Pizzacentric goes beyond pizza when good food with historic or familial roots ― is sold for good prices. Over the past few days, I’ve celebrated summer by imbibing on briny and fresh raw clams and oysters at rates I can afford. Go out for dinner ― or for that matter head over to the not-so-bargainy Smorgasburg food market on Saturdays in Williamsburg ― and it costs a lot to slurp on the raw stuff. Around New York, it’s $2.25 and up for a single oyster ― clams, figure at least $15 per dozen. But even if high rents have chased most bargains out of town NYC remains a waterfront city and ― even outside of Chinatown ― shellfish deals exist.
CONEY ISLAND, Brooklyn. I had six littlenecks at Paul’s Daughter on Sunday. There’s a side bar countertop focused on clams. They also have cherrystones, and both varieties cost $7.50 for six. Stand under the awning, wash them down with a cold beer, and you have lifted yourself up above the noises and heat and smells and humanity of Coney Island. Paul’s daughter is located on the boardwalk at West Tenth Street, down the road from the Cyclone roller coaster.
CITY ISLAND, Bronx. Wednesday morning I headed with friends to Johnny’s Reef, a mid-century seafood restaurant located at the southern tip of City Island’s main road, City Island Avenue. It works like Katz’s except you pay at each counter and I saw no tip cups. A couple dozen four-top tables line the interior and perhaps one hundred or more picnic benches outside await crowds who seem to come mostly for a mixed fried seafood platter that includes fried lobster tails. But I had cherrystones. Like Paul’s Daughter in Coney Island, Johnny’s Reef sells littlenecks and cherrystones for the same price ($5.50 for six), so this time, I thought, why not fill my belly with meatier clams and possibly circumvent the fried stuff. I would have succeeded except my friend did not like his onion rings, so I ate them.
COBBLE HILL, Brooklyn. For an afternoon beer and snack I went on Wednesday ― and again on Thursday ― to what could be the best happy hour anywhere: Strong Place in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. From 4-7 Monday through Thursday, it’s one dollar Blue Point oysters and two-for-one draft beers. No need to wax on about the goodness of oysters: wrtiers have done this plenty of times. I’ll just say: they are good.
I’m on a shellfish streak and could not be happier! See you at Strong Place on Monday, right?
Paul's Daughter in Coney Island. Map Paul's Daughter.
Johnny's Reef in City Island. Open Sun - Thurs 11 am - 11 pm; Fri - Sat 11 am - midnight. (Closed Monday). Map Johnny's Reef.
Strong Place in Cobble Hill. Oyster & beer happy hour Mon - Thurs 4 pm - 7 pm. Map Strong Place. A restaurant with pizza and more on the menu. Gianna spends most of her time in the kitchen and, along with her employees, does make pizza.