Tag Archives: Long Island


23 Aug

This post is tinged with nostalgia; I can’t objectively go out to eat in Greenport because it’s where I spent every summer when I was little. Well, technically we stayed every summer on Shelter Island and took the ferry into Greenport whenever we wanted to go out to eat or shop. (For those reading who don’t know, Shelter Island is a small island within the fork of Long Island. It’s only accessible by ferry). My family drove out to Greenport to visit Claudio’s for dinner. We try to make a yearly pilgrimage to it.

This year we actually stopped first at the Greenport Harbor brewery.

Located right next to the old jail!

It was very much a hole in the wall type of place, but their branding was awesome. I absolutely love their Whale/Long Island logo. With the purchase of the pint glass, we got to sample the five beers they had on tap. I think the best were their Summer Ale and Disorient Ale.

Then we had to venture out in the rain, in our ponchos to make our way to the dock where Claudio’s is.

But first, a pit stop  at the candy store where we used to go every summer. I bought some peanut butter chocolate fudge, and one truffle. 1 pound of godiva truffles can cost $48!  But I was satisfied with one.

Greenport’s actually very charming. It’s filled with galleries, restaurants, and shops. On the green there is a giant carousel. It used to be housed in a barn, and we’d ride it and try to grab the brass ring to win a free ride. Unfortunately, I don’t have pictures of that today. It wasn’t really wandering weather. And I would like the opportunity to try new restaurants one day.

But we made it to Claudio’s, which is located on the water near where the ferry pulls in. We actually ate on the dock, which is furnished with plastic chairs and tables. During inclement weather, they cover the area.

But with drinks and food, we didn’t care that it was raining.

We all had appetizers and main courses, but to save you from this already lengthy post I’ll just leave you with mine. I had new england clam chowder ( when I was little I’d only order this, leaving the clam chunks in the soup, with a side of fries. I basically lived on potatoes and hated seafood. Oh how times have changed) and a mahi mahi rueben.


Island Inspired

18 Jun

Long Island’s beaches are awesome. It’s impossible for me to dislike the Atlantic I grew up swimming in. However, even though the word island is in the name, you can’t ignore that its definitely not of the tropical variety that people fantasize about vacationing at.

Luckily, there’s a new restaurant that brings  that tropical state of mind to Long Island: Rumba Rum Bar and Restaurant, located in Hampton Bays. The decor is not of the blatant tropical kitsch variety; but instead is comprised of dark woods, slow rotating ceiling fans, vibrant colors and water views. Sure the servers wear Hawaiian shirts, but it’s a subdued print. Live reggae music is played on certain nights, and there are specialty drink nights as well.

Primarily a rum bar, Rumba’s list of rums available is extensive. I ordered a Dark & Stormy: Gosling’s dark rum, ginger beer and a bit of lime. My only disappointment was that it wasn’t served in one of the mason jars they use to serve their house sangria. We couldn’t sample everything on the menu but my dinner date and I started off with two appetizers, the Oysters Hampton and the Duck Empanadas. The Oysters Hampton are golden fried oysters served with a creamy reggiano dip, hot sauce and and a garlic aoli.

I can’t speak for how they tasted since I will not eat oysters, but I loved the clean presentation of the dish. I ordered the Duck Empanadas under the advice of our server, who shares my opinion that normally duck is disgusting but you don’t even think that with these empanadas. He was right. The empanadas (though I think they really resemble samosas more) are a pastry filled with duck meat, peppers and spicy queso. Even though I loathe duck, it was nice to see it used in a new way since it is a locally raised meat. Even though the cuisine is island inspired at Rumba, it pays homage to the local resources of Long Island.

For an entree, I had the Jumbo Crab Cakes with a stone ground mustard, garlic mashed potatoes and vegetable of the day. The crab cakes and the vegetables were the stars of the dish, the potatoes merely were alright. I think I should have ordered one of the more inspired dishes on the menu, but I can’t ignore a crab cake craving. The other entree ordered at my table was the Jerk Chicken Platter served over coconut risotto and with a mango papaya honey salsa. Apparently, this was absolutely delicious. I should have taken a picture of the empty plate.

Dessert is being saved for another night, probably when I go back to try their trio of tacos available for lunch, and hopefully one when balmy breezes float off the water and really transport me.

2 May

Is there anything better than a waterside town filled with restaurants, at dusk in early summer?

I didn’t think so.

And for anyone who visits Port Jefferson, Pasta Pasta is an absolutely delicious option. Especially the individual chocolate and peanut butter mousse cake. Or spinach ciambelli topped with broccoli, shiitake mushrooms, pignoli nuts and grilled chicken in marsala wine sauce. Or the escargot wantons.