Duck for All Seasons

Duck-Warzsawa Rest I am hopelessly crazy about duck.  If a duck appears on a restaurant menu I always order it.  I don’t care how they cook it. I like duck old-fashioned à l’orange or as modern as all get out.  I cook duck at home less frequently partly because duck is always sold frozen and whole and sometimes I just don’t want to go through the hassle.  I always save the duck fat after roasting which I then use for a delicious cooking fat.  So when it comes to what to order when I go the the Warzsawa Polish restaurant on Lincoln Boulevard in Santa Monica, California, which we do usually on my birthday, there’s no question that it will be duck.  A half roasted duck with spaetzle and stewed apples.  It arrives on the table with a steak knife sticking out of it.  That alone portends how delicious this duck will be. There’s a method to my eating it too.  First, it spins a few times to see where I would like to begin then off we go.  It’s quite impressive because nearly everyone at the table orders duck too and its positively medieval.

I once made one of my kids a sandwich when they were in high school that caused them to call me up from the school cafeteria and ask “what is this sandwich?”  It was that good–and amazing.  It was sliced roast duck with sliced tomato, avocado, and red onion and lettuce with homemade lingonberry mayonnaise on a brioche roll.  I was asked to make it again, but I digress.

Back to the Warzsawa.  What is such a hoot about this restaurant is that it’s been in business and at the same location for a few decades and consistently serves up delicious Polish food without a nod to the latest fad.  I call it the un-California restaurant, and that’s a good thing.  There’s nary an acai berry in sight.  It’s clientele are not merely Polish ex-pats, but all kinds of food loving people from young hipsters (a hipster who goes to a Polish restaurant in California is clearly a very open-minded hipster) to professorial looking types who might be discussing Czesław Miłosz.

Once most of the meat has been sliced off the duck it’s time for the hands and now some serious eating occurs as the carcass comes to the mouth and every last scrape of meat is devoured.  The amazing thing about this duck–besides its delicious, tender taste–is that there is no fat.   Now we must wait until next year for our Polish duck.  Of course, that can’t happen and within weeks I’ll roast a duck. Duck, roast 2

Comments

  1. Peggy Mislock says:

    How about a recipe for your favorite duck.

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