Troy Knapp, the previous meals and beverage director at D.C.’s Blue Duck Tavern and glitzy Conrad resort, takes his fine-dining abilities to the water with an expanded fleet of fancy sip-and-sail cruises this spring.
Cru Classé, the personal boating expertise he launched final yr from the Wharf, returns for its 2023 season on Friday, March 17—simply as cherry blossoms enter peak bloom across the Potomac basin. Elegant choices at sea embody French wines, Champagnes, and four-course tasting menus. The 47-foot sailboat’s relocated slip (and pickup spot) is prime Wharf actual property, anchored proper in entrance of the brand new Pendry resort.
Knapp doubles as an authorized captain on the floating bar—a Jeanneau Solar Odyssey 469. The darkish days of the pandemic pushed him to depart from landlocked eating rooms and switch his prized European possession into a classy, alfresco restaurant of types. The glossy sailboat’s open cockpit accommodates as much as six at a time.
Champagne-and-oyster cruises aboard the Cru Classé begin at $195 per individual for a 90-minute tour. Add-ons embody oysters by the half-dozen or extra and a listing of all-French bubbles, sancerre, and rosés poured by Knapp himself (there’s no crimson for apparent spillage causes). Probably the most baller bottle of the bunch is Louis Roederer Cristal ($375). BY.OTT Rosé from Côtes de Provence, certainly one of Knapp’s private favorites, is an approachable $51.
An prolonged and pricer voyage ($325 per individual) cruising native waterways for two.5 hours comes with a four-course unfold of scallop crudo with cherry blossom shoyu, ginger and jalepeno; next-level charcuterie and cheese displays; and native oysters, crab legs and chilled shrimp. Status Champagne and wine can be found as pairings or a la carte.
He’s gearing as much as debut two extra yachts from the Wharf as a part of its new Nautiste portfolio, with curated sundown dinner cruises distinctive to every vessel. Setting sail on April 1 is the 72-foot Patriot, a mid-century motor yacht customized inbuilt 1961. Decked out with gleaming brass and polished mahogany, this boat suits twice as many visitors because the Cru Classé (12) or 20 dockside visitors. Becoming a member of the fleet in mid-Could is the 42-foot, New England-styled Independence, a preppy, wood-framed Bruno & Stillman motor yacht with room for 12.
Knapp instructs visitors to put on the best sneakers or be able to “kick ‘em,” and the remainder of the costume code is straightforward: “be fabulous.”
He units sail this yr with Nautiste founder Hannah Puckett, a longtime buddy by the use of Austin who’s an oyster aficionado and skilled sailor herself. Two rotating native picks at any given time cater to each the “oyster connoisseur and the bivalve curious,” he says. Double T oysters farmed from Herring Creek, Maryland are delicate and creamy counterparts to brilliant, briny, and estuary-harvested oysters from the Atlantic Coast.
“We’re excited to showcase each of our affections— terroir and merroir—on Cru Classé,” says Knapp.
Michelin’s recognizable crimson plaque of the one-star score Blue Duck Tavern earned throughout Knapp’s tenure there’s displayed prominently in Cru Classé’s posh cabin, as is his guitar (he occurs to be a educated strummer, too).
When his inaugural sip-and-sail season wrapped up final fall, he birthed a catering firm known as Curated “to facilitate experiences of my very own design on the water,” he says. Curated is presently contracted to offer meals and beverage to the Capital Yacht Membership, a fixture of the Southwest Waterfront since 1892. He writes a chalkboard menu from Tuesdays to Saturdays for the yacht membership and its members.
His personal mother, Frankie Parsons, joins him in CYC’s kitchen as its resident “sugar chef.” After a profession in hospitality as a personal chef and resort concierge, Parsons moved from Seattle to the world to be nearer to household. She handles all issues candy for the excursions aboard and the dessert choices on the yacht membership. Cru Classé visitors finish their journey with a package deal of her sand dollar-stamped sugar cookies wrapped in a bow.
Cru Classé will be booked on Tock, its web site, or through Nautiste. Because the title implies, Cru Classé is an aesthetic counterpart to different Potomac booze cruises and paddle boats stuffed with buckets of sponsored seltzer manufacturers.
“I’m not desirous about internet hosting raucous boat events,” Knapp advised Eater final yr, noting his goal market is “individuals who love eating out in D.C. and are on the lookout for one thing new and completely different.”