Real Belly Fried Clams in NJ?
- Rachel Perlow
I was looking through the listing of places to find
good belly fried clams in NYC, and wondered if anyone
new of any good places in NJ? Thanks.
Not Jersey, but there is Bigelow's in Rockville Centre on Long Island (no atmosphere, paper plates, stools around the counter -- and absolutely fresh fish and clams).
What a coincidence! Jason and I went to Denville
Seafood for dinner the same night you wrote your
follow-up, but I hadn't read your message yet!
For those who don't know, here is a description of
Denville Seafood: It is literally a fish market with
about 6 tables to eat at (additional outside tables in
fair weather). They buy their fish fresh every
morning at Fulton Street Fish Market. If they run out
of something, they're out! No running to the A&P to
restock the shrimp or crab! (Jim - yes, Denville is a
town in NJ, the store/restaurant is located at 61
Broadway, 973-627-2987, no reservations, call to find
out if they have what you are craving.)
This is the only place in my area of NJ I would buy
tuna or salmon to make sushi at home (including all
the asian stores on Rt 46).
Directions: take Rt 80 West (about 50 min from GWB) to
Rt. 53/Denville exit, right out of exit, right at
second light onto Broadway. Look for the green
striped awning about 2 blocks down on right. Go to
the Denville Dairy across the street for ice cream
afterward. You can also take the train, the station
is walking distance to Denville Seafood.
This was our 3rd attempt to eat at Denville Seafood.
First try we arrived around 7PM, totally packed, 45
min wait. We left. Second time, didn't call first,
they were closed. Third times the charm! We were
both home early from work (this was the day after
Hurricane Floyd), so at 5:30, I said "let's go to
Denville Seafood, if we get there by 6 we should be
able to get a table!"
We arrived at 6:05 PM and snagged the last indoor
table (there were tables set up outside and though it
was a little chilly, I would have sat there if I had
too). So we puruse the menu and, of course, want the
belly clams, but they didn't have them that day! Oh
well, "how 'bout some crab cakes?" asks Jason.
Another waitress pipes in "I just sold the last two!"
If they were out of shrimp, Jason would have walked
Anyway we had soup - excellent Manhatten (cup $1.95,
and took home a quart for $7.00) and not-too-creamy
New England clam chowders (bowl $3.75)- and fried
calimari (small portion but really excellent, very
tender) ($6.95) for starters. Jason had the fried
shrimp dinner ($13.95) and I had shrimp and fish cake
combo (priced per item with a minimum of two items,
mine came to $9.90). The shrimp were pretty good and
the fish cake was excellent. Very little binder used,
which gives me hope for the crab cakes when next we go
Speaking of next time, as they can so easily run out
of the most popular items, I think my plan is as
follows: go for lunch, and take home some fresh fish
to make sushi for dinner that night!
re: Jim Leff
Not necessarily worth a ride out from the city, but I
thought I'd give the directions from there as a
reference point (so the city folk have an idea where
Denville is ;> ) Personally, we only drive about 15
minutes to get there, and as there is NO fish store
closer than this in my area (other than the
supermarkets or North American Lobster Co on Rt 46
(which is more like a 25 minutes drive)), it's worth
it to me.
Followup on directions: When you get off 80W, it puts
you on Rt 46W, take the 2nd Rt 53 exit (towards
Denville), which comes up almost immediately, and
continue as per previous post.
Followup on food: We went there for lunch today as we
were working from home. Jay had Shrimp Bisque which
was good, but too creamy for me. We both had fried
sea scallops & a crabcake. The scallops were
excellent. The crabcake tasted good and fresh and
slightly spicy, but unfortunately, had a little too
much binding breading - unlike the fishcakes as per