January, 2005: Buck’s Fishing and Camping

The popularity of this American-style restaurant and its no-reservations policy make eating there a bit of a challenge on weekends. But once you've been seated by amiable host James Alefantis, chef Carole Greenwood's cooking, always straightforward and honest, is a treat. The menu changes seasonally, but good first-course choices have included chopped chicken livers on toast, deviled eggs with crisp bread-and-butter pickles, and a wedge of iceberg lettuce topped with a great bleu-cheese-and-bacon dressing.

Main courses usually include a grilled fish, perhaps sweet sea bass paired with slightly bitter greens; Greenwood's very good mussels, pan-roasted with rosemary and garlic; and a perfectly cooked sirloin with sweet-potato fries. Desserts are homey and good–a delicious sweet-potato pound cake with cinnamon custard, an intensely chocolate devil's food cake, and, when peaches are in season, a crisp-topped peach cobbler.

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