The walls of Peking Gourmet Inn are lined with pictures of smiling customers.
Look closely and you’ll see that they are presidents, diplomats and celebrities, all full and happy from the restaurant’s signature dish: Peking duck.
When the Falls Church restaurant opened 34 years ago, owner Eddie Tsui set out to improve the expected preparation, making pancakes in-house, growing his own spring onions and tweaking the recipe for too-sweet hoisin sauce.
Years later, Tsui’s legacy endures. Peking duck is carved tableside in a meticulous process that scrapes off extra fat and produces three heaped plates of crisp skin, juicy meat and expertly butchered legs and wings.
The spread includes peppery hoisin sauce, 12 pancakes that are so thin they appear translucent, and julienned spring onions. Matchsticks of cucumber are also available ($3), but the pungent, snappy onions are an ideal foil to the rich meat.
Round out the order with a plate of garlic sprouts. Grown specifically for Peking Gourmet by a farm in Purcellville, the mild, tender sprouts are now in season. They are sautéed and best served with shrimp.
Indeed, there are many reasons to smile at Peking Gourmet Inn.
Peking Gourmet Inn, 6029 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church; 703-671-8008 or pekinggourmet.com
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