As a born and bred New Englander — don’t worry, I’ve never been much of a Sox fan — I love seafood. It’s cold, fresh, briny and tastes of vacations past. The Clam (420 Hudson St., 212-242-7420), helmed by Chef Mike Price (of Market Table and Little Owl), provides a dining experience where, amidst the candlelight and cool ’90s hip-hop, I can almost feel the sand between my toes.
At the bar, there is wine on tap served in tumbler glasses. (Finally a restaurant that serves me wine the way I serve myself.) Well-dressed servers deliver hot, buttery Parker house rolls to the table. They’re baked-to-order and will burn your fingers; you won’t even notice.
Start with a plate of King crab with big fresh hunks piled onto the shell and shreds mixed into a spicy salad. Then move on to the piping hot oysters Rockefeller. A lighter twist on the original, these oysters come swimming in their natural broth and are topped with green onions and salty absinthe-soaked cracker crumbs.
The fried belly clam and lobster sandwich will make you grateful you’re not in a bathing suit. It’s as decadent as it sounds — packed with crisp, juicy clams and a creamy lobster salad. This Kraken is served with a heaping pile of old bay fries.
And the crab cakes — well, the name just doesn’t even do them justice. With this dish, you won’t find a breadcrumb patty with a gooey mayo filler: it’s all jumbo lump crab that falls apart with the swipe of a knife, served with a slaw of fennel and cabbage in a pool of cayenne butter.
And if you wish to come back for another meal (you will), try out brunch, which launched just last weekend. It’ll bring the fresh flavors of the beach right to your table.
Ariel Kanter is an editor at Gilt City.