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May 25, 2014 08:05 PM

The CLam (from Mike Price and Joey Campanaro of Little Owl

Great part of staying in town over a long weekend in NYC is getting to try new places when they're empty and friendly. Hostess from Little Owl sent me over to The Clam, open two months. Really nice vibe. Lovely btg wine list, including a sparkling vouvray that I started my meal with.

Had the shrimp cocktail campechana which was an accurate version of the beachside version one gets in Mexico on the Pacific coast, at least to me. It has that sweet and vinegary flavor of ketchup which sounds bad, but to me lends an authentic touch, yet not cloying. NO HFC. Served with totopos - fresh fried tortilla chips - and raw vegetables in a delicious cup of green goddess dressing. Oh, that was alongside an amazing parker roll which BLOWS AWAY the John Dory's. My main was one large softshell crab with a slaw, not wet, but fresh and filling. And an Argiolas from sardegna.

Service was warm and neighborhoody. Chef Price in the kitchen. Barback saw me taking off the green label from my mini bottle of tabasco to add to my campechana and then spent about 8 minutes doing the same to all of them. I mentioned to him and he said he noticed me having done it and he didn't want guests to have to do that themselves. Love is in the details :)

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  1. I had lunch there this afternoon. The Parker House roll was great, although I didn't love that it was so buttery and thus a little messy to eat. I had the softshell crabs, also - two medium sized deepfried crabs on a bed of frisee, asparagus, tomatoes, peas and radishes, dressed with a creamy mustard sauce. The crabs were very well prepared, very crisp and grease-free. I found the mustard dressing a little strong, but it was easy to work around. Very nice plate, and at $20, a real bargain.

    2 Replies
    1. re: small h

      sounds good...i'll be trying those crabs soon :)

      1. re: Simon

        The menu is very appealing overall, which means I have to go back. Hopefully with another person (so I can try more things) and not during working hours (so I can drink). I'm especially drawn to the shrimp cocktail that thegforceny mentioned, and the clam chowder, and the spaghetti with clams.

    2. Appreciate the tip - just wanted to note that the soft-shell crab dish has been highlighted on the CHOW Blog ...