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sufflok county clam hunt

ive lived on long island now for almost 4 years...someone please HELP!!

im looking for whole belly fried clams in suffolk county...lightly breaded, deep fried whole fresh clams...not frozen clam strips.....in new england they come overstuffed on a buttered and grilled hot dog bun with a little tartar sauce...its called a clam roll...WHERE ARE THE WHOLE BELLIES?!?!?!


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  1. Not sure where you are RlinLI but there are belly clams at Legal in Huntington, Southold Seafood Market in Southold, Buoy 1 in Riverhead and Westhampton, Bostwick's in East Hampton. Coll? Help us out?

    2 Replies
    1. re: emarcus

      I'm in patchogue...i've only found one place that has them, its a seafood type shack place out in amagansett (sp?) on the way to montauk point...they were good, but they bread them in some kind of corn meal breading....the ones back home are done with a light four dusting...yummmm!
      thank you for the suggestions tho...ive never heard of any of these places...usually when i ask the question to people at work i get reccommendations for places and i get there and its only clam strips :o(
      I will most def be checking out some of your reccommendations tho!


      1. re: RIinLI

        That's the Napeague Clam Bar. I've had the clams there; they're not too good. All of the above suggestions are better, and Buoy 1 in Westhampton isn't all that far. However, if you're really into Ipswich clams you should probably take a field trip to Nassau, to Bigelow's in Rockville Centre, probably the best venue for Ipswich clams.

    2. They're just not native to here, and not that well known as our local ones. I once had some plain, not on a roll just piled on a plate, and I'm pretty sure they were frozen to begin with. This was out in Montauk at a place that's not even in business anymore. They are very elusive for sure. But then again, I haven't been looking lately. I will update you as the summer goes on! It will be my quest.

      2 Replies
      1. re: coll

        ill take em without the roll if i can get em!! usually they are done with fresh shucked steamer clams...these are soft shell clams...ive noticed around here in suffolk, they mostly just have cherrystone type hard shell little necks...a good fried clam needs a good neck to it...little neck clams are better for chowders, stuffies, entrees, etc. Im glad Im not the only one on the hunt!!

        1. re: RIinLI

          Buoy 1 in Riverhead and Westhampton!

      2. I'm from Maine and the best I've had have been at Nicky's Clam Bar in Bay Shore, directly across from Fire Island Ferry terminal. But they probably won't have the New England style hot dog roll that can be buttered and grilled.

        1. Braun's To Go in Cutchogue has fried clam bellies. They always have cherrystones, sometimes they have steamer clam bellies. There's also Billy's By the Bay in Greenport.....but I wouldn't recommend that place.

          1. The best bellies, most like New England I've had were at Legal seafood. On a are occassion The Shack in Centerport has them, but they're not as good.

            1. so i just got back from buoy 1 in Riverhead for lunch...here's how i see it

              the inside decor was fun and inviting...i was the only in the place cuz i couldn't wait and went for lunch at 1130...so the service was great obviously....although she did spill some of my chowda on the floor on her way over to the table...no big whoop

              the chowda was good, not great...plenty of fresh clams and clam bits...good clam to potato ratio however the potatoes were a bit undercooked and the chowda itself a bit loose...i blame this on me more than i blame it on the restaurant....i was there early...i bet after letting the chowda sit on the warmer all day the potatoes and thickness come to perfect done-ness by the time their big dinner rush rolls around...so it could be by design of the chef

              the whole belly fried clams...my first impression was wow, they are HUGE!! i then quickly realized there were way more in my basket then the dozen i ordered....there were also a couple of bellies in there with no neck as a bonus...the breading wasn't salted enough, just like most of the whole bellies you find even in new england...but it almost didn't matter as the bellies melted in my mouth and oozed a seascape over my entire palate and the saltiness i was looking for emerged...the breading was also much heavier then back in new england...again i think its more corn flour than white flour being used...similar to the amagansett clam experience i had...only not as bad...the tartar sauce was, eh, tartar sauce...i never use much of the stuff anyway

              overall it was an excellent experience and i can see myself going back there...only not that often for 2 reasons...1 being the price...i ordered a bowl of chowda, 12 fried clams, and a root beer...it came to $30! i know fried clams are always expensive but i guess i was hoping to spend $10 less....2 being that fried clams are way too heavy and fried to be eating everyday when i get the clam itch

              thank you all for the recommendations and i look forward to giving a couple of the options out there a try!!

              6 Replies
              1. re: RIinLI

                Wow!! A poster who asks for advice, and then follows it!! RlinLI you are every chowhound's dream. Now I'm feeling guilty no one told you to grab dessert across the street at Snowflake, one of LI's best ice cream stands. It's standard post-Buoy 1-operating-procedure.

                I'm thinking you should try Legal in Huntington Station. They're from New England like you and it's a short drive up 110 from Exit 49 on LIE.

                I don't think there are any bargains in belly clams, though. They are just too expensive to buy.
                Happy eating!

                1. re: EZ Pass

                  lol...nice post..thanks...and i will be checking out the ice cream place across the street next time! is it homemade ice cream?

                  1. re: RIinLI

                    Yes Snowflake Ice Cream is the best!! Definitely go next time. I find Buoy One hit or miss, never had clams but last time we had fried calamari and it was truly inedible. You never know with them. But now, for some reason, I am craving belly clams.....

                    1. re: RIinLI

                      Search this board for scores of posts about Snowflake. Homemade and fantastic. Lots of interesting flavors but I think soft-serve chocolate is pretty perfect.
                      I second proposal for you to go to Legal.

                      1. re: emarcus

                        As do I, but if you want an adult experience and some quiet, go for lunch, not dinner.

                        1. re: emarcus

                          legal is next on my list, without a doubt...in fact all my life ive avoided them in RI & MA because i was thinking they were too "chainy" to have fresh local shellfish...but im convinced...a chain that popular and successful has to be doing something right and i am prolly fortunate to have one here right in huntington...most likely wont happen for a couple more weeks but i will hound back with a brief report

                          on a similar note..the clam itch really got to me this week...idk what it was exactly...the nice weather...the fenway home opener....whatever it was tho made me crave RI fried seafood so bad i finally break down and go get my own deep fryer...tonight im having 4 guests over, native long islanders....im making new england clam chowda (almost ready) and RI clam cakes (batters in the fridge).....i was gonna do RI clam chowda but i figured the clam cake in itself may be too much for them to handle in the whole new clam world im going to introduce them to....if they can handle the belly bombs tonight then next time ill do the ri chowda with homemade whole bellies...ill just have to find some piss clams for that one

                          there will be blade meat and sauggies on the grill by the 4th i can feel it

                  2. Bostwicks in East Hampton has EXCELLENT whole belly fried clams, if you are out that way give am a try.