Yeah, yeah, it's hot. But stop your complaining; you don't hear me bitching about the heat or the humidity or the restaurants and bars that like to keep their windows flung open to the street and their air conditioning off during the dog days of summer (nowadays known as June - September), do you?
Instead of all that complaining, you could do what Significant Eater and I did last night and pretend you're at some sandy beach on the shore of Long Island or Cape Cod having a clam bake with a bunch of your friends.
Sure, you could do that at home, especially if you're lucky enough to have a back yard. But in our case, we headed to the unlikely shores of Carroll Gardens, in beautiful Brooklyn, for a Friday night clambake at Court Street Grocers.
Court Street Grocers is the general store cum cafe, which was opened a coupla years ago by two friends after they graduated from art school - RISD, no less. There's some great stuff on the shelves (Bittermens' Bitters and Luxardo cherries immediately caught my eye), and the sandwiches, prepared foods and baked goods have been lauded far and wide.
But Sig Eater and I were there because I found out that on Friday nights during the summer, they let you wear one of these...
And doesn't Sig Eater look extremely happy? I mean, she usually is when we're about to eat dinner (or breakfast or lunch, for that matter), but this was gonna be special. Because we were about to tuck into a beautiful clam bake, with lobster, clams, corn on the cob, potatoes, sausage, Parker House rolls, drawn butter (and dessert to top it all off). The clams, littlenecks if I know anything about clams, were sweet and, well, clammy at the same time. The lobsters, which had to weigh at least a pound and a half, were perfectly cooked and full of the sea; not an easy trick when cooking up a big batch all at once. The corn was sweet and juicy, the sausage a bit funky and the potatoes and rolls brought the right amount of starch to our table.
Amazingly, this dinner comes to you for $35 a person, tax (but not tip) included. And it's BYOB, making it an even better deal...we brought along a big bottle of Doc's Cider, refreshing and crisp for an apertif, and a dry Spanish rosé to go with dinner - it hit the spot.
Go? I don't know what you're waiting for. They do Friday night dinners year round, and the clam bake for at least the next couple of weeks. I don't think there's a better deal south of the Cape. Oh yeah...the air conditioning was just fine!