The Dish: “Angry Trout” with pears, bacon, hazelnuts, and sage
The Location: Blue Duck Tavern, 24th & M Streets NW, (202) 419-6755.
The Price: $18
The Skinny: The contemporary interior greeting diners at the Park Hyatt Washington’s Blue Duck Tavern is a good match for diners seeking a soft, subdued atmosphere, but lurking in the menu’s seafood section is a dish that—through an odd-but-effective blend of savagery and humor—bucks the Duck’s milieu. If “Angry Trout” seems like a strange name for a fish, any questions about its meaning vanish when the dish arrives at your table: How angry would you be if someone served you up with your tail sticking out of your mouth? The harshness of its presentation contrasts with its subtle flavor—thanks to hazelnuts, bacon, and other fillings, the dish creates a taste that lingers pleasantly on the palate. But are diners ever put off by its appearance? “It’s funny, but no,” Executive Chef Brian McBride says. About once a month one will ask to have the head taken off, he adds, but since Blue Duck’s mid-June opening, the Angry Trout has become a top seller.