111 Main Street
Greenport, NY 11944
We decided to visit Claudio’s during what is most likely the area’s busiest time of year–Memorial Day weekend. The Tall Ships festival was going on, so every restaurant was packed. We were told we would have to wait about 30 minutes but surprisingly it was less than that. The owner greeted us when we walked in, took our stroller and was very pleasant from the beginning. When we looked around, it was obvious that the place has been around a long time. It is supposedly the oldest, same-family run restaurant in the United States and has history that dates back to the 1850’s. It has a very nautical vibe but feels nostalgic at the same time.
We didn’t order much, only entrees, as we were so hot from walking around outside and couldn’t imagine eating a ton. There was so many things on the menu that sounded great but we stuck to the Grilled Swordfish topped with cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, capers and seasonings and the Baked Clam Stuffed Flounder with a lemon, butter and white wine sauce. Both were excellent. Our toddler couldn’t get enough either! The prices were fine for what it was, especially considering the location, but I would have liked to perhaps had a salad on the side instead of a starch (huge potato) and our waitress said that wasn’t an option. They have ala cart sides, the potato being $5. I could have had a dinner salad ($7) and just paid the difference. Oh well.
The place was extremely busy and service truly did suffer because of it. Our drinks were left empty most of the time which was unfortunate because were getting over being outside for so long and it was probably the one thing we wanted the most! I saw our waitress poke her head into the dining room several times to look in on her tables but we were mostly ignored. I overhead other waitstaff with their tables saying things that I didn’t find too professional either. Both tables on either side of us asked if they could get the lobster roll as it was only 30 minutes past their lunch session. One of the waitstaff said they would ask, no problem. The other waiter said something along the lines of “No, lunch is over.” (Customer insists he ask) “I guess I can I can ask the chef if you really want it but I’ll probably get yelled at and thrown out of the kitchen.” Who says that!? Sure enough, both tables ended up with lobster rolls, despite it being dinner and not lunch. Another table asked something of a bus person and her response was “Oh no, I can’t help you with that. It’s not my job.” (Customer says something) “No, I really can’t do that. I’m just a bus person. I can notify your waitress though and let her know.” Why couldn’t she just say something like “I’m sorry, I will go get your waitress (or manager) right away.”
Overall, we enjoyed our visit. We had great tasting seafood with a nice water view. We probably should have left a half an hour earlier but it was not a big deal. If we’re ever in the area again, we will probably try another restaurant of Claudio’s, the clam bar that is right across the way. That place was so busy we didn’t even consider it. My only suggestion with this place is to go when it isn’t completely packed!