Clams and clamming have been at the heart of Long Island culture since this US east coast region was settled by pioneer fishing families of British heritage. Montauk is a fishing town known by locals as The End. It lies at the easternmost tip of Long Island, which extends roughly 200km north-east of New York towards New England. It is about a three-hour drive from New York, and has some bracing windswept stretches of beachfront.
A Long Island clam chowder is a soup that borrows from chowders in both regions: it should be tomato-coloured but creamy and filled with hearty chunks of vegetables as well as clams.
Scruffy clam shacks abound on Long Island but the Clam and Chowder House at Salivar’s Dock in Montauk is a cut above the rest.
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In recent years the surf town has attracted those suffering from “Hamptons fatigue”, the Long Island holiday haunt of the super-rich. Celebrity Brooklynites and tech millionaires now blow through Montauk, giving it the atmosphere of a 21st-century pioneer settlement.
The Clam and Chowder House, once a dockside fisherman’s haunt, has a roof deck and bamboo furniture — and a cocktail list to match the tastes of the town’s newfound hipster clientele.
Photographs: Andrea Senyk/Alamy; Bridget/Stockimo/Alamy; Gordon M Grant/Alamy