Nantucket, Newport, or Puget Sound it ain’t, but there are still plenty of seaworthy spots in Brooklyn that are no more than a subway ride away. Go ahead and treat yourself to a crustacean staycation this summer by chowing down on our top 10 shellfish dishes!
The soft-shell crab sandwich at Randazzos: MP
Soft-shell crab season is fleeting — making them a menu must-order whenever they happen to appear. We get especially pumped when they show up in sandwich form at Randazzos — deep fried and topped with a simple spritz of lemon, their claws peeking out from under a pliant, sesame seeded bun.
2017 Emmons Ave, 718-615-0010
All-You-Can-Eat Crabs at Clemente's Maryland Crab House: $32.95
Unless you count Brooklyn Crab (and at this point in time, we don’t), there’s nowhere else in the borough to wile out BK-style on a pile of Old Bay-dusted blue crabs with a hammer. We can’t claim that these crabs are what you’d find in Maryland, but when the sun is high in Brooklyn, who the heck cares?
3939 Emmons Ave, 718-646-7373
The Lobster Dinner at Red Hook Lobster Pound: $25
The Pound could have made our must-try list for a number of under-the-sea-items, but when you’re looking for a straight up, steamed whole lobster with all the trimmings, well, there’s really nowhere better. And on Wednesdays, a mere $20 buys you a fresh off the boat, 1 ½ pound beauty, sided with homemade coleslaw, potato salad, and corn.
284 Van Brunt St, 718-858-7650
The Low Country Boil at Brooklyn Fish Camp: $22
This Park Slope shack is a seafood lovers delight, but why not take a day trip to the Carolina’s by ordering this down-home favorite — shrimp, Yukon potatoes and spicy andouille sausage, swimming in a decadent crab stock.
162 5th Ave, 718-788-3264
The Lobster Roll at Lobster Joint: $17
The crab, clam and crispy oyster are equally awesome at this Greenpoint joint, but when it comes to rolls, lobster is always the last word. We generally prefer ours Connecticut style (butter only), but you can go hog wild and order yours as a club, with celery, fresh herb mayo, avocado and bacon.
1073 Manhattan Ave, 718-389-8990
Happy-Hour Oysters at Maison Premiere: $1 each from 4-7pm
It doesn’t get sexier than oysters and absinthe — especially when the oysters run for a third of the price. Up to 20 briny beauties are on offer from the 30-strong list during happy hour, including Wellfleet, Naked Cowboy, Hama Hama and Fanny Bay.
298 Bedford Ave, 347335-0446
Lobster Tacos at Strong Place: $18
This cozy Cobble Hill bistro relies heavily on seafood, and in our book, that’s a great thing. The cute (and yum) factor is especially high on the mini lobster tacos, topped with black bean and corn salsa, guacamole, and cotija cheese.
270 Court St, 718-855-2105
The New England Clam Chowder at Extra Fancy: $12
A reliable exception to the standard “no hot soup in the summer” rule, this littleneck-stuffed chowda from shellfish loving newcomer, Extra Fancy, is especially fine. Regulate your body heat by following it up with a refreshing cocktail — we suggest the Sagamore with Tito’s vodka, aperol, luxardo maraschino, cranberry juice, and fresh lime.
302 Metropolitan Ave, 347-422-0939
The Jalea at Pio Pio Rico: $26
This Peruvian fast food chicken joint might not be an obvious stop for a fried seafood fix — but the mammoth mélange of squid, shrimp, mussels, crab legs, white fish and yucca — sided with green chile sauce, creamy white sauce, and tangy onion salad — beats the pants off of a sad plate of tentacle-less, red-sauce calamari.
5911 Fourth Ave. 718-492-4505
The Whole Belly Clam Roll at Littleneck: $16
You had us at whole belly clams. Really. We would cross the world over for a pile of these flash fried, briny bivalves (desiccated clam strips are just an utter degradation), but luckily we don’t have to. Happiness on a bun is only as far as Gowanus.
288 Third Ave, 718-522-1921