46 Audrey Ave
Oyster Bay, NY 11771

New England Chowder House Meets American Bistro

Located in the heart of Historic Oyster Bay, once home to President Theodore Roosevelt, Canterbury Oyster Bar & Grill delights patrons on so many levels.  This eatery has the combined feel of a rustic New England Chowder House, Classic English Pub, American Bistro and historic tavern replete with nine taps as well as one hundred bottles of Craft Beers, Specialty Ales, & artisan brews.   

Canterbury Ales in Oyster Bay opened in 1981 (not to be confused with it’s sister location in Huntington which was started in 1977).  On December 9, 1985, Mark Fox took ownership and embarked on transforming the restaurant into what it is today. For starters, how could a place in a town named Oyster Bay not have oysters on the menu? Mark felt this was a No-No.  In no time, oysters hit the menu in all varieties and styles. Shortly thereafter boatloads of other shellfish were found in abundance; shrimp, mussels, clams, lobster and steamers.  

Mark’s influence is also evident in the changes in décor the restaurant has experienced. Out with the tiffany stained glass and fox hunting pictures and in with the Roosevelt picture gallery, historic Oyster Bay photos and fish house accents. Today the décor is more of a rustic New England Chowder House with Roosevelt & historic Oyster Bay touches

The beverage menu also went through a great deal of change. Today, you can choose from a great selection of moderately priced wines by the glass and/or bottle as well as some of the most sought after wines in the world.  As for brews, they range from Rheingold to the most artisan Belgium triple fermented beer; this place has all the 
bases covered.

We had the fortunate opportunity to try the Long Island Corn & Clam Chowder (below left), which was nice and creamy with hearty spuds.  This soup was a great comfort selection with potatoes that melted in your mouth and just the right degree of saltiness.  

Although we only sampled two of the salads they were quite good and refreshing. The mesculin salad (above middle) was very fresh with vine ripe tomatoes and topped with a julienne slaw of zucchini and carrot with traditional vinaigrette.  The Steakhouse wedge salad with Gorgonzola cheese and crispy bacon (above right) was also definitely a “comfy” food.

The first appetizer of many was the trio of Tuna Sliders (below left) that consisted of sushi style tuna tartare in the form of a burger on a miniature bun. The tuna was very fresh and coated with black and white sesame seeds. Each burger also had fresh lettuce, tomato, cucumber, as well as paper-thin ginger slices.

We then sampled the crab cake (above right) that was magnificent with a mango sauce that perfectly married the sweet and spicy elements.  Next, the seafood tower (below) arrived at our table and consisted of the freshest tuna tartar, lobster, clams, oysters, and shrimp with a trio of wonderful dipping sauces.  

Meanwhile, back on the mainland, us landlubbers thoroughly enjoyed the rib appetizer (below left). These ribs were of the fall off the bone melt in your mouth variety. They were not overly sauced, as tender as can be and served with tasty sweet potato fries.  

The creamy Shrimp A La Vodka (above right) with prosciutto, sundried tomatos and crushed red pepper was very good, perfectly al dente, and nicely sauced. And now for the knock it out of the park favorite appetizer – the Bourbon BBQ glazed quesadilla (below).  These quesadillas were so good with the cheeses, sautéed onions on the inside and the Habanero slices, sour cream and guacamole as a topping. However it was the fresh house made tortilla that brought it all together.  

For our main courses we sampled a variety of entrees.  First of which was the delicious Tomato and Crab crusted cod (above right) over a julienne medley of vegetables in a truffled broth. 

Another great dish we sampled was the tuna lettuce wraps (below left) which consisted of beautifully presented pan seared tuna, and dipping sauces, arranged in what appeared to be a smiley face. The idea here is to take the lettuce leaves with the tuna and create little wraps. This dish is great for those carb conscious individuals.  


Other dishes worth noting were the Applewood Smoked Bacon wrapped filet mignon (above middle) cooked to order as well as the diver sea scallops that were delicious over forbidden rice. However, the true surprise sensation of the night was their meatloaf (above right) comprised of sirloin and filet mignon tips and seasoned to perfection.

On the sweet side we sampled a Crème Brule Trio (above left), which provided an excellent array of taste.  This dessert is available in an ever-changing variety of flavors.  Another dessert worth mentioning is the Banana Rum Cheesecake that is house made and a true people pleaser. Our final sweet sampling of the evening was their S’mores dessert (above right).  This was quite a novel adaptation to the classic do it yourself campfire treat.  This dessert is enjoyed by kids of all ages.  

Canterbury Ales Oyster Bar & Grill is a multi-faceted establishment that combines excellent food with great service in a relaxed atmosphere.  This restaurant succeeds, where others have failed, at being many things to many different people.  Dress up or dress down, bring your friends or make some new ones.  In Teddy Roosevelt’s own words “ a good deal for the people… a Square Deal”.  Canterbury’s is truly the hidden pearl of Oyster Bay.

Overall RatingExcellent

Cuisine: American Bistro

Ambiance & Décor:  Chowder House with 
                                     Historic Accents

Prices: Lunch $10-$22, Dinner $15-$60

Canterbury Ales


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