Swans Oyster Depot. . .
It just doesn't get any better. Foods that are simple in their preparation but magnificent in their taste. Everything except the NE Clam chowder (the only hot dish available) is prepared right in front of you. Their salads consist of a bed of lettuce with a huge pile of dungeness crab meat, shrimp, "prawns (small shrimp)" or a mixture. Top it off with "Louis" dressing, which is very similar to thousand island dressing, and it just makes you very, very happy.
Their seafood cocktails are big helpings of whatever seafood you'd like or a mixture, swimming in an interestingly spiced tomato sauce in a cocktail cup. There are plenty of lemons, cocktail sauce, horseradish, and other sauces on the counter to add to the taste.
Thier clam chowder is simply one of the best I've ever had, and I've spend LOTS of time in Boston and the surrounding area. It's not thick and creamy, but the clam taste is as strong as any I've ever had with big chunks of obviously fresh clam, and the mixture of veggies and their texture and taste is perfect. My wife is also a clam chowder junkie (spent her summers in Essex as a kid) and was as enthusiastic about it as I was. We both agreed that it was everything a clam chowder needed to be. They collect the juice from their clam shucking operation and add it to the chowder.
Their raw items were exactly what you'd expect from a fresh seafood place. We sampled all their PNW oysters and all were juicy and delicious (once you've had Pacific oysters, you'll never want another east coast). Their cherry stone clams were incredible. . . plump, juicy, delicious and almost more than a mouthful. I assumed they were Ipswitch, but was told they were from Long Island (where good clams also grow).
The four brothers who run the place are all funny guys who love to talk to the customers no matter how crowded the place becomes. In two visits, we got a lot of history on the place and the family.
Go there. Pay the large prices. If you are a seafood junkie like me, you will not regret it.
Simply the best!