My wife and I visited Buck's last night for dinner. Bottom line: excellent!
We wandered in around 7:45; no wait for a table (this is significant - we will not go on the weekend. Their no rezzie policy means long waits - at least at the time we'd like to eat, which is usally not too early. And hey, I love spending time in Politics and Prose next door but I'd rather not have to wait too long to sit down to eat).
Apps: iceberg wedge w/horseradishy blue cheese dressing and applewood smoked bacon bits; cheese with beets and a lovely nutty pesto. Both excellent. This might be the only acceptable way to eat iceberg lettuce, IMO.
Mains: Barbecued duck over spoonbread; whole grilled branzino (a flaky white fish similar to rockfish)over some wilted greens. The duck practically dripped off the bone, the spoonbread (i'm no expert) was moist and delicious. The fish was very simply grilled whole, and perfectly so. Moist and light and delicious, very easy to cut/debone.
Dessert: We shared a piece of "chocolate sheath cake." Now, let me ramble about this for a minute. Wife and I LOVE a good, old-fashioned chocolate cake. I'm talking June Cleaver 1950's old fashioned style. We're not choco-holics. We don't go for the usual death by chocolate concoctions. We don't need a mousse, a flourless, or other dense or gooey or whatever else chocolate thing. What we like is an old fashioned, not too sweet, moist, with nice chocolate icing cake. The best we've had in this area was a few years ago at Greenwood's, when Carol had her place in Cleveland Park. We'd pop in just to sit at the bar and have a piece of cake...yes with a glass of cold milk! That version was a three layer cake with icing between the layers and on top. Last night's version was one layer (i think it was basically a big sheet/pan cake) cut in a square with some light, freshly made whipped cream on the side. This was the single layer version of Carol's old three layer cake, and it is BY FAR the best piece of chocolate cake I've had since sitting at the bar at Greenwood's. Sure, we all have our tastes....mine would send me back every night to get a piece of this, if my waistline could handle it.
Service: friendly and pretty efficient.
The damage: two apps, two mains, one dessert, one beer, one large bottle of sparkling water....including tax and tip, $85.
We've been to Buck's several times since their opening and have never been disappointed. I really think Carole Greenwood has finally found a groove that we need to help her stay in. Highly recommended.