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Aug 26, 1999 12:37 PM

Real Belly Fried Clams in NJ?

  • r

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.

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  1. 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).

    1. Denville Fish Market right off Rte. 46. They've got
      the real deal, just make sure they don't overcook them.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Lauren

        Rt. 46 is a long road...whereabouts is this place (and
        is anything else good there)?

        If Denville's a town in NJ, I might be about to feel
        really stupid...


        1. re: Lauren
          Rachel Perlow

          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!

          1. re: Rachel Perlow

            thanks for the detailed info, Rachel.

            So you guys really think it's worth the ride out from
            da city, huh? It seems like a long ride in the wrong
            direction for seafood, y'know?


            1. re: Jim Leff
              Rachel Perlow

              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
              previous post.


              1. re: Rachel Perlow

                It's a fried clam revolution!! Glad you like Denville Fish Market, Rachel. Jim, don't drive from NY. I grew up around the corner, that's how I know about it. Go if you're headed west for some reason, bu t not on Mondays because it's closed. Good homemade tarter sauce, too.