Many people have opted for comfort foods like pizza and pasta during this public health crisis but, to no surprise, fabulous takeout seafood can be ordered, too, from some famous restaurants specializing in this cuisine.
Listed below are four places that I highly recommend. And remember, always call ahead first to find out current restaurant hours and what is being offered on a given day!
CabbyShack, Plymouth, Mass.
We will temporarily miss the water views of Plymouth Harbor and the fun atmosphere at CabbyShack during the stay-at-home alert, but the good news is that many of its delicious local seafood dishes can be ordered to bring home. Topping the list is the New England clam chowder, one of the most heralded chowders in New England. It’s thick, flavorful and chock full of clams. The chowder is so thick, in fact, that you can stand a spoon straight up in the bowl and it won’t move! CabbyShack pretty much does all seafood dishes well, especially the fried seafood selections. Additionally, CabbyShack goes beyond seafood by offering some phenomenal steaks, sandwiches and some of the best bar-style pizza south of Boston — they use a recipe from the legendary Lynwood Cafe in Randolph, Mass.!
The Beach Plum, Epping, Portsmouth and North Hampton, N.H.
The Beach Plum is best known for its New England clam chowder, lobster rolls and bisque, fried seafood and astonishing 78 flavors of ice cream. This southern New Hampshire based restaurant has always done a fantastic job with takeout seafood given the fast food-type concept and they continue to do remarkably well during the public health crisis. This is no surprise, however, as The Beach Plum might look like a fast food place but the quality of the food takes on the best full-service, high-quality New England seafood restaurants. Owner Bob Lee is one of the most business-savvy restaurant owners I have ever met. He had a clear vision right from the beginning on creating a clean, efficient eatery delivering huge portions of tasty seafood at reasonable prices. Nice that The Beach Plum continues that business model for takeout seafood during the stay-at-home alert.
The Beach Plum in North Hampton is located at 17 Ocean Blvd. on Route 1A across from the North Hampton State Beach. Tel. 603-964-7451. The Beach Plum in Portsmouth is located at 2800 Lafayette Blvd. on Route 1. Tel. 603-433-3339. The Beach Plum in Epping is located at the Brickyard Square Shopping Center, 24 NH 125. Tel. 603-679-3200. Web sites: http://www.thebeachplum.net, http://www.lobsterrolls.com, http://www.friedclams.com
Woodman’s, Essex, Mass.
Woodman’s is a household name in New England, serving as a landmark classic seafood shack specializing in fried clams. The story goes way back to 1916 when Chubby Woodman reportedly invented and sold the first fried clams right here. Since then, generations of the Woodman family have carried on the tradition and, in many cases, improved the restaurant. The family has remained focused and humble, clearly dedicated to serving the public. Woodman’s fried clams are still the very best, in my opinion, even with all the seafood restaurants and shacks that serve this dish in New England. It’s not just about the fried clams, however, as Woodman’s does a tremendous job at serving a nice variety of locally-caught seafood dishes at reasonable prices. What a great American success story, also! Today, Woodman’s sells approximately 3.5 million clams and 2,600 gallons of clam chowder a year, as well as up to 500 lbs. of lobster served on a summer day. The no-frills, townie atmosphere here is also something to behold!
Summer Shack, Cambridge, Mass.
This fun, casual restaurant created many years ago by celebrity chef Jasper White takes the seafood shack concept to the next level with an ultra-cozy large dining area and a mix of traditional and ambitious seafood items. On one hand, Summer Shack is a place to enjoy simple local seafood pleasures like oysters, mussels, steamers, littleneck and whole belly clams, crab cakes, calamari, New England clam chowder, lobsters, lobster rolls and fish and chips. On the other hand, you can enjoy something more sophisticated and one-of-a-kind like Jasper’s Famous Pan Roasted Lobster enhanced with bourbon, chervil, chives and warm butter (served with homemade cornbread and corn on the cob).
“The food here is love,” said Vinny Lombardi, director of operations at Summer Shack in Cambridge and Boston. “So much goes into one dish. We have so much respect for the fishermen, farmers, the people who transport the food here and our staff that prepares and creates. We want to do service to the people who come here to eat.”
Summer Shack is located at
149 Alewife Brook Parkway, Cambridge, MA. Tel. 617-520-9500. Web site: http://www.summershackrestaurant.com/cambridge. Facebook fan page: https://www.facebook.com/summershackcambridge
Do you have a favorite place for takeout seafood in New England? Please comment in the box at the end of the post.