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.

Volt: Young Carrots (What’s Up, Doc)

Volt Carrots

The carrot is a humble food. It’s typically one of the first foods we enjoy as babies; a popular dieter’s on-the-go snack; a cartoon meal for Bugs Bunny; and the food our mother’s tell us will aid our vision. But, the carrot dish at Volt stood up against the likes of calamari and bacon smoked pasta Bolognese, lamb necks braised with hulled barley, corn dumplings and many other winning dishes.

The Best Thing on the Menu was none other than: Young Carrots charred backed in an aromatic salt crust, dressing made from the carrot’s green tops and marsh samphire, soured sheep’s milk ice, pickles of icicle radish, bitter and sweet lettuces. Like other molecular gastronomy chefs, Top Chef Bryan Voltaggio somehow creates the illusion of that you’re pulling carrots directly out of the dirt by using culinary magic tricks.

Our meal at Volt was a tale of two tasting menus. We experienced both the protein-driven tasting menu and the fruits & vegetables tasting menu. It was fun to pick a head-to-head matchup winner each course —  A long delicious boxing match that ultimately had the vegetarian tasting menu coming out on top. We feel we’re really putting our money where our mouth is, seeing as though we chose Volt as one of the top five surprise picks for vegetarians earlier this summer.

Even the dessert on the vegetarian tasting menu won out: Meyer Lemon aerated white chocolate, pudding of ruby grapefruit, sorbet of celery hearts and leaves, coriander blooms, crisp cardamom and bitter cocoa.

Meyer Lemon Dessert at Volt

A visit to Volt is worth the trip to Frederick, MD. Unfortunately, the drive precludes most DC diners from taking advantage of the wine program, but the food should more than make up for it. One last tip, Volt has a parking lot that’s free for diners located immediately adjacent to the restaurant.

Want to try one of Bryan Voltaggio’s creations a little closer to home? There’s always Range.

Young Carrots not your BTM? Post your favorites in the comments section.