Uncle Vinnie's Clam Bar - "review"
Finally got a chance to eat at Uncle VInnie's Clam Bar after several word of mouth recommendations. I first tried two weeks ago on a Saturday night. I arrived at 9:45pm to be told by a bartender (no staff engaged me upon entering) the kitchen closed at 9:30. Their web site says it's open until 12am!!! Apparently not. Done by 9:30pm. On a Saturday night. Ya...
Anyway, last night I waited about 30 minutes for a table and when I finally got seated, just before 9:30, I was told they were now trying to "squeeze" my table in because the kitchen is closing. I was also told they won't prepare me any dishes from the specials menu. WHAT???? Either tell me when I came in you weren't going to take me or take my order and bring me my food. Now, onto the food. Clams oregenata and Trenton clams (tabasco sauce + bacon) were both very good though the clams were smaller than I prefer. I don't know what kind of clam they were. Blue crab claw "fingers" tasted fishy though I have yet to encounter blue crab claws that I enjoy. Maybe a bit fishy is the true flavor? I ambitiously ordered shrimp oreganata, a special, and was asked to give a 2nd choice, "Just in case," which was shrimp scampi. Shrimp scampi showed up. The "sauce" tasted mostly like butter and I didn't notice much if any garlic flavor, herbs or anything else. Very bland and boring. However, the shrimp were good quality and the pasta was cooked properly. The penne vodka was quite good and had a nice flavor with the addition of some kind of pork (I think it was bacon and not prosciutto). The ambiance was casual and lively with a full bar -- think Jersey shore seafood market with a restaurant.
I would return here for clams, penne vodka and shrimp. And I would come earlier. I can't believe they shut the kitchen down by 9:30 on weekend nights!!
5 E Somerset St, Raritan, NJ 08869