Visited my favorite seafood restaurant for the first time this summer on a Friday evening in late June. We were a party of two at 8:15 PM, and we were seated quickly. Service throughout the meal, as usual, was prompt, friendly and appropriate, without interrupting our conversation. We took our own bottle of chilled wine by the way. Small, yes. Informal, yes. Noise, so what do you expect? ... it's usually laughter and spirited conversations.
The Calameri Vera Cruz (appetizer) is my favorite starter here, so, again it was the never-rubbery squid rings (not local of course), fried perfectly to order, and topped with a tasteful "salsa" of fresh tomato, peppers (Jersey Fresh when in season), and garlic, etc. We got the sauteed littlenecks as well, served with some garlic toast to sop up the clam juices swapping with the sauce, so good! Clams in some form at this place is a must, somehow, at some point, done some way. For my taste, the clam chowder is the always consistently the best on the island, (regrardless of the tourist-season prolonging attempts of the Chowderfest entries for that event in October). Occasionally, I've had my dinner simply of steamed littleneck clams at this wonderful place.
Favorite entrees include broiled scallops or flounder, baked stuffed flounder, grilled yellowfin tuna, but usually like to try a suggestion the server has that may be something fresh that the local brothers Garofalo (owners for over thirty years) have ready. I have NEVER been disappointed in the seafood. No pretentious drizzling and or bragging about the menu ... and no outrageous prices for a few ounces of seafood.
I have been enjoying Harvey Cedars Shellfish Co. with family and friends for about thirty years now. This place deserves all the accolades it has received over the years for being the best of the Jersey Shore. It has and will outlast the many other small, seasonal restaurants ... seafood or otherwise ... at any price point on all of Long Beach Island or the mainland across from it.
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