Clams Three Ways at Lenny’s, Branford


I have been dying for steamers all summer and for some reason never got my steaming bowl of bivalves. But I had heard some of the tastiest were at Lenny’s in Indian Neck. This classic seafood shack, all dark green paint and old pine is the real deal, and regulars head here for the marsh views and mountains of fried seafood. Our heart was set on steamers but somehow (just my luck) the last portion was ordered just as before got there. Instead, we went for a full-on feast of clams: a creamy-chunky-briny and perfectly salted cup of clam chowder with classic Westminster Crackers. Salt pork flavors and chunks of clam make this one of the great chowders on the Shoreline. The mountain of fried clams with well-done and tasty fries, improved by a fresh squirt of lemon and homemade tartar sauce was just the ticket; not at all greasy and with a pleasing smallish size and crispiness. My NY roots are evident when it comes to baked stuffed clams. I prefer the simple bivalve with a crisp bread topping, but Yankees like their breading through and through. It’s an entirely different animal and needless to compare. While it’s not my thing, Laura enjoyed them, the fine clam stuffing crisped with a bit of bacon topping. There are all sorts of fun and interesting retro dishes on the menu, from classic Shore Dinners to a creme de menthe parfait. You can even order a fat slice of watermelon for dessert. But this is the sort of throwback everyone loves, and it is even better at the bitter end of summer when the hordes are gone. Have some steamers for me.

205 South Montowese Street in Branford


Here’s our favorite Clam Chowder recipe from James Wayman of Oyster Club.