Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Plea

Dear Waterbury,

Please open up a restaurant that has a decent raw bar. Scott and I have recently become really addicted, and we are tired of traveling to West Hartford (Max's Oyster House) and NYC. Also, we tried to open our own clams from Big Y ourselves and I almost cut my hand off.

Renee & Scott

Umberto's Clam House, Arthur Ave, Bronx


Anonymous said...

Ohhh, we feel your pain wrt the clam-shucking -- we got some lovely Maine mahogany clams when the Waterbury ShopRite had them at the is-that-a-typo?!-low price of $5.99 for a 50-count bag over the summer. We only wound up shucking about 20 of them (4 to slurp off the half-shell with citrus & tabasco, the rest to tempura-batter & turn into bar-none the best fried clams either of us have ever had) and steamed the rest in their shells.

Shucking your own mollusks is rewarding as far as taste, freshness, texture and all that, but boy is it a workout... physical and mental, what with having to outsmart the little buggers so you can get the knife into the shell! Still, I'd rather shuck 50 clams than 10 oysters; those things are just murder to get into.

But we wanted to (at the risk of repeating ourselves) point you at, again, Naugatuck's Tomo 68. They have oysters just about every day -- you can call ahead & make sure -- which are fantastic. Genuine Japanese (not entirely sure they're imported, as opposed to raised here from Japanese stock a la wagyu/kobe beef) oysters, served on their dainty, elegant half-shells in just the right amount of one of Tomo's signature marinades. (We think it's related to the marinade in the white tuna "martini" -- which is so good we drink it once we finish the salad.)

As far as other occidental-style 'raw bar' staples, it's possible you could get them to serve clams on the half-shell if you asked. They do normally have fresh scallops, though if you want your scallops whole you should give them a few days' notice, as they tend to cut away the rest of the body the day the scallops come in. If you're craving bivalves on the half-shell, Tomo is the best thing around here that we know of... other than shucking them yourself, anyway.

(This is Te & Te's fiancee Jack, btw, who commented on your last post. We've started our own food blog since those comments, hence the different login. There's a link to you guys on our blogroll, but we notice you don't do the blogroll thing, which is fine... not fishing for a reciprocal link so much as waving hello from our new place.)

Renee said...

You have no idea how excited I am that there are other Waterbury Foodies blogging!!