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Daring D.C. Restaurant Revives Stunning French Cooking Technique

Bresca’s ”duck press” service is available while supplies last

A spin on the traditional canard à la rouennaise is now hitting diners’ plates at Bresca.
Rey Lopez/Under a Bushel Photography

Critically acclaimed newcomer Bresca is going old school for its latest act, turning to a 19th-century serving technique to wow diners in its modern dining room.

The award-winning restaurant has followed through on its mission to incorporate a vintage duck press into its dinner service. The historic contraption doing all the work — along with chef Ryan Ratino, who taught himself how to operate it — was invented in 19th-century Paris. The starring dish is prepared with a metal device dubbed canard à la rouennaise (or, “duck in blood sauce”). At Bresca, up to four ducks per night will be sent through a large crank and a wheel that compacts the featured birds. Juices are then strained, turned into a thick sauce, and poured over the end product. Ratino dresses up the production by taking care of everything tableside on a rolling cart pushed up right next to adventurous diners.

The intensive production — a rarity for a D.C. restaurant — is available on a first-come, first-serve basis and costs around $125 for a gourmet meal for two to four. Accompaniments include charred wild onion and wild onion pistou, grilled and glazed rainier; foie gras can be tacked on for an additional $40.

This fall will mark the debut of D.C.’s dining Sensation of the Year.


1906 14th Street Northwest, , DC 20009 Visit Website

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