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Posted at 2:12 PM ET, 06/ 1/2009

Seismic Changes at Buck's and Comet Ping Pong

By Tom Sietsema

Here's former chef Carole Greenwood making a rutabaga stew in the kitchen at Buck's Fishing & Camping. (Katherine Frey for The Washington Post)

Rumors about a certain chef leaving her roost have now been confirmed: As of today, chef Carole Greenwood is out at both Buck's Fishing & Camping and the neighboring pizzeria, Comet Ping Pong, says her former business associate James Alefantis, who is now the sole owner of both establishments.

In an e-mail sent to me early this morning, Alefantis wrote that the talented but temperamental chef "has decided to pursue other challenges and interests including food opportunities in NYC, food writing, music and art." He also confirmed that Greenwood and long-time sous chef Robert Dahlia recently sparred in the kitchen, an incident that resulted in Dahlia briefly quitting Buck's. (He's now back at the stove.)

Greenwood, who is traveling in New York, was not immediately available for comment.

Half of Alefantis's immediate concerns appear to be solved. Greenwood has already been replaced at Comet Ping Pong by Laura Bonino, the chef and co-owner of Griffin Market in Georgetown, which serves a take-out Italian dinner menu that changes daily. She also previously cooked under Roberto Donna at the late Laboratorio del Galileo downtown.

Alefantis is also working on other changes at both restaurants: Comet Ping Pong has joined forces with On the Fly, the local eco-friendly outdoor food vending company, to offer Comet's pizza and other Italian snacks at a yet-to-be-determined location, probably by early next month.

Meanwhile, Buck's is without an executive chef, but not without fresh ideas. Alefantis plans on redoing the dining room and launching what he calls "summer camp," a "celebration" of casual seasonal cooking beginning June 17. The restaurateur forecasts wood-grilled lobsters, fried clam baskets, hamburgers, barbecued chicken, corn on the cob and berry pies.

-- Tom Sietsema

By Tom Sietsema  | June 1, 2009; 2:12 PM ET
Categories:  Restaurants  | Tags:  Tom Sietsema  
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Something new needs to be done with food at Comet. We'd never been there and took guests from out of town. Everyone was disappointed with the food quality and service and we left still hungry. Not a satisfying experience for personal pizzas costing $10 and up.

Posted by: pentagoncity1 | June 3, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

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