I Heart Duck

I love duck. I've had duck around the globe, from Canard al'Orange in France, to Peking Duck in the Chinatowns of New York and Boston, from Panang Curry Duck in South Windsor, Connecticut to a fabulous grilled Duck in Raspberry Sauce in Rome, Italy.

However, no duck dish has ever come close to the duck I once had at Pho Lemongrass, in Coolidge Corner, Brookline, Massachusetts. Described as "Crispy Boneless Duck" on the menu, it had a little icon of a chili pepper next to it to tell me it's spicy. It is, and it can't be beat. Perfectly cooked to a tender moistness with plenty of reddish brown crispy as in crunches-in-my-mouth skin, it was served over a bed of blanched onion, celery and bell pepper strips in a lemongrass-basil sauce. The jasmine rice, garnished with chopped cilantro, cooled my mouth after each hot bite. If I had been alone in the restaurant, I would have licked the plate.

Last weekend's duck (pictured above) came pretty close, however. Chris and I were enjoying our annual Columbus Day foodie-fest in Providence, Rhode Island, and I'll post more about that soon. Our first night there, we had an amazing dinner at CAV, a unique location that offers an eclectic menu in an artistic atmosphere. I had a duck confit leg that was so tender it was falling off the bone. It was served with a medium-rare sliced duck breast glazed in Grand Marnier, and although glazes tend to take away from the crispiness of duck skin, this one did not. Served with sweet-potatoes mashed with caramelized onions, it was both seasonal and satisfying.

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