Thursday, July 26, 2012

Visiting Montauk and Their Famous Clam Bar

I'm happy to report that most of this week was spent chillin' and relaxing out East in Montauk, in celebration of my birthday.  Like a little kid, I tend to make my birthday celebration last a whole week and this year totally followed suit, as Dan and I headed out for a little mini vaca.  

Part of why I love the East end, including Montauk is for its fresh seafood, and we of course had nothing but this out there.  Loving the fact that you can get a lobster roll at the drop of a hat, we of course had to take advantage of this at Montauk's famous Clam Bar.

Located right off of the main road that leads into "Downtown Montauk" or 27 as the locals call it, the famous Clam Bar is a drive by kind of place.  The atmosphere is super lax, with white plastic backyard furniture set up as its outdoor dining room.  Each table is covered by a large umbrella, which helps shield the hot rays, especially during the summer months.

And although sitting down and enjoying the local atmosphere is quite lovely, you can also go up to the counter, order and take away.  Dan and I chose the former, wanting to relax and enjoy the summer vibe, including their classic rock music mix, and catching some rays in the process too.

I love that the menu includes all your seafood favorites such as clams, steamed lobster, lobster rolls (yay!), clam chowder, steamed mussels, fish and chips and more.  Aside from these mainstays, there are also a wide array of daily specials, which showcase just how fresh everything is.  In fact, we found out that The Clam Bar has their own fishing boat, which they take out each morning and catch the freshest stuff, for each day's service.

Lobster Salad Roll - I was a bit confused about why they were calling this a lobster "salad", as I always think of the chunky lobster meat rolls when ordering this dish.  The staff at the Clam Bar however assured me that this was no "fake lobster salad" but indeed the real thing, with chunky bits of lobster meat, a minimal amount of mayonnaise and some crunchy pieces of celery.  Even though I was still a little skeptical, what arrived in front of me was just awesome.  

The lobster roll was indeed what I was expecting - a beautiful, soft buttery bun, filled to the brim with chunky fresh lobster meat.  Amazingly flavorful, the combination worked beautifully and far surpassed my expectations, for there were tons of meaty pieces of lobster and the crunch from the celery added a nice, clean freshness.  The roll was so huge and so filling, that I gave away a few generous bites to Dan.  Even though I haven't tried the place across the street called Lunch, also known for their lobster rolls, everyone swears that Clam Bar's are better.  I trust this is true!

Fried Clam Strips and Sweet Potato Fries - Dan was dreaming about his beloved fried clam strips and this too delivered.  The clams were fresh as ever, and coupled with a tangy, homemade tartar sauce that we even used on their crunchy sweet potato fries.  The whole combination was just a mountain of fried goodness that I'd recommend in small doses, but still, a totally worthy summer indulgence.

Service and Cost:
Even though I wanted the service to be awesome, it just wasn't.  We found our waitress to be surly and rude, and like a lot of the restaurant service we encountered in Montauk, it was made up of 20 somethings who seemed to be too cool for school.  Even so, the food arrived really quickly and piping hot.

Costs aren't cheap, but given the quality of the seafood, they are fair.  The lobster roll set us back $19.50, which is pretty standard (even cheap for a good lobster roll), while the fried clam strips and the fries were $13 in total.  

3 Mmmms

Clam Bar at Napeague - 2025 Montauk Highway, Amagansett NY 11930

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