JUNE 2020 • LONGISLANDPRESS.COM 61
CLAUDIO’S OF GREENPORT KEEPING FORKS FULL BY ALAN KRAWITZ
While many New Yorkers applaud the
efforts of healthcare workers and essential
personnel during the pandemic, one
iconic Long Island restaurant is going
further by cooking and donating local
cuisine to healthcare workers and the
needy on the North Fork.
The venerable Claudio's, which is commemorating
its 150th anniversary this
summer after being sold to a new management
group in 2018, is donating food
to Community Action Southold Town
(CAST), an organization that serves
low-income individuals and families
on the North Fork.
"We're now involved with a variety of
community partnerships starting with
biweekly and then weekly food donations,
giving 100 individual meals every
Tuesday from Claudio's pizza kitchen,
including on- and off-menu items such
as popular clam chowders, pastas and
burgers," says Tanya Doggwiler, a
spokesperson for the restaurant.
Founded in 1870 in downtown Greenport
village on the North Fork, the
restaurant was America’s oldest
same-family-run restaurant in the
nation, staying in the same family for
four generations until recently.
After the first donation, Doggwiler
says that those in need can visit CAST
every other Tuesday to pick up
individually packaged meals.
She also notes that Claudio’s
Waterfront recently opened
for takeout, delivery, and
dockside pickup so those
visiting the restaurant can
also donate canned goods,
clothing, and more that
will be brought to CAST.
Crabby Jerry's is also open
for takeout and delivery
while food from Claudio's
main restaurant is limited
In addition to donating
food to CAST, Claudio's
is also supporting the
efforts of healthcare personnel at Stony
Brook's Eastern Long Island Hospital in
Greenport by donating gift certificates
for weekly raffles to the staff.
"The staff can take home food with
them so they don't have to eat at the
hospital every time," Doggwiler says,
adding that it "gives the workers a bit of
flexibility to enjoy a meal with family,
or their partner."
Moreover, there is also a project underway
to decorate masks with local
elementary school students in honor
of the hospital's 475 employees. The
masks will be hung at the hospital as
a thank you to the community’s first
Patrons and first responders
as clam chowders
or lobster rolls
might want to toss
a thank you to Executive
Garcia, who is now
helping his partner
oversee all three
after lending Becker a hand last summer
with menu changes at the storied
Garcia, who started in the restaurant
business at age 15 washing dishes, worked
his way up the culinary ladder for more
"Although we sometimes have to make changes
for takeout and delivery, you still have to put out
your best things and do the best you can,"
says Chef Kevin Garcia.
than 20 years at high-end restaurants
such as Jean Georges Vongerichten's
Prime Steakhouse at the
Bellagio Hotel and Casino
in Las Vegas, Drew
Nieporent's Lucca in Boca
Raton, Mario Batali's
Lupa and later as chef di
cucina at Del Posto.
He says that working
out on Long Island's
North Fork is very
special due to its "small
farms and availability
of fresh fish, excellent
produce, and local
"It's been like a dream... amazing," he
says, noting how he's built relationships
with local farmers, and has had access
to very fresh, local seafood.
However, Garcia couldn't help note
how the restaurant industry has been
"decimated" by the coronavirus.
"We're dealing with the rules of COVID,”
he says. “It's a complete reinvention
of everything. It'll work out for some
people, and some not."
He predicts this pandemic will have a
lasting effect on the hospitality industry
and that many restaurants won't
Garcia, who grew up in New York City
and Connecticut, notes that they are
trying their best to keep the integrity
and history of Claudio's intact, despite
the difficulty of grappling with the new
reality of social distancing.
"We're just preparing for when we can
have seating outside,” he says, but..."we
still have staff to pay and we are in the
process of hiring, but at the moment,
we're not covering expenses from just
doing takeout and delivery."
Some of the dishes Garcia has been
helping get out the door include lobster
rolls, lobster Cobb salad, soft shell crab,
and oysters and clams served a variety
of ways, from steamed to sandwiches.
"Although we sometimes have to make
changes for takeout and delivery, you
still have to put out your best things and
do the best you can," he says.
Claudio's is located at 111 Main St. in
Greenport. It can be reached at 631-
477-0627 or claudios.com
Executive Chef Kevin Garcia is overseeing a rebirth of historic Claudio’s in downtown