We should have, but we didn't for two reasons. We were there with my family, from out of town, and we didn't want to bring more attention than necessary to all the failings we noticed since we picked the restaurant. (They aren't foodies and weren't as horrified. My husband is a CIA-trained chef and we had higher (but reasonable) expectations.) I should point out that even though they aren't foodies, they did know that roasted garlic shouldn't be crunchy!
We also were so shocked at how bad it was...literally every course had a fatal flaw...so we didn't see the point. It's hard to complain that "your chef just isn't doing a very good job...he should be a better cook." It's not like one course was ill prepared or late so we could ask for some compensation. It was just a bad experience from start to finish. Instead of complaining, we just decided to share our experience and choose better next time.
I do not usually post on message boards, but I had such a horrible experience last night at Blue Duck Tavern that I feel obliged to spare people from this place.
I have been in DC for years and eat out two or three times a week at upscale restaurants. Overall, I think DC has some fabulous restaurants and I have yet to have a bad meal at any place where the check averages $100 or more per person. Until last night.
I expected something along the lines of Brasserie Beck or Central in quality. What I got instead was beyond disappointing and amateur.
The food: Completely forgettable and not cooked correctly. When I am paying $15 for an appetizer, I expect a chef to know how to roast garlic. My husband's marrow came with crunch roasted garlic. The potato salad side had potatoes that were not even close to done. The vegetables on my vegetable skewer tasted like they'd been waived over the grill to get the essence of grilling, without actually grilling them. I am all for chefs who take chances and experiment and I don't mind when some of the experiments don't work. For instance, I thought the crunchy fava bean/mushroom side was odd and didn't work, but that's my personal taste. Someone else might have loved it. But I do expect a chef at that caliber a restaurant to know the basics. I expect fully cooked garlic and potatoes. Even the fruit in my cobbler was undercooked. All in all, I can say that this was the most disappointing food I've had in DC.
The service: Very attentive, but in a used car salesmen kind of way. We were told the menu was a la carte and that we should order sides to share with the table. My dish came with a side, but the waiter kept insisting that I order another side to share with the table. When I said no thanks, he again told me I was depriving the table. There was nearly constant interruptions to see if we wanted more drinks, even when some drinks weren't close to empty. The waiter didn't want to bring us the wine by the glass list or the list of teas for after dinner. Wanted us to just let him make a recommendation...without benefit of being able to see how much his suggestions cost. In a place with very few wines by the glass and nearly half of them costing $20 a glass, I think that's inappropriate.
We spent more than $500 for 4 people. Two did not have appetizers or dessert/coffee. For that kind of money, there are SO many better restaurants in DC. I'd start with Central. I've gotten so spoiled by all the great restaurants in DC, I was truly surprised that there was anywhere in town serving food that lame at that price point.