Summer Lovin'

Despite the current spate of wet weather, we’ve officially crossed the line into summer-eating territory. Copley Square and Central Square farmers’ markets are open for biz; on Sunday, we headed to a rainy barbecue at the home of Prezza chef Anthony Caturano, attended by a bevy of local food media and chefs including Andy Husbands, Josh Ziskin, Marc Orfaly, and more. But more important, it’s clam-shack time. Bring on the oysters, the clam strips, and corn on the cob, yo.

It’s starting off well. On Saturday, we discovered what may be the best damn fish sandwich in greater Boston. The $6.99 fried haddock sammie at Winthrop’s Belle Isle Seafood, a no-frills shack with almost nonexistent parking and about four counter seats, tasted like summer incarnate: soft roll, flaky fish, greasy-crisp batter, and a smear of tartar sauce with just the right touch of vinegary pickle, all served with crispy fries on a paper plate. Belle Isle also makes a killer lobster roll—the mayo-slatherered kind, with tail and claw meat piled high on a top-split, toasted bun—but at $18, it pushes the clam-shack price limit, and I’m not sure it beats the glorified versions at B&G or Neptune.

A trip to Rockport’s Lobster Pool on Sunday was another home run. It’s one of those quintessential North Shore spots with red-painted picnic tables by the water; as we spooned up creamy lobster bisque studded with bits of fresh claw meat, we watched a lobsterman checking his traps not 50 yards away. We couldn’t make room for the messy, squishy, amazing-looking blueberry pie, but our dining companions promised us it was worth a return trip.

This weekend we’re heading to Nantucket, where we can’t wait to get our claws on some fried clams at Sayle’s Seafood.

What about you? What summer eats are you looking forward to most? Tips on the area’s holiest holes-in-the-wall are appreciated…

  • Kyle

    I will be in Nantucket this weekend too. You should definitely check out East Street Cantina (Tacos Tacos), or what I call Burritos Burritos, for some late night burrito action. Who knew Nantucket could compete in the burrito game?

    Also will be eating at Dune on Friday and Galley on Saturday. Big weekend. Get excited. See you there!

  • David Riseman

    We’ve been to them all, coast to coast and the finest lobster roll by far is offered by Cafe Venus in Norwood, Friday lunch only. Not only is it good tasting but they serve approx 1 lb of lobster per roll, I kid you not. It’s an older, not too up todate spot but when the food is good the ambience takes second place. By the by they just went up on their scrod in wine saue to $7.95.

  • Joyce DeVita

    A friend who I consider a wine and food aficionado thinks that there is no such thing as a great lobster roll, but suggests that I keep on looking. Then I noticed that I had not included my favorite lunch spot the Blue Willow on Perkins Cove in Ogunquit. Housed in an enclosed porch in the back of a gift shop, this ocean front restaurant can’t be beat for its delicious chowder made from the grandmother’s recipe and of course its excellent lobster rolls. But it’s the view that can’t be beat. Perched right upon the rocky beach every table in this small venue offers the panorama of the Maine coast. All the food is served on a variety of china patterns. Nothing matches. The hospitality is pure-friendly down Maine. Oarweed Road, Ogunquit, ME 03907 207-646-3335.

  • Judy

    Any chance of obtaining the Clam Chowder recipe from Blue Willow Restaurant on Perkins Cove in Ogunquit?

    I have relatives that rave about it, but are not in a position to travel any longer. Would love to make it for them at home.

    Thank You

    Judy g.