My husband and I have been traveling north to Greenport, aka “G’Port,” for evening getaways for years. Last Monday we ferried over to check out the new place in town—Andy’s, in the former Rhumb Line space on Front Street, opened in June.
We’d heard good things and were not disappointed.
But we’d forgotten what a busy place G’Port is on Mondays in season. There was a mad rush in town to get a good seat in the park to hear the Bobby Nathan Band, but Andy’s was also quite busy inside. In fact, the dining room area was busier than the bar. This crowd of young families, couples and groups of friends showed no interest in the big-screen televisions. It was boisterous but the sound wasn’t overpowering.
We were greeted by a friendly server who introduced herself as Jasmine, she immediately seated us at a cool gray banquette facing the bar. This was a nice vantage point from which to take in the newly updated space—white pressed-tin ceiling, lots of wood details, orange accents and one of the East End’s last payphone booths. (There’s no dial tone, but the booth would be a great place to take a cell phone call that just can’t wait until after dinner.) Local silversmith and graphic artist Alexa Suess is credited with the idea of an orange motif and she designed the nifty menu.
Despite the presence of homemade pickles, local greens, guacamole and boozy milkshakes, there wasn’t a hipster in sight. Just busy staffers in ring-necked jerseys, with “17” emblazoned in orange on their backs, bustling to and fro. They’re clearly all on the same team—Team Andy’s.
I began with an order of “Bubble Bread.” I don’t know why the loaded, sesame-seeded bread I was served is called “bubble bread,” but I have no complaints. It could have been called “Sexy BLT Bread”—garlic bread topped with slices of tomato, bacon, baby arugula, loads of cheese and a balsamic reduction in a luscious presentation. If you order this, by all means, share it.
Husband started with a glass of Macari Vineyards’ chardonnay and Local Calamari, R.I. Style. The cephalopod turned out to be light and crispy tempura-fried and tossed with cherry peppers, garlic and chopped lemon with a side of fine marinara sauce. And I quote Husband, “Hmmm!” Followed by, “This is very nice, it’s light and very tender with garlic you can taste.”
Other local beverage choices on the bar menu included Bedell Cellars, Twin Fork Beer Co. and Montauk Brewing Company. And the coffee comes from Aldo’s Coffee Company, just down the street.
I asked our server Elaine what drinks were most popular this season. She said that Tito’s Handmade Vodka with a splash of club soda and lime has been a particular hit, “and the rum punch.”
A glass of Andy’s orangey-brown punch served with a wedge of lime packed a wallop just strong enough to transport me back to the old Rhumb Line for a moment. Everything went dark, really dark, and just when I started to recall Rhumb Line’s signature smell—was it mildewed linoleum?—I snapped back into 2017.
How do you serve a “Teacup Corn Dog?” Piping hot on bamboo skewers with a side of mustard dipping sauce, natch. Very naughty and quite tasty. Husband exclaimed, “Oh my God, salty fat bombs!” and cut me off after three. (I’m allowed one hot dog per summer—so three kosher cocktail francs was a pretty good haul.)
Chef Larry Evans’s menu has some interesting flexibilities. The Soup of the was Day New England Clam Chowder. We didn’t ask what the Magic Fountain Ice Cream Flavor of the Day or the Chimichanga De La Dia was, but the Catch of the Day, “fresh from the Southold Fish Market,” pleased Husband—Roasted Sea Bass, served with a roasted ear of local corn, green beans, baby arugula and a lemon wedge.
Andy was walking by when Husband ordered the Sea Bass and he suggested pairing it with a glass of McCall Wines’ Sauvignon Blanc, exclaiming, “I love it!” Yes, it turned out to be “the Andy,” co-owner Andy Harbin, who was constantly making the rounds and pouring rounds from behind the bar. I don’t know if he was a thin man when he opened this restaurant earlier this season but he is now. And very friendly and welcoming. He shared that he and his partner Doug Roberts intended to create a “family place.”
I think they’ve succeeded and they know their stuff. The two are neighbors and both are fathers of young children. In addition to the varied menu that embraces many current food trends, there’s a Little Sluggers Menu for the 12 and under set.
You might recognize Andy from his past posts on the North Fork, which include the Frisky Oyster, Front Street Station, Legends, the Old Mill Inn, and Sophie’s. But the old Rhumb Line is where his heart truly is. Andy met his wife Sharon there 28 years ago. The new, freshly painted eatery is a labor of love.
Husband quite liked Andy’s suggested pairing—and the fish. I sipped Husband’s wine and found it nicely clean, with a warm finish.
It’s advertised on their menu that Andy’s take on Pad Thai comes with chicken or shrimp. I ordered it vegetarian and got loads of tender tofu cubes atop rice noodles with chopped green beans, zucchini, scallions, corn kernels, cucumber, Thai basil leaves, peanuts, cilantro, fresh jalapeno slices on the side, some dressed tomato slices, and a lime wedge. With a bright fried egg on top. A lot of food.
We had no room left for an “Andy’s Brownie Sundae” of mint ice cream on a rich and chewy brownie. After dinner we took a walk across the street to join over 1,000 happy people at the Bobby Nathan Band concert.
On the ride home, we made plans for a return trip to Andy’s to try the Spicy Spaghetti & Clams and Lobster Salad Roll and Husband said something he hasn’t in quite some time: “The prices aren’t crazy.”
Yes, takeout is available from Andy’s—but no Styrofoam containers. Bravo!
Andy’s, 34 Front Street, Greenport. andysgreenport.com, 631-333-2525