Here are five local dishes with duck that you just might want to try.
1) Maple duck, $27
250 Warren St., Dayton
This savory Maple Leaf Farm duck breast dish is coated in a sage rub and left to rest for 24-48 hours. The skin is seared until crispy and it is finished off in an oven until medium rare. A deliciously layered and playful maple shallot mustard glaze finishes the duck off. This dish, which took my No. 1 spot, is served with a caramelized onion cream spinach and a sausage and dark rye bread pudding that is seared on a cast iron grill.
Pair it with: Cracked Pepper Scallops, $17
As long as you have two people, make it a celebration of protein with soft, silky scallops wrapped in pepper bacon creating an exciting contrast with bite. The dish is softened in a fuji apple butter and served with a bleu cheese slaw.
2) “Duck You Can Eat with a Spoon,” $20
215 Xenia Ave., Yellow Springs
What happens when you cook duck all day long in wine and aromatics? Magic. This recipe created by Paula Wolfert and adopted by The Winds creates a dish that will melt in your mouth — one that you can cut and eat with a spoon. The southern French preparation features a single duck leg served with a sauce made from the reduced braising liquid. A savory side of white beans compliments the dish.
Pair it with: Fried Brussels Sprouts, $8
You may think you hate brussels sprouts, but when you add crisp applewood smoked bacon, crushed hazelnuts and a mustard caper vinaigrette, you will prove yourself wrong.
3) Duck curry (Gang Ped Bhed Yaang), $18.95
11 Brown St., Dayton
This dish has long been a favorite of mine, and unlike the first two listed, this is a permanent fixture on the menu. Thai 9 knows how to make a curry. In this case, Thai 9 soaks the duck in red curry and coconut milk and serves it with pineapples, tomatoes, kaffir lime leaves and red and green peppers. They also have a Duck Basil ($18.95) dish featuring deep-fried duck with basil, onion, baby corn and red and green peppers in a brown sauce.
Pair it with: Papaya Salad (Som Tum), $6.95
Shredded green papaya, cherry tomatoes, green beans, ground peanuts dried shrimp finished off with a tart and tangy lime dressing. It’s a vibrant dish that will wake you up over the winter and help you feel the sun for the briefest moment.
4) Indiana roasted duckling, $29
The Wellington Grille
2450 Dayton Xenia Road, Dayton
This elegant dish serves up a half duck in an tasty Port wine lingonberry sauce accompanied by wild rice and roasted asparagus. The Wellington Grille is worth a visit if you haven’t been before.
Pair it with: A petite roasted red beet salad, $10
You get a salad with your meal, but why not upgrade? These earthy, slightly sweet beets are served up with candied pecans and Chevre cheese on a bed of field greens and finished off with a balsamic reduction.
5) Pan seared duck breast, $22
329 E. Fifth St., Dayton
Although I haven’t gotten over to try this dish yet, it caught my attention on the menu as a deserving shout out for No. 5. This dish featuring a pan seared duck breast with pomegranate reduction, savory blue cheese bread pudding and broccolini has been added to my list. The appetizer of marinated Italian lentils and chickpeas with feta and seasoned vegetables ($7) sounds like a perfect start to the meal.