Executive chef Sebastien Archambault and chef de Cuisine John Melfi are introducing new items on Blue Duck Tavern’s menu to capture the essence of summer, while newly appointed sommelier Gene Alexeyev is at the ready to suggest delicious wine pairings. Just named the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington’s “Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year” at Sunday’s coveted RAMMY Awards, the celebrated restaurant highlights new standouts on its lunch menu, including Baby Carrots Salad, suggested with scallops or crab cake; Baby Wedge Salad, with red radishes, crispy pig ears and green goddess dressing, and can be enhanced with salmon or chicken breast; Marinated Cucumber Salad with yogurt, kalamata olives, rye croutons and dill, and can be ordered with aged New York strip or prawns; 8-ounce Wood Oven Fired Beef with charred onion vinaigrette, can be prepared as 30-Day Dry-Aged New York Strip or Wagyu Hanger Steak. Additional new selections are Roasted Pulled Pork Sandwich with garden chow-chow, carrots and chicharones; Crispy Rainbow Trout with potato salad, pickled ramps, and spiced pecans; Wood Oven Fired Tuna with garden ratatouille and basil; and Fried Green Tomatoes with pimento cheese.
Blue Duck Tavern’s new sommelier Gene Alexeyev is Russian born and began his career working in journalism before transitioning to the hospitality arena in the nation’s capital. He quickly gravitated to wine, helping to build wine lists for some top area restaurants before joining Park Hyatt Washington in February 2012, as a food and beverage manager at award-winning Blue Duck Tavern. Alexeyev has completed the first level of certification by the Master Court of Sommeliers and will return to pursue the second level in August. He is also certified by the American Society of Sommeliers in New York, and has achieved level two with the Wine and Spirit Education Trust. He enjoys collaborating with the entire food and beverage team at Park Hyatt Washington to enhance the evolving wine lists at Blue Duck Tavern, its Lounge and the hotel’s meeting & events space, The Gallery.
“Our wine program is becoming broader,” Alexeyev says. “Our core list remains true to Blue Duck Tavern’s mission, which is dedicated to showcasing small production, sustainable & organic American offerings. Working together our culinary and beverage team is rounding out our selection of wines incorporating more international vintages. At Blue Duck Tavern, we have 30 pours by the glass and 350 bottles, with pricing ranging from $40 to a rare Chateau Latour for $4,800; while in the Lounge, we focus on 15 vintages by the glass that really marry well with the cheese program and the menu. Finally, we are perfecting our monthly wine dinner series, bringing some of the most talented artisan winemakers to the Chef’s Table at Blue Duck Tavern. Thus far we have recently welcomed Eileen Crane, president and winemaker of Domaine Carneros, Seven Hills Winery, and Caymus Vineyards. In July we are working with Rose, while August will be all about white wines.”