Monday, July 12, 2010

The Love Nest

Every summer, my husband, my mother, and I begin our annual search for that year's very best fried clams.  We take our quest seriously, for we don't just love fried clams, we adore them.  And we're picky about where we get them and how they're made.  We don't like them dipped in batter.  It's crumbs all the way with us.  And never clam strips.  It's the whole clam, belly and all, or nothing.  
We have a few favorite fried clam haunts.  Some of them are locals-only places; a few are more well known to tourists, but still amazing.  The Love Nest at the Five Islands Lobster Co. is one of the latter.  In fact, here you'll find some of the freshest, tastiest clams in New England.  And the ambience can't be beat.
I grew up just a few miles down the road from the Love Nest, and I can attest that it's a great place for lobster, but for me, nothing tastes more like summer than a fried clam basket.  
And yes, that's a Moxie.  You know me and my love for Moxie.  I don't usually eat fried food or drink soda, but I make an exception every now and then for this meal.  So we walk an extra mile or two the next day.  With views like the one below, even on a socked-in day, it's all worth it.
And then there's the ride home, comparing notes on the sweet and briny clams, the crunch of their crumb coating, the tangy zest of the homemade tartar sauce.  As the sun sets, the clouds lift, and suddenly the evening seems filled with expectation and the promise of an endless summer.

33 comments:

  1. Oh this sounds so enjoyable, you all must have so much fun doing this. I have to say I was getting hungry looking at the photo of them :)
    xoxo

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  2. Ah, gee. Now I'm craving fried clams. Not a good thing right before one goes to bed.

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  3. I could almost taste the food in your words and pictures. I'm drooling here.

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  4. I've never eaten a clam...but...suddenly I'm craving them, crumbed of course!!!!

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  6. I've been wondering where you've been.

    Now I know: eating. Acceptable excuse.

    Yum.

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  7. Oh, yum. I could polish off both of those baskets myself.

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  8. Hi, Gigi! :o) I'm just coming up for air after a bout with bad cold & bronchitis, so slow to visiting these days. I must be feeling better for those clam baskets look soooo good! Thanks for taking us along for the fun... Summer, sweet summer... Happy Days ((HUGS))

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  9. Hello Gigi! I am having major clam cravings...at 8:30 AM! Those looked yummy. And the photos are stunning as usual.

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  10. What a wonderful day! Definitely worth the extra walking ;)

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  11. you left me speechless... and hungry. : )
    xoxo

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  12. That shot of the inside of that restaurant reminds me so much of a clam shack in Old Saybrook called Johnney Ad's. SO unpretentious and comfortable. Once a year I have to get my fried food fix and then I feel like I've experienced Summer and all that it implies.
    Thanks for stopping by.....summer can be so hectic......believe me I understand.
    Just happy to see your beautiful and thoughtful posts.
    xxx

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  13. you have taken me to a beautiful place...and a delicious one at that,Gigi~

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  14. my mouth is watering like crazy right now. what lovely photos and great memories. will have to write the name down of this restaurant because I think we're heading east (yeah!!) next summer for our motorhome trip.

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  15. What an incredible day! Love your blog! xo

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  16. It's been forever since I've been here! I've missed this. Peaceful beauty. What a gorgeous place.

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  17. be still my heart with that flare. gorgeous.

    and the fog.

    sounds like a wonderful day. like me and my love of the freshest shrimp

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  18. Sounds like fun, have never had clams apart from New England clam chowder. Great tradition!

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  19. Absolute HEAVEN.

    Lucky you, living in New England!!!

    xoxo Dawn

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  20. thank you gigi.... so happy to travel along with you... 'sigh'

    someday pg and i are coming to visit. :)

    xxo, kim

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  21. What a perfect post, Gigi. I feel like I've either been on a wonderful day out somewhere, or watched a beautiful movie. Either way I am HUNGRY now!! :-)

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  22. that is about the most perfect day - how lovely - but I'm sorry, clams make me yak. My husband and his family gorge on them. Like savages. Maybe that is why I don't like them - it's the view I have. Never had them fried though - here, we harvest them at our cabin and they steam them open. I need to visit you - even if I still don't like them, I love your journey.
    Never had a moxie either!

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  23. You have made me hungry for fried clams and I'm not even sure I would like them. Wish I lived close enough to visit this fun place and try fried clams and Moxie.

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  24. What fun! I love fried clams and lobster. Thanks for the birthday wishes! Hope your having a wonderful summer dear friend!
    xoxo- nicolette

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  25. I have one special place in RI that I go to for fried clams once a summer...only once...it is a wonderful ritual:)

    Mr O and I may just have to make a detour on our way up the Maine coast this year!
    xo

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  26. I'm taking a moment to catch up a tiny bit...I'm doing a big DIY project and have been out of commission ...
    Love your photos today Gigi...ok...I've never had fried clams! Yikes.
    I've always wanted to taste a New England Lobster Roll and one day I will. (Ordered one in Atlanta once and it was rubbery and disgusting :)

    "promise of an endless Summer..." as usual, you left me with a tickle of joy...
    xo
    Robin

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  27. Hi there, dear Gigi,
    So sorry for my absence but have been staying with my sister whilst the husbands went off to LeMans !!
    Those eating places that you have shown are my idea of heaven !! I love all fish and shell fish and have been eating my way through Sussex. I had fresh crab and sole in Rye which is right by the sea so can definitely relate to your love of clams.
    I am slowly getting back on track with my commenting so, I hope to get back to visiting regularly soon. It's bad enough when one is away from the computer for a few hours let alone a week. I just think that I've commented on everyones blogs when, everyone seems to have posted again !!
    Lots of love to you Gigi and try not to overdo the clams....you will need to do a whole lot of running !! XXXX

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  28. How could I not have commented yet? I read this ages ago and loved it. I just adore little personal traditions like that; the sort that evolve over time because of passions. Love it!

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  29. Hi, Gigi,

    Wish I'd seen this before driving home from Maine. We love clams and any good clam shack is worth marking on the map. Moxie is more of an acquired taste, but it is definitely a Maine beverage.

    So here's a regional quiz:

    Moxie:Maine = Vernor's: ????

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  30. Hmmmmm, Ms. Merganser, you have stumped me. I've heard of Vernor's, and I'm going to guess it's a Midwestern tonic, but I have no idea which state. Please tell me, and let me know if it's a favorite of yours. Next time you're in Maine, a trip to 5 Islands and the Love Nest should go on your list! I know you'd be in heaven. The drive through Georgetown alone is pretty special.

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  31. Hi,

    You probably saw Vernor's while in Indiana. It is the oldest surviving ginger ale sold in the United States. It is sharp and gingery and not too sweet. It was first produced in Detroit in the 1860s, but has been a staple in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois since the nineteenth century. It is a cross between an elixir and a soft-drink, much like Moxie, and once you have had it, any other ginger ale "pales" in comparison. Now most people buy it in cans, but it used to be sold in clear deposit bottles, so that you could see its golden hue.

    Nothing better on a Midwestern summer weekend than a fish-fry (perch, of course)and an ice chest full of Vernor's.

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  32. I feel like I am missing out on something here. I hear people speak with such passion for their love of seafood....but I grew up in a household that didn't include seafood dinners because my dad is allergic to shellfish....and I feel a bit robbed! Because I think in some ways, it is an acquired taste. To me, seafood tastes kind of, well...fishy. But if I had grown up eating it, I think I might have been just as passionate!

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