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Challenge for chowhounders

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Every year my girlfriends and I squabble over where to celebrate our birthdays. This year we may split the 4 birthdays into 2 different celebrations or there's an off chance we'll celebrate all 4 together.

I'm looking for a place that has: good fried clams; non-fish/seafood options under $25; full bar or at least beer and wine; outdoor seating; within a 45 minute drive of Boston in any direction and as a plus would have a good dessert menu too. Or at least be within short driving distance to an ice cream stand.

Is that too much to ask?

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  1. My vote would be Captain Carlo's in Gloucester. Great clams, lots of non-seafood options, full bar with local beers and inexpensive drinks, outdoor seating overlooking the harbor, live music, and plenty of ice cream within walking or driving distance. About 45 mins. north of Boston.

    1. The Choate Bridge Cafe in Ipswich has great fried clams as well as other seafood and non-fish items and a great bar with most all items well under $25. The only exception is that there is no outside seating and it's cash only. Just up rt133 is White Farm ice cream stand which has awesome ice cream offerings. They do have outside seating.

      1. Markey's Lobster Pool at Seabrook Beach, NH. Beer and Wine, an ice cream place next door (plus an Italian bakery if you want a cannoli or beach pizza to go...you can walk). Decent chicken at Markey's too. 44.6 miles from Boston.

        1. Periwinkle, in Ipswich, is another good option.

          1. don't know if Cognac Bistro has closed yet (on Harvard near Commonwealth and it was up for sale) but it has very good fried clams, a delightful menu of seafood and non-seafood, a good bar, and you can head off to J.P. Licks for desert, down the street a bit, or try one of the frozen yogurt places in Allston.

            1. Woodman's in Essex.

              1. If super casual is ok... Kimball Farm in Westford. Excellent fried seafood... outdoor seating. awesome icecream. They sell beer, not sure about wine.. Non-seafood options, best bet is their pulled pork. Plus the best mini-golf i have played.

                1 Reply
                1. re: hargau

                  Good suggestion. I do think they have those mini bottles of wine, at the very least. If you don't mind the lack of table service, it sounds perfect.

                2. Lobstaland in Gloucester is also a good option.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: StriperGuy

                    Ooh-I like their menu. Little tweaks on the usual-thanks!

                  2. We've done Woodman's and Choate Bridge. I've wondered about Periwinkle's and Kimballs is right up my alley! Or green-as the case may be! Thanks for the suggestions.