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Thai chicken with rice noodle soup. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Salamander’s owner Claudia Helinski travels to Thailand and other South Asian countries every winter for a little R&R and culinary exploration.

She then brings that inspiration back to Greenport, where she cooks up flavorful menu items like the Thai chicken and rice noodles soup pictured above.

“I like the real flavors of Asia,” Helinski said.

While the soup menu, which features about five offerings, changes from week to week, Thai influences are almost always a given, she said.

We ordered a cup of this delicious soup on a recent visit to the Front Street eatery, which we’re highlighting in this week’s edition of “What’s For Lunch.” Coconut milk, lemon grass, shiitake mushrooms, ginger, garlic, curry paste, chicken broth and a lime leaf (that’s not edible, so don’t try to chew it like I did) make up the soup, which is sold in a cup ($7.50) or bowl ($9).

“It’s a basic Thai soup and the rice noodles are gluten-free,” Helinski told us.

Helinski’s homemade soups are also available for takeout in the attached market.

While Salamander’s is known locally for its outstanding pressure-cooked chicken, we opted to pair the soup with a Tunisia salad sandwich. Hummus, tomato, salad greens, cucumber and olives are served on bread with a side of fruit ($10).

The homemade hummus is worth calling attention to. Helinski said its creamy texture and smooth taste are the result of using superior tahini.

Also of note, the restaurant has a full-service bar and will be offering happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m., with $5 well drinks and $4 beers and ales. It’s definitely worth a visit this summer.

Salamander’s, which also offers catering, takeout, a full bar and a gourmet market, is located at 38 Front Street in Greenport. Call (631) 477-3711 for more information.

‘What’s for lunch’ is a weekly column highlighting yummy mid-day meals on the North Fork. 

Vera Chinese


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