Whole Belly Fried Clams from the Boat House Grille Left Me Fully Satisfied

fried clams from boathouse grille

If I ever won the Powerball, I probably would not last long. Prime reason is that I would go out for whole belly fried clams twice a week until my heart exploded. Food prices are crazy and restaurants are just too expensive for me right now. It’s still spring and a fisherman’s platter is already priced at $40 and up in local restaurants.

That being said, it’s been a while since I had a fried clam plate and I had just enough cash for a night out. With limited funds we needed to get our money’s worth and let me say the Boat House Grille in Essex, Massachusetts did not disappoint.

The Boat House Grille – Essex, MA

Located close to the Ipswich line, the Boat House Grille was founded in 2016 in the former home of Lewis’. I used to love the old place, it was a part of that dying breed of old-school New England restaurants that had Prime rib Fridays served by gravelly-voiced waitresses. Although the Boat House Grille is a more modern vibe, it’s just as hopping as the old place every time I go. This is the sister restaurant to another local favorite – the Blue Marlin Grille, located across town. You really can’t go wrong with either venue for nice portions of local seafood, steaks and more.

Fried Clams from Boat House Grille

fried clams from boathouse grille

It’s still a little early in the season and right now there are a lot of big clams being dug. That might turn off some, but for me, you can’t fry a clam too big. I kind of like the big, chewy “honkers” when fried just right, they have a lot of flavor. My plate of fried clams did have a few big ones, but there were some smaller clams mixed in as well. One bite and I entered fried clam nirvana and all was right in the universe.

I like Blue Marlin’s fried clams, but I think I like the Boathouse’s clams even more. They have that classic taste with just the right crispiness you get with a mix of flour and cornmeal. They reminded me a lot of J.T. Farnham’s, which many emphatically state are the best fried clams around. I savored every bite, and ignored the french fries to focus on the clams dipped in their tangy tartar sauce.

blackened haddock tacos

The clams were a little too big for my wife so she opted for blackened fish tacos, which she upgraded from pollock to haddock on request…and my onion rings. Needless to say both of us were very happy with our choices. This was not a cheap dinner, but a good value considering we both left stuffed and even had some to take home.

Thank you Boat House Grille for satisfying my fried clam craving. Looking forward to the next visit!