We all know that too much deep fried food is not good for you. But sometimes you just need it. If a balanced diet could included an occasional indulgence: the fried clam (or oyster) certainly deserves a shot. Go to Bob’s Clam Hut on Route 1 near the Kittery Outlets. Just do it. Famous and fabulous. No ambiance, just awesome clams.
For wonderful fried clams in a cool restaurant, try Robert’s Maine Grill . Also a great spot for raw oysters. Try some with a Cold River Martini (Maine’s very own vodka). Robert’s is just across the street from Bob’s…yes they are related. Why are we sending you to a shopping area for dinner? Because the clams are special. And once you enter Roberts you have no sense that you are on route 1. There are tables with a water view in the back and upstairs. But mostly you will be staring at your magnificent clams.
Recently we returned to the Lobster Cove Restaurant at Long Sands Beach. We enjoyed a view of the Atlantic crashing on the rocks as we filled ourselves with classic casual seafood: mussels, lobster, haddock…and the clams were done just right.
The key to the success of the above is that they don’t over cook the clams. They should not be too crispy and notice the color in the photo above. If someone serves you dark colored clams (or calamari) just send them back. Sometimes I am tempted to order them “medium rare” just to get the point across.
But wait, we don’t really have to bread and deep fry our little mollusks. Perhaps we should just skip the breading and oil. Yes, lets pop the fellows into a little water with just a touch of garlic (totally optional). Steam for just a few minutes until they open to reveal their goodness. (Any that remain closed should be discarded.) Serve with some of the broth for dunking (removes residual sand, adds a final briny flavor). Dip in butter if you wish. Unlike with some food, size does not matter here. The larger the better if cooked properly.