Claire Lamborne started her restaurant in 2004 by replacing a Mediterranean restaurant with Claire’s at the Depot serving delicious food with a southern twist. The building used to be the town’s railway depot built in the 1850s and features a patio as well as indoor dining. In the patio area are beds where many of the fresh herbs they use are grown. Inside you’ll find brick walls, wood floors, paper on top of the cloth covered well spaced tables, music in the background and a large bar area. Lots of windows kept it well lit for the lunch service. They serve lunch, dinner and brunch and offered a couple of lunch specials. They have a small wine list with some by the glass and many cocktails. Servers were friendly and well masked.
We started by splitting an order of the Chesapeake Oysters which were cornmeal crusted, fried and served with a bloody mary cocktail sauce. There were 6 plump and juicy oysters on the plate. The light coating added just the right crunch to go with the oysters. The dipping sauce was good but too strong for me as the oyster taste was too divine to cover. I preferred a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of salt. They were so good we ordered a second plate.
Shrimp and Grits was sauteéd shrimp, stone ground Gouda grits and andouille in a crab cream sauce. The perfectly cooked shrimp were lovely in the creamy sauce accented with chunks of crab. The grits were fun and mixed with kernels of corn. The andouille really added flavor to the entire dish. It was very good.
Emma’s Crab Cake sandwich included jumbo lump crab, tomato, lettuce, remoulade and rustic roll, served with french fries and coleslaw. The buttery toasted bun was dense and excellent but I passed on it to save some room. The lovely crab patty was lightly fried without too much breading. I left off the tomato slices and lettuce and ate it as a patty with the good sauce. The tasty slaw didn’t have too much mayo and added currants for a change. The fries were a coated variety with cuts to add extra crisp sections, but would only rate okay. Overall it was a good plate of food. The server said the crabcakes on the dinner menu are much better, but this one made a tasty lunch.
Coconut Layer Cake with cream cheese icing was our choice for dessert. It was a 4 layer cake with generous icing between layes and around the edges all dusted with shreds of coconut. The cream cheese icing blended well with the coconut shreds and if that wasn’t’ enough there was a scoop of whipped cream on the side. It was plenty for 2 and really tasty and moist.