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Duck brings flock of culinary offerings to Pittsburgh

| Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
James Knox | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
The Grandview Bakery on Mt. Washington is doing duck cupcakes as well as duck cut-out cookies in honor of the Rubber Duck Project art instalation floating near Point State Park.
James Knox | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
The Grandview Bakery on Mt. Washington is doing duck cut-out cookies as well as duck cupcakes in honor of the Rubber Duck Project art instalation floating near Point State Park.
The Priory is selling duck cakes and cupcakes in support of the Rubber Duck Project.

If one were to awaken after several years' slumber into the Pittsburgh of the present, what would that person make of a world in which the Pirates are good, the Steelers are awful, and a giant, multi-story rubber duck patrols the waters around the Point?

Pittsburgh has met this new, weird reality with enthusiasm. To greet the Rubber Duck Project, the most visible part of the Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts, local restaurants and bakeries have been busy whipping up duck-related dishes, specials and sweets.

“We did some duck cakes and a few cakes with ducks on it,” says Jim Lazeration, manager of Priory Fine Pastries on the North Side, whose bakers plan to celebrate rubber ducks in baked goods for the duration of the Rubber Duck through Oct. 20. “They did make one with a bridge. ... It had the duck and the water. Some duck cutouts.”

Grandview Bakery on Mt. Washington gets a lot of tourist business only a few blocks away from the famous view. Workers expected a bit of a bump in visitors from the new, bright-yellow addition to the cityscape, so they prepared for its arrival.

“We have cupcakes and cookies,” says Peggy Mackewich, manager of Granview Bakery. “The cupcakes have blue icing with little pearls and a little pick with a duck. The cutout sugar cookies are ducks, iced in yellow.”

Fine-dining mainstay Nine on Nine, Downtown, is serving duck-shaped chocolates with every check, and has a special duck cocktail, the “Mother Quacker.” Six Penn Kitchen has created some very large duck sugar cookies

NOLA on the Square, Downtown, is going all out on barbecued-duck specials.

“We're doing a special entree every day until the duck leaves,” says NOLA's chef, Andrew Hebson. “It will change every few days. We're doing various styles of barbecued duck. On the bridge (for the opening-night party) we did a Vietnamese-style barbecue. We'll do different Asian-style barbecues, maybe some Latin barbecues, definitely some Southern barbecue, like a Louisiana-style barbecue duck. My culinary team — we'll have fun and get creative.”

NOLA will have a few beer specials, too, including Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery's Doppelbock.

Seviche, Downtown, features several duck-themed tapas dishes, including Duck Confit and Ancho Roasted Duck Sliders. Their drinks menu lists a Duck Duck Mousse Martini, a Peking Sling and Kwak Draft Beer.

Sonoma Grille, Downtown, is doing Duck Mac 'n' Cheese and Duck Rillette appetizers, as well as Pan Roasted Duck Breast and Crispy Indonesian Glazed Duck entrees.

They've dug deep into their massive wine list and came up with a few special duck-themed wine flights. First, there's “Our Ducks in a Row,” featuring Duckhorn Decoy Sauvignon Blanc, Decoy Cabernet and Decoy Chardonnay ($10) and “The Mighty Ducks,” which includes Paraduxx Red Blend, Duckhorn Merlot and Duckhorn Goldeneye Pinot Noir ($20).

Michael Machosky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at or 412-320-7901.

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