Dining in DC with Larry David

More
zeke mar 13 larry_hbo.png

Photo Courtesy of HBO


Can you imagine going to a restaurant with Larry David? All his neuroses are enough to make anyone meshugena,* much less a wait staff trying to be professional and helpful. Suffice it to say the Blue Duck Tavern staff was outstanding.

The chestnut soup sounded wonderful. But when Mr. David was told it came with small marshmallows, his hands waved around ordering them away. But the homemade, small, square marshmallows slowly melted into the soup. Their slightly tangy flavor balanced the sweetness of the creamy chestnut soup. After the rest of us "oohed and ahhed," Larry motioned to the waiter to bring back his marshmallows.

Then there was the sashimi-quality mackerel pate. Also sounded wonderful. It came with a thick cream on the top. Mr. David was disgusted. All that cream! He missed another subtle dish. Mackerel, bluefish and others are frequently avoided by diners because they are oily and "fishy." But when these fish are smoked or made into pâté, that "fishiness" is attenuated and the result is a smooth, but tasty, savory treat. This mackerel pâté was robust, as a pâté should be -- with a slightly peppery finish. Definitely an unexpected delight.

After the rest of us 'oohed and ahhed,' Larry motioned to the waiter to bring back his marshmallows.

For the main course, we were at a "tavern" and Larry was having trouble with all the meats on the menu. So he ordered the sturgeon. I ordered the braised beef rib. The table had roasted mixed mushrooms. The beef rib was delectable. Served on a cleaned rib bone, the three chunks were soft and easily cut. They melted in the mouth with a nice taste -- not overpowering but, again like the pâté, robust. The wild mushrooms were a well-rounded mixture of different types, gently roasted yet slightly firm and crunchy.

Well, Larry went at it again. The sturgeon came poached in a (damn) cream sauce. He yelled at the waiter, Didn't the waiter now understand he did not eat any red meat or dishes made with cream? As a sign of the tremendous service, the waiter came back with a grilled sturgeon, no cream.

Why was Larry so particular? He has high cholesterol and refuses to eat any meat or cream. When advised -- by his agent and friend -- that he should just take a statin and eat to his heart's delight, Larry dismissed the idea. "I attract every side effect of these drugs."

"What do you mean? You get nausea, rashes, pain? Do your teeth itch?

"Yes, they all happen to me."

That is the Larry David who makes us -- the only slightly less neurotic, over educated Americans -- admire and love him and his shows.

He pushed the Blue Duck's staff, but they responded with uncomplaining service. Plus, the food is excellent, definitely making the Blue Duck one of my top 10 picks in Washington, D.C.

*Larry David read this review and approved it.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Ezekiel J. Emanuel

Ezekiel Emanuel is director of the Clinical Bioethics Department at the U.S. National Institutes of Health and heads the Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where the Wild Things Go

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Adults Need Playtime Too

When was the last time you played your favorite childhood game?

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Health

From This Author

Just In