Top 10 Great Restaurant Duck Dishes
As I was making up this list, I was struck by the fact that I couldn't recommend any restaurants that serve a classic duck a l'orange or duck with black cherry sauce. The duck half roasted well done and then flambeed at your table with a fruit sauce is a dish that time has passed by. (I think I last had it at Haussner's.) Still, if for no other reason than nostalgia, I wish I could have come up with one. Maybe one of you knows of a restaurant that still serves it.
What is incredibly trendy, I found when I was going through my archived reviews, is the pairing of rare duck breast with a duck leg confit. It's a pairing that works well, and it's a great contrast of textures. If I were doing my Top 15, I would include five more examples of this very dish.
I know duck isn't as popular a subject as, say, crab cakes, so I asked my readers to come up with an alternative headline that might lure non-regulars in. The winners are Bucky (Top 10 Foods That Came With a Bill Before They Were Served) and Zevonista (Top 10 Dishes You Don't Want to Share with Donald or Daffy).I didn't have the nerve to use either one.
Please remember that with the popularity of ever-changing seasonal menus, some of these dishes may not be on these restaurants' menus year round. So if your heart is set on one, call to make sure it's available.
Here's my list of favorite duck dishes: ...
* Charred rare duck breast paired with duck confit at Abacrombie near the Meyerhoff
* Duck meatballs with braised cabbage, bacon, apples and Calvados sauce at the Brewer's Art in Mount Vernon
* Pan-Roasted duck breast, roasted root vegetables, speckled butter beans at Charleston in Harbor East
* Smooth but assertive duck liver pate at Clementine in Hamilton
* Roast duck quarter with a fruity pomegranate sauce at the Carlyle Club in Homewood
* Braised duck pizza at Juniors Wine Bar in Federal Hill
* Roast duck breast paired with crisp-skinned quail and a cream sauce with morels at the Kings Contrivance in Columbia
* Duck fesenjune, orange-poached with a walnut-pomegranate sauce at the Orchard Market & Cafe in Towson
* Duck breast with a fresh pear reduction at Osteria 177 in Annapolis
* Peking duck at Szechuan House (1427-29 York Road, 410-825-8181) in Timonium
(Nanine Hartzenbusch/Sun photographer)