SOUTHINGTON – Summer may be coming to an end, but at Sam the Clam’s Pub and Grub on Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike, diners can have a meal by the “ocean” anytime with water bubbling in the windows, a Tiki-themed patio and plenty of seafood.
“We get people who come in from different parts of the country because we get such a vast array of seafood,” said Sara Fournier, a manager at Sam the Clam’s.
For more than 20 years, owner Bob Newman has been entertaining customers from the moment they arrive and are greeted by statues of Marilyn Monroe and the Blue Brothers outside. Inside, the restaurant features ship portholes on the walls.
“We have good entertainment,” he said. “Everything is unique on the menu.”
He said the name “Sam the Clam’s” started as a joke and grew into the concept for the restaurant.
A popular menu item is the seafood basket, which consists of various fried seafood, including clams, shrimp, scallops and scrod, along with French fries.
“We actually serve it in two different baskets because we can’t fit it all into one,” Fournier said.
Fresh seafood is battered then fried to a golden brown and served with tarter sauce.
Fournier said the seafood basket is popular with new customers who aren’t sure what to try first. The over-flowing basket is meant for one, but Fournier said it is often split between two people.
“You just get so much food,” she said.
Fresh seafood is delivered by suppliers daily. The restaurant’s weekly specials often depend on what is being brought in by the suppliers, including salmon and tilapia.
Lobster-stuffed mushrooms are another favorite among diners. Mushrooms are stuffed with Ritz cracker crumbs, fresh lobster meat and drizzled with melted butter.
“You can eat the stuffing alone and be satisfied,” Fournier said.
The mushrooms are among several “stuffed” appetizers like stuffed clams and stuffed jalapeños.
Diners can get their favorites on the go at the take-out building across the street. Fournier said they are looking to expand the hours and offerings.
The restaurant is also gearing up for the annual chowder festival in Milford.
Newman said the Caribbean Chowder came in second place last year during the restaurant’s first year competing.
“I see it going up,” he said of the restaurant’s popularity. “It’ll get better.”
More information can be found at http://samtheclams.com/ or by calling 860-621-0522