When done right, clams can be one of the most refreshing–or hearty–items on a menu. They can be made into a sauce, served raw, baked, fried and so much more. No matter your favorite way to enjoy the treat from the sea, many restaurants in Montclair and Bloomfield offer up their spins on the dish, including fried clam strips, pasta with clam sauce, and, of course, clam chowder. Check out our list of the best spots to get clams in Montclair and Bloomfield.
Bloomfield Steak & Seafood House | 409 Franklin Street, Bloomfield
Family-owned and operated, this Italian-American restaurant gets bonus points for the unique setting: it was once a Revolutionary War hideout. Today, it serves tasty eats like clams casino (freshly-baked and topped with red bell peppers, onions, butter, and bacon) and clams steamed in beer. One dozen littleneck clams are also available on the raw bar. Patrons who pay with cash are eligible for a 4% discount on the entire bill.
Cap’t Loui Seafood Boil | 10 Park Street, Montclair
(Photo credit: Cap’t Loui)
With a few locations across the northeast, Cap’t Loui’s boiler has made quite the name for itself. Aside from the New England clam chowder, boiler dishes with clams allow guests to choose their sauce, spice level, and a side that goes in the bag, with options including sausage, noodles, corn, and potatoes, though each dish comes with corn or potatoes as a side dish. Combos and lunch specials are also offered.
Gus & Co. Seafood Market | 626 Valley Road, Upper Montclair
If you’re looking for fresh, make-at-home clams, look no further than Gus & Co. Each of this market’s offerings is hand-picked from the Fulton Fish Market, and some premade options, like soups, are available as well. Those looking for a comfort meal will be more than satisfied with the Manhattan clam chowder, named one of the best in the area. But, note that the selection changes often, so call ahead to make sure that the clams are there when you’re looking.
Halcyon | 114 Walnut Street, Montclair
(Photo credit: @halcyonmontclair)
This brasserie and bar boasts a menu full of wild-caught seafood, including both East and West Coast oysters and, naturally, littleneck clams. Clams can also be found in the restaurant’s seafood paella, which is the perfect follow-up for the mouthwatering, refreshing clams. Come for the seafood, and stay for the handcrafted cocktails at this neighborhood restaurant.
Jack’s Seafood Shack | 718 Bloomfield Street, Montclair
(Photo credit: @jacksseafoodshack)
Clams come in various forms at this restaurant, with multiple outposts across New Jersey. As an appetizer, opt for the fried clam strips, served crispy with lemon and homemade tartar sauce, or choose fried whole belly clams (which also come in a platter as an entree) or clams in a white wine sauce. Jack’s also serves homemade soups, including a New England clam chowder and Manhattan clam chowder, and pasta options include linguine in clam sauce. If that’s not enough, clams are also available on the raw bar.
Leone’s | 19 South Park Street, Montclair
(Photo credit: @leones_montclair)
Some would consider Leone’s to be the home of the best clam sauce in the neighborhood. Known for its traditional Italian fare, including brick oven pizzas, Leone’s also serves up many tried and true favorites, including the linguine white clam dish, made with fresh clams, white wine, garlic, and parsley.
Scala del Nonna | 32 Church Street, Montclair
While there’s only one clam dish on the menu at this upscale Italian eatery, it’s not one worth skipping. The dentice mare Chiara is a braised red snapper in a light plum tomato and saffron brodetto, which is then surrounded by clams and mussels. Pair it with a nice glass of wine or with a selection of other hearty Italian dishes for a meal you won’t soon forget.