Restaurant Fourteen Seventy-Two: A taste of this week's review

Being a restaurant reviewer is a lot like being a detective. With each spoonful of soup and every morsel of fish, I'm gathering clues about what's afoot in the kitchen. Sometimes the mystery lingers, but as I sliced through the seared duck at Restaurant Fourteen Seventy-Two, the low-country restaurant that opened on Old South Pearl Street in September, I pieced together what had happened as if I'd found the smoking gun. There, between the scored, espresso-colored skin and the nearly rare flesh, lurked a plump parka. My duck must've loved it -- after all, it offered protection from the cold and damp -- but in my mouth the fat was so thick that it was almost impossible to swallow.

Everyone has a different palate for fat. Some like it cooked off (think brittle bacon), whereas others prize the stuff. But when it comes to this water bird, there's little room for disagreement: Duck should be cooked with care, so that its unusually large layer of subcutaneous fat has time to render, or melt away. In this case, an over-hot pan had likely caused the skin to darken too quickly, making the duck look done before enough fat was gone. That's a mistake a home cook would make -- which is somewhat fitting, because Fourteen Seventy-Two is located in a home. At least it was a home for 100-plus years, until Dave Chmura, Rob Young and Scott Bergin transformed it into a restaurant.

Hungry to know more? Read the complete review of Restaurant Fourteen Seventy-Two here. See also: - Restaurant Fourteen Seventy-Two brings low-country cuisine to the Mile High City - Slide show: A closer look at Restaurant Fourteen Seventy-Two

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Gretchen Kurtz has worked as a writer for 25 years; during that time she's stomped grapes in Napa, eaten b'stilla in Fez, and baked with Buddy Valastro, aka the Cake Boss. Her work has appeared in publications including Boulevard (Paris), Diversion, the New York Times and Westword. Our restaurant critic since 2012, she loves helping you decide where to eat and drink tonight.
Contact: Gretchen Kurtz