Word has come from Ben Conniff of Luke’s Lobster that the new branch uptown (242 East 81st Street) is serving fried whole-belly clams and shrimp. The clams are $20, the shrimp $12, and Conniff says that the recipe comes from friends of Luke Holden’s family.
Good New England-style fried belly clams are hard to come by in the city, so this is an exciting development. But one Chowhounder who has already tried them is not impressed: “$20 for the smallest portion I’ve ever seen. Worse than the size was the battter or lack of it. Somewhere between breading and batter — totally lacking crispness.” On the other hand, the Phude-nyc blog has this to say: “I proclaim great love for these crispy, crunchy, silky, tasty, nicely seasoned orbs and rings. … The highlight of each bite, beyond the nuanced dichotomy of textures, is the actual belly-on clam itself, full of oceanic flavor and boasting it’s own taste and texture properties.”
We’ll get up there ourselves soon and report back.