Once per summer, I indulge in a plate of fried clams, and this year I partook at Dockside in Essex. You might remember this casual eatery as Abby’s Place, but Dockside from Branford has taken over, added a full bar, and expanded the deck with an expansive view of the river and marina. The menu is classic New England seafood fare, from steamers and fried Ipswich clams to lobster rolls, scrod, and swordfish. Absolutely start with the New England clam chowder, a smokey bowl of creamy soup spiked with chunks of clam and potato. Yum. The steamers were fat and fresh and an extremely large portion for an appetizer (you won’t need an entree). My massive plate of fried clams and onion rings was enough for a family, so I say get a few entrees and share. Meat-eaters have plenty of choices, too, from burgers and steaks to chicken and pasta dishes, but for me, it’s all about classic fried seafood and one more check off my summer bucket list. https://docksideessex.com Open 11:30 to 9pm 7 days a week. 37 Pratt Street in the Safe Harbor Marina at Dauntless Shipyard.