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Jun 10, 2008 01:09 PM

Razor clams? any DC restaurants serve them?

I see chefs cooking them on TV and I really want to try them. I don't recall seeing this on any menu. Know which restaurant serves them?

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  1. Round these parts, razor clams are harvested for bait. I've never seen them on a local menu. Palena used razor clams as an ingredient in some dish a couple of years back, but it may have been a Western variety and not a Chesapeake.

    1. Mitsitam (in the Indian museum) has had razor clam pudding a few times that I've been there. It was pretty tasty.

      1. Had a gorgeous razor clam appetizer at Cashions a few weeks ago. Also, recently saw them on sale at Blacksalt.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Culocho

          Checked both websites, don't see them on the menu. I think I would have to call and see if they're on special. I'm surprised at how often I see this on TV but have such limited access.

        2. New Fortune in Gaithersburg usually has razer clams as part of it's weekend dim sum offerings. I have also seen them occassionally at Hollywood East on the Blvd, also as part of weekend dim sum.

          6 Replies
          1. re: mrsphud

            cooked with black bean sauce I presume? How is New Fortune's dim sum? Is it otherwise worth the drive to get there from Tysons? Is there a long wait on weekends?

            1. re: Ericandblueboy

              The three top dim sum places in MoCo, New Fortune (Gaithersburg), Hollywood East Cafe on the Boulevard (Wheaton), and Oriental East (Silver Spring) are FAR better than any dim sum in DC or NoVa.

              HE and OE can have waits at prime time on weekend. New Fortune is so huge, that other than holidays, they have minimal if any wait.

              1. re: DanielK

                I've also read that Lucky 3 is owned by the same owner as New Fortune and the dim sum is the same at both locations. Maybe I'll start my search for razor clam at Lucky 3 first since that's closer to hoome.

                1. re: Ericandblueboy

                  I'm pretty sure that there was once an ownership link, but that it has not been the case for some time.

                  I can say that my two visits to Lucky 3 were very disappointing, but I absolutely adore New Fortune.

            2. re: mrsphud

              Went to New Fortune today. Was pretty disappointed in their dim sum. The seasoning didn't taste right on the chicken feet. The clams (not razor) were tough and flavorless. The rest (shumai, sticky rice in lotus leaves, taro cake, daikon cake) were mediocre at best. I didn't think New Fortune was any better than Fortune or Mark's Duck House. As for selection, they didn't really offer anything that I haven't seen at Mark's or Fortune.

              1. re: Ericandblueboy

                Sorry you didn't have a good dim sum experience at New Fortune.

                I can say that I've been to Fortune and Mark's twice each, and will never go back. New Fortune is far better in quality and selection, IMHO.

            3. I've had razor clams before and they can be pretty good.

              However, a local source for seafood here in Maryland told us that the razor clams here are for bait and "not fit for human consumption" but we told him to send us a bunch anyway. Afterall, we've had them before and they were pretty tasty.

              After spending quite some time and four water baths to clean then out, we cooked some up. They would have been quite good had it not been for the still plentiful amount of sand in the clam - not fit for human consumption indeed.

              Of course, our dear old Italian friend decided that what they needed was more scrubbing in cold water and then a saute in a pan with pasta...

              2 Replies
              1. re: onocoffee

                Next time place your clams in some cool water with a goodly amount of cornmeal for a few hours before you prepare them... they'll ingest the cornmeal and get rid of the sand.

                1. re: divinemsk

                  Not even sure they are legally allowed to be sold as food. It's not surprising that you found them inedible. The Chesapeake Bay variety, (ensis directus) spends its life burrowed deep in the sand and mud at the bottom of the Bay. When you travel to the eastern shore town docks, you can sometimes see bushels of these clams waiting to be sold as as bait. I can attest that they put out a powerful aroma when left sitting in the hot summer sun!

                  What you are probably eating is the Pacific razor clam (Siliqua patula) that is indeed a tasty delicacy.