I cannot understand how the Chowder Pot Pub could possibly be rated the #1 restaurant in Greenport by people who have actually dined there. Please note that this is not the only review posting a 1-star rating. If you have the least bit of sophistication in your dining expectations or do not like to wildly overpay for your meals, read these reviews carefully ... and let the diner beware!
I was part of a group of 10 people who had reservations for dinner on the weekend of June 14, 2008. We chose the Chowder Pot Pub because of its location and the fact that we were docked at the adjoining marina. What a bad decision. As is always the case when there are 10 people involved, covering a wide range of ages and levels of expectations, some of us were more disappointed than others. Let me relate my own experience.
Our server was friendly and pleasant enough, but totally inexperienced and untrained. When I inquired about two local microbrews listed on the menu (by names only), in order to make an informed selection, the waiter's response was that they were "both beers". When he returned after consulting the bartender, there was not a significantly more informative description. His ability to describe the appetizers and entrees was not any better, but let me not get ahead of myself.
Upon viewing my utensils, I found a knife that was absolutely filthy, with the blade absolutely covered with greasy fingerprints. The waiter gave me the impression that I was acting "difficult" when I asked for a clean set of utensils. After all, I was the same audacious person who had asked for a description of two microbrews. It was not only inexcusable for the utensils to be dirty, the fact that they were this dirty brings the kitchen's sanitary standards into question. It seems clear that the same person who is loading dirty dinnerware and utensils into the dishwasher is subsequently unloading the same dinnerware and utensils from the other end of the dishwasher. The problem is that the dishes are getting washed but that the dishwasher's hands are obviously not.
Several of us ordered the New England Clam Chowder (that other reviewers seemed to like). This was NOT New England Clam Chowder by my definition. It was neither creamy nor white. It had the color and consistency of dirty dishwater, and any pieces of clam were far outnumbered by pieces of fish. I was sorry that I had ordered a bowl when I would not have finished a cup of this atrocity.
Most of us had salads that were included with our entrees. In every instance, we found ourselves, one then another, questioning amongst ourselves if anyone else had sand in his or her salad. In every instance, that was the case. When we asked our waiter, he explained that they had a "rinse and spin" procedure for washing the lettuce used in their salads but that the kitchen had a new employee who may not have yet mastered the technique. That was a second employee who lacked experience or proper training. Ten salads could not be eaten and went to waste.
It couldn't possibly get worse, could it? Of course ... the entrees! Let me first suggest that, should you dine here despite my admonitions, do not waste your time asking for menu substitutions or dietary considerations. Your requests are not going to be accommodated.
Most of us had seafood entrees. Mine was undercooked, had that telltale "fishy" taste and odor, and was essentially inedible. The green beans which were served along with the fish were not even warm, let alone hot. Some of our meals were obviously sitting around in the kitchen while waiting for the last of the 10 entrees to be ready to be served. Two of the other people in our group had ordered the fisherman's platter and both remarked that there was a disproportionate amount of fish (the same that I had been served) in relation to the amount of shellfish.
Desserts or coffee? Check, please! The waiter tried his best to rectify the situation when he finally realized how displeased we all were with our meals, but this could not possibly compensate for the fact that this restaurant is mismanaged (at best) and served up a horrible dining experience. Since we were only in port for one night, our experience at the Chowder Pot Pub leaves us with a bad taste for Greenport itself. As far as I am concerned, the local chamber of commerce should pay the owners of this establishment to shut their doors.