Southern Living Names Bethesda Restaurant Best in Maryland
The chef and owner said the recognition 'was completely unexpected'
Duck Duck Goose interior
Duck Duck Goose chef and owner Ashish Alfred found out through a friends’ Facebook post Tuesday night that his Bethesda restaurant, open less than one year, had been named the best restaurant in Maryland by Southern Living magazine.
“I’m always a little skeptical, so I Googled it and there it was,” Alfred said Wednesday about the recognition from the popular southern food and style magazine. “I’m going to see my mother now, who I understand probably has 30 copies on her desk. This was completely unexpected.”
More than 22,000 of the magazine’s readers voted for “The Best Restaurant in Every Southern State” list that was published online this week. Duck Duck Goose was joined on the list by culinary institutions such as South Carolina’s Husk and Washington, D.C.’s Old Ebbitt Grill.
“This contemporary French bistro brings D.C. dwellers to Bethesda for delicious classics like beef tartare, dry-aged duck, and wild mushroom risotto. And every dish is plated with modern sensibilities,” the magazine wrote about the Woodmont Triangle restaurant.
Alfred, a 31-year-old classically trained chef who also owns 4935 Bar and Kitchen in Bethesda, credited his staff for the acknowledgment that’s likely to create an uptick in business.
“I couldn’t be more proud or grateful, really,” Alfred said. “I’m privileged to work with a great, talented, caring group of people and I think the hardest thing in this business is to find people who buy into your vision and treat things like their own.”
Alfred trained at the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan and interned at Daniel Boulud’s New York City French restaurant Daniel before opening his two Bethesda restaurants. Duck Duck Goose opened in April 2016 with a menu including items such as squid ink spaghetti, quail and sous vide “Cout De Boeuf” ribeye.
Alfred told Bethesda Beat shortly before the opening he hoped the restaurant would be a “pedestal” for his food.
On Wednesday, he said achieving accolades such as the one bestowed by Southern Living was the goal when he opened his restaurant. Earlier this year, Duck Duck Goose was also nominated with four other restaurants for the favorite new restaurant award by The Restaurant Association of Maryland, the voting for which closes today.
“When these things happen for us, we appreciate the recognition, but it really does raise the bar,” Alfred said. “People come in with expectations and we have to match, if not exceed those expectations.”