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The Place

891 Boston Post Rd., Guilford, CT - (203) 453-9276
Posted By Michael Stern on 10/4/2015 3:59:00 AM
The Place is as plain as its name: an open-air clambake by the side of Route One. Tree stumps are chairs and cable spools are tables. They are all arranged in a sunny clearing around a smoky wood fire where seafood is cooked to order by the shirt-sleeved staff. Tents are erected for when it rains.

The menu includes bluefish, which we are told by experts is delicious. But for us, The Place is a place to eat clams, lobsters, and corn. The one need-to-eat dish is littleneck clams roasted over wood, split open, daubed with butter and hot sauce and put back on the fire just long enough for everything to come together in perfect, picnic harmony. There are steamer clams, too; and don't forget corn-on-the-cob. It is cooked in its husk and swabbed with melted butter. All other accoutrements -- including bread and salad, wine and beer (and glasses for wine and beer, if you want them), you must bring yourself.

The Place is open only in the summer, starting the last weekend in April, going through the end of October. On a nice weekend day it can be maddeningly crowded. But come late at night on a weekday, and it is a happy retreat from the bustle of shoreline shops and traffic.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
roasted clams
corn on the cob
lobster
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

A dozen roasted clams, brushed with butter and sauce, piping hot from the fire, are presented atop the grate on which they cooked. Beware, the grate is HOT!
"A dozen roasted clams, brushed with butter and sauce, piping hot from the fire, are presented atop the grate on which they cooked. Beware, the grate is HOT!"
Michael Stern





Licked by fire and brushed with butter, corn on the cob is a summer-picnic delight.
"Licked by fire and brushed with butter, corn on the cob is a summer-picnic delight."
Michael Stern


Clams and corn roast over the wood fire.
"Clams and corn roast over the wood fire."
Michael Stern


Fine dining, shoreline style
"Fine dining, shoreline style"
Michael Stern


Every table has a centerpiece made from a jug of inexpensive wine.
"Every table has a centerpiece made from a jug of inexpensive wine."
Michael Stern


The fire burns all sorts of wood. The last time I visited, they were using a stack of old palates.
"The fire burns all sorts of wood. The last time I visited, they were using a stack of old palates."
Michael Stern


To make sure each clam that goes on the fire is fully closed, the chef knocks them together. The sound they make tells him if they are sound.
"To make sure each clam that goes on the fire is fully closed, the chef knocks them together. The sound they make tells him if they are sound."
Michael Stern


The ground all around the dining tables is carpeted with clam shells.
"The ground all around the dining tables is carpeted with clam shells."
Michael Stern


October. The tent is up.
"October. The tent is up."
Michael Stern


Tending the fire at The Place. Note the racks of clams ready to be roasted.
"Tending the fire at The Place. Note the racks of clams ready to be roasted."
Michael Stern


Picnic on the grass at The Place, where sunlight filters through trees and aromatic smoke billows from the open-air wood grill.
"Picnic on the grass at The Place, where sunlight filters through trees and aromatic smoke billows from the open-air wood grill. "
Michael Stern


An employee daubs heat-opened clams with melted margarine. Note the prices on the tree in the background. This picture was taken about 40 years ago.
"An employee daubs heat-opened clams with melted margarine. Note the prices on the tree in the background. This picture was taken about 40 years ago."
Michael Stern


If you look in the background of the photo, you'll see Route One, which was a quiet rural road when this photo was taken in the mid-1970s.
"If you look in the background of the photo, you'll see Route One, which was a quiet rural road when this photo was taken in the mid-1970s."
Michael Stern



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