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Jun 10, 2007 05:05 AM

Best tartar sauce?

I am a few days away from my first New England vacation in 25 years. I am so looking forward to fried clams, lobster rolls and all the fresh seafood in general. It has been my experience that a restuarant can have the best seafood, but if their tartar sauce is not homeade, or doesn't measure up, it can ruin the whole meal. I have oodles of rec's for seafood restuarants from this site---but who has the best tartar sauce?

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    1. Probably not the level of seafood dining you're thinking about, but the Capitol Grill has awesome tartar sauce.

      Does Choate Bridge's still come out of a packet?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Joanie

        Yes. Was there last night for 2nd time in 1week. We split a lobster roll and the blackened salmon dinner. Both were soooo good we couldn't decide which dish we liked better. Will be back again soon.

      2. Neptune Oyster has very good tartar sauce, and the fried clams to go with it..

        1. If you are in Kittery Maine, Bob's Clam Hut has excellent tartar sauce that they sell.

          4 Replies
          1. re: emilief

            I will be driving to and from Rockport Maine from Boston. Bob's Clam Hut looks like a destination stopover---maybe both ways. Fried clams are one of my favorite foods and good tartar sauce seals the deal. Thanks for the recommendation.

            1. re: SASSYMI2

              Farnham's in Essex has great fried clam, etc. and tartar sauce.

              For my money -- the best tartar sauce anywhere is The Lobster Claw in North Reading. It's so good, that they're now charging for an extra container for it with your dinner. I've bought some to take home, too. They just put some in a coffee cup with a lid and there you go. I forget what I paid, but I covet it. My DH is not allowed near it.

              Too bad the LC has absolutely NO atmosphere and is in an ugly area of Rte. 28.

              1. re: SASSYMI2

                If you do stop in both directions, you may want to consider Robert's Maine Grill for one of the meals. Robert's is owned by the same guy who owns Bob's but is a full restaurant rather than a clam shack. The prices are comparable and it's a beautiful dining room, especially if you sit upstairs toward the back. You can learn more at

              2. re: emilief

                I second Bob's tarter sauce. I always get some to take home with me. Their seafood is pretty good too.

              3. While im sure some homemade tarter sauces are very tasty, i have had many where they try to fancy them up and add stuff like dill or something that just doesnt work for me.

                The worst are any of the places that give you those small single service packs with the foil lids-yuck. Even good brand sauces that come in those packs for some reason taste bad.

                Maybe im just a tradionalist when it comes to tarter but the good old fashioned Cains tarter that comes in the huge gallon size container is what i tend to like.

                The Sea Basket in Wiscasset i think uses that if you eat in the dining room, if you get it takeout they give you the gross foil pack things.

                They are perhaps my favorite place for fried seafood in new england.