Alaskan King Crab
- Jason Perlow
We live in Jersey but often make the trek to Steve's
Pier 1 on Long Island (Oyster Bay?). What a pain in
the ass to get to, but their Alaskan King Crab legs
Not exactly sure where one would get good ones in NYC
or NJ, however.
In Atlantic Highlands NJ there is a restaurant called
The Clam Hut, which has always been one of my favorite
seafood places for the single reason that they serve
the best, biggest Alaskan King Crab legs. Go in
summer, wait for a seat outdoors in back (wait time
will be lengthy but they make good bloody marys: have a
few and wander around on the piers).
Most of the dishes are quite ordinary by Jersey seafood
standards, but here are the 3 that are worth the trip:
Steamers - I consistently get the best steamers in the
world here. I don't know how they do it, maybe they
know the best sources and have an exclusive
arrangement, but they are sweet, clean, and delicious,
served with butter and broth, of course.
New England Clam Chowder - some of the best I know
outside of Nantucket. Everything a chowder should be.
Alaskan King Crab - of course it's expensive as hell,
but the plate you get is full of huge, sweet, steaming
legs so big they will interfere with the diners sitting
next to you.
I'll issue only one disclaimer: seafood can be so
seasonally variable, from week to week, that it's worth
asking your waiter what's good today and what's not
before ordering. If people are complaining that the
steamers are disappointing today, they should let you
re: keith koenigsberg
The Clam Hut is in Highlands, NJ, not the neighboring
town of Atlantic Highlands just in case anyone intends
to visit. Their steamers are good but so are the
steamers of all the purveyers in Highlands and the
surrounding towns because Highlands is the steamer
capital of the universe. The clam depuration plant
is located right in town near the bungalow I rent
there every summer as are the docks the clammers
call home so the clams obtained there are the absolute
freshest. I've never been a fan of the food served
at The Clam Hut but can't deny that their
location is stellar. I also agree that the way
to get the best seafood is to see what's in season
and what's caught locally, i.e., has not been frozen
and in fact has been pulled from the water just
that day if not hours before you sit down to eat it.
That's why I have a problem with Alaskan King Crab.
It is completely impossible to get it fresh anywhere
except in (and maybe near) Alaska. All King Crab has
been previously frozen (and I think precooked as well)
so I can't justify paying what they charge for it. I
will, however, pay good money for locally caught fluke,
flounder, cod, lobsters, clams (of all kinds), porgies,
crabs (soft and hard shell), etc. You'll be
more likely to have a positive eating experience
if you stick with the local catch. You'll also be
supporting local fishermen of which there are fewer
and fewer every year.