Feed Me

The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene.

Two days later and I have finally stopped kicking myself: Why did it take me so long to get to Salamander’s in Greenport?

This little specialty grocer / takeout shop / caterer distinguishes itself with its attention to seemingly every detail. The olive-oil selection is first rate; so are all the condiments. The pasta is Benedetto Cavalieri from Puglia. Tea is from SerendipiTea in Manhasset. 

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Frankly, all of the soups, salads and sandwiches sounded delicious, but since we were focused on the fried chicken (about which more later), we opted for two large salads, both $9, the Toulon (tuna, black lentils, green beans, roasted peppers, egg and olives on mesclun with the house balsamic vinaigrette), very good, and the Athena, shockingly good. Why shocking? When is the last time you had a Greek salad with really fresh greens, really good tomatoes, dressed with extra-virgin olive oil and fresh lemon, a salad that reminded you of Greece, and not of a Greek diner?

The main event at Salamander’s is the fried chicken, which must be ordered in advance. We showed up around 12:15 on Saturday and were told that we could come back at 1:15 which we did. We sat at an umbrella-ed table in Salamander’s treed patio and, in short order, were served a box containing some of the best fried chicken I’ve ever had. One piece, two pieces, three pieces. And then there were none. Chef-owner Claudia Helinski revealed that the chicken was soaked in a seasoned brine and then fried in a pressure cooker, but that’s about the extent of the intelligence I could gather.

The cornbread that came with wasn’t at the level of the chicken, but the purple coleslaw and eggy potato salad most certainly were.

Salamander's only seating is in the patio so it's not an ideal cold-weather destination. I encourage you to get there before the weather turns.

Salamander’s is at 414 First St., Greenport, 631-477-3711.