100 Best Restaurants 2011: Buck’s Fishing & Camping

Only the top 40 restaurants were ranked in 2011's Best Restaurants list.

When founding chef Carole Greenwood abruptly left this upper Northwest DC restaurant in 2009, it seemed doubtful the kitchen could bounce back. Everything—from the deviled eggs to the art on the blood-red walls—was an expression of her personality. It took time, but the place has rebounded thanks to chef Vickie Reh.

Vestiges of the old menu remain, for good reason: The wedge salad is heaped with blue cheese and bacon, and the wood-grilled sirloin is still one of the best pieces of meat around. But Reh makes her own mark with such grazing-friendly snacks as smoky trout spread and nicely fried oysters. Even better are her double-ply tacos, stuffed with roasted pork and sprinkled with Cotija cheese, and a mix of duck confit, white beans, and frisée that turns salad into comfort food. Desserts are what you’d find at a diner—lemon meringue pie, chocolate cake—only better.

Also good: House-made cottage cheese; charcuterie plate; wood-grilled burger with Smokey Blue cheese; pan-roasted mussels with white wine and garlic.

Open Tuesday through Sunday for dinner. Expensive.

>> See all of 2011's Best Restaurants

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.