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What: The waters around Montauk—the Atlantic, Lake Montauk, Fort Pond Bay—are rich with shellfish, and restaurants all over town reap the benefits. Here, we give a few ideas on where to start your search for local quahogs, oysters, and soft-shell crabs.
Where: The local Montauk oysters on the half shell at popular The Clam & Chowder House at Salivar's Dock (formerly known as the West Lake Clam & Chowder House) (631-668-6252; 470 Westlake Dr., map), a casual indoor-outdoor restaurant overlooking the harbor, were so divine—wonderfully briny, juicy, and meaty—we couldn’t help but order seconds. All of the restaurant’s clams and oysters are local during season, and we likewise loved the super creamy New England clam chowder and massive soft-shell crab sandwich; clams casino and raw clams are also available. The restaurant serves a variety of just-off-the-boat fish, too, much of it prepared as sushi and sashimi.
When: Wed-Mon for breakfast, 5:30am-10:30am; daily for lunch & dinner, noon-4pm, 5pm-10pm
Order: Oysters on the half shell ($9 for a half-dozen/$15 for a dozen); clams on the half shell ($15/$26); New England clam chowder; jumbo soft-shell clam sandwich (if available); local beer. Repeat as needed.
Good to know: The restaurant doesn’t take reservations; on summer weekends your best bet for avoiding a wait is to come at an off-peak hour. Also, on busy nights they often stop taking names by 8:30pm, so plan ahead.
Alternatively: Inlet Seafood (541 East Lake Dr., map) often has locally harvested raw oysters and clams on its fish-centric menu. And 15 minutes down the road between Amagansett and Montauk, the seasonal Clam Bar at Napeague (2025 Montauk Hwy, map) serves up lots of local fish and shellfish, including lobster and steamers, in summery patio surrounds.
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