With the wealth of restaurants in New York, it can be easy to lose track of spots after you've tried them once. But certain, special places you'll always make your way back to. Duck's Eatery is one of those places for me.
I stumbled upon Duck's during my first month in New York - literally stumbled over their doorstep. As it turns out, stumbling into this restaurant was one of my most fortuitous, clumsy mistakes. The restaurant is a rustic respite in the heart of the east village and immediately transports you from the hustle of the village bar scene to an intimate, bucolic setting. Wooden tables & benches pack the small space, while garlands of haphazardly strung white lights twinkle by the window and bar. There's something quaint & peaceful about the restaurant that feels like coming home.
It's likely already apparent how fond I am of the atmosphere at Duck's. I'm here to tell you, she's not just pretty, she's also got substance and a great personality.
Drinks: The cocktail menu here is surprisingly good. There's a lot of interesting and innovative flavor combinations on the menu. But where many restaurants can be a tad over zealous in constructing their cocktail ingredient list, most of Duck's cocktails are beautifully balanced & fresh.
Dinner: If you go for dinner and only order one thing (which would be a massive shame), please let it be the smoked goat neck. They do an incredible job with this dish and I wish I had the pictures to do it justice. The goat meat is cooked just to the point where it's almost falling off the bone, and then draped in a decadent cherry-hinted royal curry. It's served atop a fragrant coconut pilaf and just toes the line between an exceptional southern barbecue and something a bit more exotic.
Outside of the goat neck, most of the meat dishes on their menu are superb. Their cured & preserved board and duck salad are excellent, while their spicy brisket jerky is a great snack to tide you over while you wait for friends to show up.
Pro tip: For all of my southern-food loving friends, if you come on Tuesdays, they also serve up brisket.
The 'vegetables' section of their menu is also pretty tasty, but be warned - these are southern-style fried vegetables for the most part. Don't order from this section expecting a bed of fresh kale & arugula.
Dessert: Last but not least, the beignets are totally worth it, so make some room. They're heavenly little bites served with chocolate & light as air home-made whipped cream.