Back in the 80's, my brothers, there wasn't a "fine dining" establishment that didn't offer a crispy roast Long Island duckling on the menu. It was typically served a l'Orange, or with a black cherry reduction and a steamy bed of dark, wild rice. The skin was simultaneously crisp and juicy. The meat, fork-tender and richly laden with deep, woody flavor. The dish became so ubiquitous that, inevitably, it fell out of fashion, ultimately denigrated as "passe," like so many of it's 80's cousins (the pesto, the quiche).
Still, there's no denying the immutable power of that fattiest of game birds, mine brethren, in all his properly roasted glory. Some of the finest dining establishments of that era (still tacitly churning out highly profitable power lunches and pre-theater suppers, by the way) maintain his place of honor on their menus. The Four Seasons in New York comes to mind, perhaps noted as much for it's preparation of the fowl (dedicated three-day, duck-drying refrigeration anyone?), as it's sumptuous take on the recipe itself.
These days, however, it seems the closest we get to the once-omnipresent dish is a bird at our local Chinese take-away, usually prefixed with the "Bejing" or "Peking" moniker. Or perhaps the odd confit de canard at the brasserie Francaise down the street. All delicious, mind you, but finally...not the same.
So the question becomes self-evident. Where oh where, in this city of trend-desperate, "gastro"-addicted, small plates-needing, crispy brussels sprouts-requiring, "nowness," can one travel back in time to find that most delicious of all entres, the classic crispy roast duck?