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Fried clams in the city?

I loved the piece about fried clams in the Times today. I just had fabulous clams while on vacation in Portland, ME--at a great place not mentioned in the piece. Now I'm back in town and still wanting to indulge in that taste of summer. Does anyone know a good place in the city that has them?

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  1. I've had them at Black Pearl, they could have been better if they had WASHED THE DAMN SAND OUT!!!!!

    1 Reply
    1. re: jimnorton

      I've had them at Black Pearl, too. No sand (and in fact I can never recall having sandy fried clams; I wonder if you were tasting something else), but nor were they as meaty as I'm used to up north. Still, not a bad effort.

    2. Ditch Plains on Bedford St. has fried clam strips. I've neve tried them, but I do like the restaurant, as a whole. Fried clams always remind me of childhood lunches at Howard Johnson's. Followed by a hot fudge sundae.

      4 Replies
      1. re: vvvindaloo

        OMG- I could have written your reply myself! They also remind me of childhood traveling with my folks and stopping at Howard Johnson's! Except that I would get a vanilla milkshake to accompany it.

        That being said I have had the ones at Ditch Plains a couple of times and they have always been fantastic. Probably the best I have had in the city thus far. I highly recommend them.

        Places to avoid FYI: Fish in the west Village, Stout and Jeremy's Ale House. All were sandy and overfried.

        1. re: roze

          I have to disagree about Ditch Plains. I ordered the clam strips and lobster roll. While the lobster roll was quite good - both my bf and I found the strips to be really greasy. The taste of the clam was barely there because it was overpowered by the "fry" taste. However, the clam strips at Mary's Fish Camp were extremely delicious and I would definitely order them again.

        2. re: vvvindaloo

          Clam strips are not the same as the whole belly clams you get throughout New England. (Many of these places also offer clam strips, but -- without meaning to sound arrogant about it -- whole belly clams are the real thing.)

          Throuhgout New England, and in NYC, too, AFAIK, if the menu says "fried clams," then you're getting whole belly clams, whereas clam strips will always say just that.

          1. re: Blumie

            Indeed, that's why I specified that they were clam strips. I do know of a couple of places that offer whole fried clams, I simply cannot recommed them bc I haven't tried them. I can recommend Ditch Plains wholeheartedly for all fried seafood, if the OP is willing to go for strips. I appreciate the clarification, however.

        3. BLT Fish Shack, the casual restaurant on the ground floor of BLT Fish, has excellent fried clam bellies. Plump and juicy with a nice batter that provides crunch and texture contrast without overpowering the briny taste of the clam itself.

          1. If you want to go to Brooklyn, Randazzo's

            1. Actually had some decent ones at the Oyster Bar a couple of weeks ago.

              8 Replies
              1. re: haleyjen

                I read that Times article, and I've been to three of the places mentioned on it, Clam Shack, Essex Seafood, and Clam Box. After reading it, I needed to get my Ipswitch fried clam fix, so I got it at Ed's Lobster Bar on Lafeyette. They were very good (but of course not as cheap as you can get it in Cape Ann.

                1. re: panoz

                  Thanks for the suggestions! I haven't been to Ed's Lobster Bar yet. Ditch Plains is another good thought. I like the strips and the bellies!

                  1. re: panoz

                    How much were they at Ed's. They're not all that cheap in Cape Ann!

                    1. re: Blumie

                      I had them at Ed's, it was a fried clam sandwich. There were 4 huge clams, too huge IMO and they were parked on a flattened, greasy hot dog roll. All in all, I found it rather gross. I think it was $16.95 for that.

                      1. re: hon

                        What is IMO?

                        1. re: lookingforpig

                          in my opinion "imo"

                  2. re: haleyjen

                    Respectfully disagree. The fried clams at the Oyster Bar tasted like they had been dipped in mozzarella stick batter. Yuck.

                    Light and crispy is the best. The ones at the Black Pearl are good, but I wish they had larger-bellied clams.

                    1. re: haleyjen

                      oyster bar fried clams are not very good. generic at best.
                      i hate bad-mouthing the oyster bar but it seems no one person is stepping forward to demand quality from staff. my take is staff gave up years ago.

                    2. I was also in Maine this summer and had great whole belly fried clams at Gilberts in Portland and at Naples Lobster pound in Naples. Whole belly clams can be hard to find but I have had really good ones at Mary's and Tides.

                      1. The last time I was in town in July I wanted to try Shaffer city Oyster bar and grill. I did not get around to it but I had heard good things about it here. Maybe it would fit with what you are looking for.

                        1. Having not been to Black Pearl I will say that there isn't any place in all of NYC that makes decent fried clams. Not in Sheepshead Bay, not on City Island or Howard Beach. Brooklyn Fish Camp, GCOB, BLT and Ed's, forget them. None of them could serve good fried clams much less fish dishes if they had guns to their heads. It's unfortunate that one has to drive (or take a train or fly, etc,.) to Maine to get great fried clams. I like the Clam Shack in Kennebunk myself as well as other shacks around that area. Having said all this I will certainly give black Pearl a try.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: bigmackdaddy

                            Tides, Pearl's, Mary's.

                            1. re: gutsofsteel

                              Does Pearl's offer fried clams - don't remember seeing them on the menu - but then again, since I always order the same dishes there, I might not notice!

                              1. re: gutsofsteel

                                I've been to Mary's in Brooklyn. Except for their lobster knuckles, they ain't all that. I haven't been to Tides or Pearl.

                                1. re: bigmackdaddy

                                  had the fried clams at Black Pearl last week. Not bad but not like it would make me return soon. a pretty small portion for $18.95.