Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Feb 16, 2012 01:57 PM

Ipswich Clams in Manhattan?

Anybody know where I can get fried Ipswich (with bellies) clams in Manhattan? I've had them at the Oyster Bar, and they're pretty good, but I don't always feel like schlepping up there. East Village or nearabouts preferred. Thanks!

Oh, and if anyone's ever cooked these at home, perhaps you could tell me: is it flirting with death by mollusk if I have the fish guy at Whole Foods or Citarella shuck clams for me, so I don't have to risk severing a thumb? I would jump in a cab, take the shucked clams home and instantly bread and fry them, so it wouldn't be a delay of more than half an hour from fishmonger to frying pan...oh, oysters too, of course.

Now I think of it, I vaguely recall seeing little tubs of shucked raw oysters at the Union Square Whole Foods, not long ago; presumably they could safely do the same for clams?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Ed's Lobster Bar, on Lafayette. Haven't had them, but I've liked everything I've had there (and at the smaller Annex), so I'm sure they're at least pretty good.

    1. It's probably not closer than Oyster Bar, and also not on This Board (manhattan), but Littleneck in Brooklyn has steamer clams. I hear they're good but I haven't had them there yet.

      1. Hate to burst your bubble but the vast majority of places in places like Massachusetts and Maine (where those clams are plentiful) -- let alone places in NYC -- serve fried clams that were shucked days prior to you consuming them. Hell, many of them have been frozen for much longer than that.

        8 Replies
        1. re: nmprisons

          And correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't ipswich clams soft shells, and pretty easy to just pry open with your hands without the need for a shucking tool?

          1. re: small h

            Yep. They are also called "steamers" and "long necks," depending on where you are from.

          2. re: nmprisons

            I think they're pretty much always shipped frozen. I know the family that owns a popular lobster/clam place in New England and they get the belly clams in big frozen plastic tubs. The only live steamer clams are the ones that are used for plain "steamed" steamers that come in the shell with broth and butter. If you really want to fry them up yourself, its easy enough to mail order the clams.

            1. re: nmprisons

              No bubbles burst here! I had always been told that you had to consume clams as soon as they were shucked or else it was certain death, and a fish guy at Whole Foods confirmed that. But thanks for the information.

                1. re: nmprisons

                  Well, I'll be sure to tell him you said so then, and so courteously too.

                  1. re: HippieChick

                    Feel free to. I would expect more from a fish monger that charges as much as Whole Foods does. He might as well be told.

                    I assume what he meant was that you shouldn't eat a clam that wasn't alive when shucked and either consumed or properly stored soon after, but even failing to do that won't kill you.

                    1. re: nmprisons

                      Unfortunately this is not a fish monger, this is just some guy that works at whole foods. I don't trust them for specific knowledge on anything other than where stuff is in the store.

            2. Pearl Oyster Bar
              Mary's Fish Camp
              Ed's Lobster Bar

              Pearl Oyster Bar
              18 Cornelia St, New York, NY 10014

              Ed's Lobster Bar
              222 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012

              Mary's Fish Camp
              64 Charles St, New York, NY 10014

              1. The original comment has been removed