HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >

Discussion

Buck's Fishing & Camping

  • 35
  • Share

Chowhounders,

Has anyone eaten at Buck's Fishing and Camping and willing post a review or comment on their experiences. Would love to hear everyone's thought before I head up there for dinner with my Dad and Brother.

Thanks.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  1. Sounds like they were inspired by "Mary's Fish Camp" in NYC for the name.

    1. I really like this place for what it is. The steak is always excellent and I remember having a good fish dish. Its been a few years since I was there last, but I don't think the service left an impression on me, good or bad.

      1. Generally speaking, the food is excellent and the decor is very cool. The service can be pretty poor, though - not necessarily from the waiters, but from the kitchen. Carol Greenwood can be notoriously persnickety, and may not take kindly to special orders or substitutions. Also, some of the food has come out, though tasty, kind of surprising - like a bowl of mussels without any side at all, which certainly isn't a well-rounded meal!

        I'd say it's still worth going to. Just be prepared that the kitchen may not like a special request, but the food will be worth it.

        1. The decor is dark and dreary, similar to a fraternity basement. The service is overly casual and slow. And the menu can be so limited, the last time I was there the main courses offered were Steak ($38), Whole Grilled Fish, Deep Fried Chicken, Deep Fried Softshells, and Deep Fried Oysters. Franky, not ingenius or appetizing. I have to say, the wine list is thoughtful.

          I don't get it.

          1. I agree with Pappy. I went there once and was completely underwhelmed. Maybe if I lived in the neighborhood, I'd walk over. As a destintion restaurant, I wouldn't drive from Arlington again. There are so many places that offer better food, service, and ambiance at the same price, why go to Buck's except to say you went there once?

            2 Replies
            1. re: Dakota Guy

              We keep meaning to go there as it's close to where we live - but somehow haven't made it yet. Given the price point I thought they wouldn't last very long - but if there still there maybe it's worth checking out. (Although I have heard some really nasty stories about the head chef that scared me away)

              1. re: Dakota Guy

                Since I do live in the neighborhood, and can walk over, I'll offer my perspective. BFAC is a very informal place (decor, plating, style of service) at a very high price point and a very high decibel level (for which reason eating at the bar has been far better for conversation and overall fun than at a 2 top). I have rarely been disappointed with the food itself, but the pacing can be way off and (to repeat my self) and the price is quite high. And yes, Pappy, the wine list is thoughtful and surprisingly, given the food cost, one can often find a wine bargain.

              2. I like the restaurant, but I don't go there very much. It's not very restarurant-y, though - I would describe the food as having sort of a high end, home-cooked feeling to it. Everything has sort of a rustic feel, and while that can be appealing, it can also be a little hit or miss. When the kitchen is on, they make some very good dishes. When they aren't, it's a little disappointing.

                I actually like her pizza place, Comet Ping-Pong, better, although it suffers from the same inconsistency.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Ootek1

                  Any new reviews. We keep meaning to go - but then we decide to go elsewhere since we know it will be half the price. I do want to try it though since it's nearby.

                  1. re: beauxgoris

                    So we finally went and it was much better than we thought. I got the oyster small plate which came with some type of remoulade sauce on a bed of fresh watercress. The oysters were done perfectly (that is: rare) - and the drinks were very professional. Still wouldn't buy the $42.00 steak, but we'll be back for the small plates.

                2. I had a very positive experience. The food was very much like gourmet comfort food, as if you went camping with a Chef. I love the interior, it's not your usual restaurant interior design, very creative and rustic feel. I had a whole grilled fish that was excellent I will go back.

                  1. Where is Buck's?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Potomac Bob

                      On Connecticut at Nebraska in NW DC.

                    2. I love Buck's...and not just as a neighborhood place. Besides the food being great, the wine list is very interesting.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: katiesir

                        Has anyone had the $42.00 dry aged steak? I'm too scared to order it - we've been sticking to the small plates.

                        1. re: beauxgoris

                          Any new reviews? How's their spring menu?

                          1. re: beauxgoris

                            The steak is amazing. Better than most steakhouses in the city and shall I dare say even worth the price?

                          2. re: beauxgoris

                            I did have the steak once. I was a little disappointed, actually - for that price I expected a truly tremendous piece of meat (although I think it was at least a little cheaper when I had it - this was well over a year ago). I could not say at this point exactly why I found it disappointing, but I know I would not order it again. If I am looking for a fantastic steak I'll just head to Ray's. : )

                            I have been impressed with some of Buck's other dishes. I particularly recall them making a fantastic soft shell crab (in season of course) and a good pork chop.

                            1. re: Ootek1

                              Has anyone had the soft shelled crab recently? How is it served? Does it come with anything?

                        2. The service was so indifferent and the portions of 2/3 of the dishes we ordered were so tiny that we barely noticed how good the food tasted. A highlight was when we had been waiting way-too-long for our main course and saw our server pop out the front door of the restaurant to light up a cigarette right in front of our window table. And the place was nearly empty, meaning that the entire surly staff had nothing to do but glower at their victims. Never again.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: kbtkpk

                            ^^I know. The staff can be surly. Too bad too, since the food is often good. But it's the server that can set the tone of the experience.

                          2. I went to Buck's last night with three friends, and thought the food was ok, but not worth the price. We asked the waitress about the decor, and she told us that the restaurant had a depression-era theme -- hence the carnations and checked tablecloths and the waitstaff that seemed to have stepped out of a diner. But, with $25 entrees, it seemed a bit offensive as a theme.

                            In addition, we asked where the shrimp and fish were sourced from and the waitress had no idea and didn't offer to find out. For a restaurant with six menu items and that seems to pride itself on its ingredients, I found it unacceptable that they couldn't tell me where their food came from.

                            We ordered the fish (branzino), lobster, and duck dishes. All were very good (and the portions were fine), and like many others have said, the wine list was fabulous. The deviled eggs and apple pie were nothing special.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: amymon

                              I've found that sitting at the bar and having something from their "small plates" menu is way better than sitting at a main table and ordering off the larger menu.

                              1. re: beauxgoris

                                I'm pretty amazed actually that Buck's is still around. While I love the concept and the cozy decor, everytime I go I feel the meal has been just okay, while the price has been astronomical. I keep going back thinking I'm missing something, but it's always the same. If we go back we'll try sitting at the bar like you advise. I'm just not inspired by the food, and I really find it offensive that they don't know where the food comes from or if it's sustainable.

                                1. re: tmemedia

                                  Has anyone had their fried chicken? I'm very curious about it.

                            2. I don't live far from Bucks and I've tried it twice. I side with the postings that say they don't get it. It's ok, but hardly worth a special trip. Last time I ate there I had the grilled bronzino and it was ok - a bit dried out and not very interesting. Not a place, in my opinion, you have to put on your 'must try' list.

                              1. According to the WaPo, Buck's owner and Executive Chef, Carole Greenwood has been ousted, or quit, or whatever; she's gone. At Comet Ping Pong too. She's pursuing "other options."

                                James Alefantis is now the sole owner of both. At Comet Ping Pong Laura Bonino (of Griffin Market in Georgetown) is stepping in, but it seems there's an opening for another executive chef at Bucks.

                                Sure to be more to this story...

                                http://voices.washingtonpost.com/goin...

                                8 Replies
                                1. re: crackers

                                  I just read this on a blog too. Seems she's out at Buck's and Comet!

                                  1. re: beauxgoris

                                    Great - it will be good to see the back of her. Several years ago I had an awful encounter with her as a customer and vowed never to be in that situation again. Will now put Buck's on my list.

                                    1. re: rcooperman

                                      ^^I've never understood how you can abuse the customer in a "service industry"? It will be interesting to see how the restaurants to with her gone. They're both in my neighborhood - so I'll probably go now.

                                      1. re: beauxgoris

                                        I totally agree. I had the pleasure of her having the waitress and then the maitre d' loudly lecture me on how properly prepared risotto should have the consistency of wall paper paste. After some arguement, she reluctantly agreed to replace my entree but made me wait 45 minutes whilst the rest of my party tweedled their thumbs. As I said glad to see the back of her. Should be interesting to hear how she does on the NYC restaurant scene.

                                      2. re: rcooperman

                                        Has this women had any formal training as a chef, or is she just a "creative cook".? Sounds like an spoiled brat, egotistical wannabe, actually. These stories about her are outrageous. I've eaten at both her places and have been seriously underwhelmed every single time. Could never understand the buzz about them.

                                        1. re: KevinS

                                          I believe that the secret of her success was a friendly relationship with Tom Sietsema.

                                          1. re: Mister Big

                                            ^^Really?! I never knew that.

                                            1. re: beauxgoris

                                              Broke down and had a light dinner there last week and have to say it was pretty darn good. Husband had fried oysters on watercress and an apple slaw. I had soft shelled crab with cheese grits and a sweet and spicy slaw. Both were excellent and well priced for the quality - service was good as well. I wouldn't order the steak - but for southern small plates we thought it was a great deal. I wonder if it's because the kitchen isn't so stressed now - or maybe we just hit it on a good night?