Love her or hate her, Carole Greenwood is a kitchen talent as inseparable from the Buckâ€™s Fishing & Camping brand as Michael Landrum is to the Rayâ€™s empire. Or so I thought. It turns out that Buckâ€™s is a concept flexible enough to accommodate multiple visions of it. Vickie Reh, a former sous-chef at Food Matters in Alexandria, is now the chef at Buckâ€™s, and her menu fits comfortably into the original vision for the place: rustic American food prepared with seasonal ingredients. The revamped Buckâ€™s carries few traces of Greenwoodâ€™s old tastes save for the wedge salad and the signature slab of dry-aged prime sirloin steak, whose retention was a smart move. I would have called for a military tribunal had Reh killed off that gorgeously charred piece of meat, intensified through time, seasoning, and the hot, smoky flames of a wood grill. Indeed, the grill flavors many of my favorites at Buckâ€™s, whether the trout-spread â€śsnackâ€ť or whatever veggie happens to be featured on the seasonal menu. Iâ€™d even go so far as to say that Reh has an uncommon command over fire and smoke. Take her wood-grilled lamb. You can almost taste the New Zealand grasses through the char. Thatâ€™s a trick Iâ€™m not sure I ever witnessed from the great Greenwood.
5031 Connecticut Ave. NW (202) 364-0777
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