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…