Using a duck press “contraption,” chef Ryan Ratino cranks out a French specialty to much fanfare at Bresca in D.C.

The dish: Duck Press

The restaurant: Bresca

The chef/owner: Ryan Ratino

Prep level: Heavy

“The idea with the duck press was to have something in our French-inspired restaurant that is very rare to see but also reinterpreted to fit into our more contemporary style of dining.”

The key ingredients

  • Apples
  • rye tart
  • braised duck
  • honey
  • tardivo

The staples

  • Whole duck

What is a duck press? As chef Ryan Ratino calls it, a “contraption.” What’s more, it’s a spectacle for guests. The duck press holds the duck bones and crushes them with a crank to extract the marrow. “Guests are in love with it when it comes out and very curious as to how it works and where it’s from,” Ratino says.

While the dish has very limited availability and often sells out, it takes a lot of effort. The duck press is a nod to the French inspiration behind Bresca. It’s something that’s very rare to see, Ratino says, but is reinterpreted to fit Bresca’s more contemporary style of dining.

Ducks are aged for 21 days to make this dish. Key in preparation is even roasting as well as braiding the leg and thighs into the tart—both detail-oriented and labor-intensive tasks. But worth it.

“People love the conversation about the press and what goes into it as well as the volume of a feast we create out of this duck,” Ratino says. “All in all, a house favorite and constant sellout.”

Feature, Menu Innovations