Union's duck with whole grains: 50 Favorite Dishes, no. 10

All the flavors of the forest, on one beautiful plate
All the flavors of the forest, on one beautiful plate
Alma Guzman

A see-and-be-seen rooftop patio complete with retractable glass ceiling and complex cocktails designed by Johnny Michaels (like the highly recommended garam masala-spiced blood orange Old Fashioned, pictured above) were the first things to grab the public's attention when Union opened this winter. The promise of being exposed to sunshine and alcohol in the doldrums of December was definitely enough to get us there, but once seated we were even more pleased to find some fantastic food.

The rich and layered chicken liver mousse with pickled quince and maple syrup still lingers in the mind as do the savory doughnut holes with cheese fondue, but the elegant dish that left the biggest mark (and got the highest ones) was the roasted duck.

See Also: Union makes changes to dining room policy

Cooked to medium rare, this duck breast is juicy with a thin layer of delectable fat separating the meat from the crispy, salty skin. To complement the delicately gamey flavor, the plate is finished with all kinds of other flavors of the forest: Piney juniper berries, earthy smoked oyster mushrooms, and nutty cooked whole grains. Its presentation is simple but attractive, with a whole range of flavors that are dynamic on the palate but still marry up beautifully.

We're down to our top 10 Favorite Dishes! Here are the other 40 that came before.

50 Favorite Dishes

No. 50:Somos Peru's crema volteada No. 49:Northbound Smokehouse & Brewpub's waffle battered chicken sandwich No. 48: Namaste Cafe's bison mamacha
No. 47: MidNord's Argentinian empanadas
No. 46: Krungthep's Thai sausage
No. 45: Eat Shop's shrimp salad
No. 44: Icehouse's savory eclair
No. 43: Cajun 2 Geaux's beignets
No. 42: A Cupcake Social's dulce de leche cupcake
No. 41: French Hen's Creole biscuits and gravy
No. 40: The Gray House's cabbage and cava salad
No. 39: Foxy Falafel's curry falafel
No. 38: Republic's ricotta fritters
No. 37: Meritage's matzo ball soup
No. 36: Butcher & the Boar's lobster grilled cheese
No. 35: Sushi Fix's tuna poke
No. 34: George & the Dragon's Asian hangover
No. 33: AZ Canteen's Cabrito burger No. 32: Nightingale's scallops with almond gazpacho No. 31: Cafe Racer's pork plate No. 30: World Street Kitchen's soft serve No. 29: The Lynn on Bryant's baba rhum No. 28: Fika's pork belly and poached egg No. 27: The Kenwood's pancakes with black walnut butter No. 26: Blackbird's spicy peanut noodles No. 25: Sonora's shrimp caramelo No. 24: Mona's marrow on toast No. 23: Smack Shack's lobster guacamole No. 22: Neato's Burgers duck fat French fries No. 20: Birdhouse's sweet pea pate No. 19: Mojo Monkey's cake doughnut No. 18: Parka's ham & pickle tots No. 17: Blue Door Longfellow's baked and loaded blucy No. 16: Ipotle's spicy dosa No. 15: Grand Szechuan's Chengdu Dumpling No. 14: Birchwood Cafe's key lime pie No. 13: Dandelion Kitchen's braised beef sandwich No. 12: The Left-Handed Cook's 21-Spice Fried Chicken No. 11: Mike Phillips's Three Sons Meats charcuterie

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