Speed. Spice 6 hasn’t conformed to be bland. Those who fervently avoid shy spices and mild flavor will see what we mean, especially if they go off menu by requesting Vik’s hot sauce.

The Best Thing on the Menu: Naan Pizza is innovative, yet familiar enough that Indian newbies will feel comfortable. Load up a freshly baked round of naan with a sauce (Tikka Masala, Kadai Masala, Korma Masala or Spinach Masala) plus a protein (chicken, lamb, veggies, tofu or house made paneer cheese). Complete your pizza with a few more toppings and mozzarella cheese before it goes back in the oven for a hot sec. Then, BOOM New Delhi Domino’s to the face.

In choosing your protein remember that lamb is the reigning defending, undefeated, undisputed champion of Indian food. It’s not like chicken, which just sits there soaking up sauce. The owner, Vik Singh, must really trust his Nepali Chef, Upendra Thapaliya. Being a strict vegetarian, Vik’s never tried the meaty parts of his menu. Don’t worry Vik, your chef’s got it under control.

Spice 6 Chaat

Another top pick is the chaat, a typical Indian street food. In a year when street food is king (even Anthony Bordain is opening up a street food hall in NYC), the chaat is a must try. Fried strips of naan are topped with a savory pile of chickpeas, herbs and sauces (the best of which is a sticky sweet tamarind chutney). Wash it all down with a mango lassi.

Naan pizza not your BTM? Share your favorites in the comments section.

You might also like Rasika or Bombay Club.