Not many restaurants can offer a menu with a delicious burger and a wine list that has a good Pinot Noir, but The Black Duck manages to do it.
"Come in a suit and tie, or a baseball hat and feel comfortable," says Daniel Allen, owner of the establishment, remarking on the wide appeal of the restaurant's patrons.
Named for a prohibition-era boat that carried liquor up and down the Saugatuck River in Connecticut, the Black Duck Tavern keeps a nautical theme with the embellishments of a country home. On the mustard-colored walls hang old boat oars, while a few small, model sail boats are placed throughout on dark, wooden shelves.
The dark tones of the establishment give the space a comforting feel, which is amplified by small touches like a rug placed on the wooden floor at the entry of the bar. The photographs that hang on the wall are of people on boats, people unabashedly smiling or posing for the camera. It’s a touch that makes patrons feel as though they’re among family.
The menu is diverse and a bit pricey, but every meal is hearty and filing. It also keeps in line with the concept of the restaurant. A 9-ounce filet mignon costs $20, while the sea bass is $17. If cheaper fare is more the need, a slew of hearty sandwiches are available as well. Check out the tavern’s namesake burger, served on dark rye bread with melted Swiss cheese and grilled mushrooms and onions for $9.
But food isn’t the only offering. The tavern has all the standard beers—Blue Moon, Harp and Guinness, among others—and a small, but impressive wine list. The reds seem to be the strength of the list with Cabernets, a Pinot Noir and a nice Chianti.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Sam Barrett