10 BEST FRIED CLAMS list from Yankee Mag New England today

A friend in New York just emailed me this link: 10 Best Fried Clams in New England, courtesy Yankee Magazine’s New England Today. A couple of local Cape Ann favorites made the list. The comment board is climbing fast. I have friends that swear by the Cupboard in Stage Fort Park and various restaurants in Gloucester, Rockport and Essex. Did yours make the 2018 list?

10 best fried clams 2018

Lee’s and JT Farnhams on top 10 favorites list for BRAVO Top Chef judge

IMG_20170409_062745 (1)
can’t miss Lee’s at Gloucester corner – there’s an Edward Hopper drawing of the line up of homes on Lee’s side of the street

Article link: “Want to eat like Gail Simmons? Here are 10 of her Favorite Restaurants in the country (and Canada)!” 


Lee’s – 2 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA  5AM – 1PM  (978) 281-3873  
At least one of us orders an apple cheddar omelette

JT Farnhams – 88 Eastern Avenue, Essex, MA
Open seasonally. Fried clams for me. My kids like that they brand the hot dogs. Founder of Farnhams from Gloucester.  

December 2016 view from JT Farnhams Essex
winter view from Farnhams

Bravo The Nosh blog Top Chef

Had My 1st Beer at Top Dog

My husband, Finn, and I went for a bike ride throughout Rockport yesterday while Thatcher was out sailing.  We stopped at Top Dog for lunch and, after hearing that if I were to order a beer it would be the 1st one they poured that day, I had to have one.  Mind you it was 1:30 in the afternoon…and perfectly acceptable.

Super yummy lunch and a very cold beer.

The last photo shows a VERY happy customer raving to the owner and cook about the fact that her fried clams were the absolute BEST she has ever had.


Sarah Kelly, Rockport Short Film Festival, 7th Wave, and a Great Saturday on Cape Ann!

There were so many amazing community events taking place yesterday. Although our GMG Cape Ann Monarch Milkweed Project was held in the morning, I was able to attend the Rockport Film Festival in the afternoon, where Sarah Kelly, the festival’s organizer (and GMG contributor) had invited me to speak about my forthcoming film “Life Story of the Black Swallowtail Butterfly” and my short film”BomBom Butterflies” had been accepted to the screening.

Rockport was teeming with families and activities. It was difficult to find a parking space but when I finally arrived at the Firehouse where the afternoon’s screenings were taking place, Craig and Hannah Kimberley had very kindly saved me a seat. All of the films were well-worth seeing;  just some of the highlights were Len Burgess’s film about the launching of the Schooner Ardelle, Robert Newton’s film about Gloucester’s WPA murals, and “Homemade Parade” by Emile Doucette. The short film event was followed by poetry readings from local poets. I left shortly after and returned home, with plans to return to the 7th Wave with my husband for dinner (where our son is the cook).

When we returned to Rockport at 7:00, Sarah Kelly was still working away at the Firehouse cleaning up with her family and friends after the day’s events. She was so gracious and I think is doing a fabulous job promoting the festival. I am hoping she will perhaps write a post-festival GMG post on her perceptions of the event’s successes.

We arrived at the 7th Wave Restaurant and were seated at a lovely spot by the window, with the gorgoeus view of the harbor made even prettier in the light of the setting sun. I had a Blue Moon beer, which I love because the name of the beer is one of my favorite Ella Fitzgerald songs. The beer was served with a wedge of orange–a flavorful touch, and fitting because Blue Moon’s list of ingredients includes orange peel. My husband had the cooked-to-perfection grilled mahi-mahi with a delicious spicy mango salsa. Usually I don’t order fried clams because frankly they often aren’t very well prepared and, as they are currently more expensive than a lobster dinner, it really is no fun to bite into a pricey soggy, soden lump of sand and grease. Have no fear of being diappointed at the 7th Wave because, really, their fried clams are to-die-for; simply the best fried clams I have had in a long time (take note Craig if you are reading this!). The batch I had last night was soooo fresh and delicious, perfectly golden brown and crunchy crispy on the outside, with tender, fat bellies on the inside. I had heard in Joey’s podcast with Craig that the fried clams at the Cape Ann Brew Pub are pretty awesome and I have yet to try those, but I know where I will be heading next time I get a jones for extra delicious fried clams and dinner with a stunning view!

Khan Family 7th Wave Rockport © Kim Smith 20137th Wave Khan Family

The House of Mitch- Enough Already!

OK OK OK, I Submit!

For a couple years now I’ve been hearing from my buddy Mark Ring that the best deal in town was The House of Mitch for lunch.  Not just him a few other people who I consider inside insiders of what’s what around G-Town.

When you grow up in Gloucester and someone mentions the House of Mitch you don’t automatically think great lunch, but see that’s where you’d be wrong. 

Scallop plate $8.95 and you can barely finish it.  Haddock, fried shrimp, you name it, a ton of freshly seafood fried up and under $10.

You’re just gonna have to put any pre-concieved notions that you might have about the joint aside and see for yourself.  The place is clean, and Sheila is one of the most efficient friendly bartenders that you’ll ever meet.  We got hammered together one Saint Pattys Day in Southie years back with Mark and Kara Ring  a good egg that Sheila. 

You don’t have to drink booze just because you’re going in there either, they’d be happy to pour you a soda or a glass of milk (they must have milk for the mudslides, right?)

Oh and their chowder is freshly made and I’ve yet to see anyone serve a cup of chowder in a bowl the way they do at the House of Mitch.

Locals that know, know to go there.  You should check it out for yourself.


Top Dog, Dog

I think Top Dog is becoming my favorite place for fried clams on Cape Ann. Their fried clams are very light, crispy and flavorful, the dogs are awesome too. It’s a great place for yummy summer food, people watching and taking a break from Bear Skin Neck shopping.

The Man’s Best Friend Hot Dog (chili & cheese) and Fried Clams at Top Dog in Rockport. 


File Under Ridiculous!- “Bill would name quahog official Mass. shellfish”

The quahog???  Seriously?????  How bout the steamer clam?  Ever hear of of the Fried steamer clam  joints all over the Massachusetts coast?  I never once heard of a whole slew of restaurants dedicated to selling quahogs?  Uhm, The Clam Shack, Woodmans, Essex Seafood, the list goes on and on all based on the steamer clam.  For Christ’s sake, the lobster has more place as an official shellfish than the freaking quahog.  Lets see how much revenue is generated by each shellfish before we go handing out that designation to a third tier shellfish.  HELLOOOOOOOO!!!!!

What a crock of shit!  This bill must be sponsored by some South Shore hack.  Where’s our Goddamn representation????  North Shore Represent!!!!!!

Read The Story At The Boston Globe-

Bill would name quahog official Mass. shellfish

June 5, 2011

BOSTON—The lowly quahog will be the official shellfish of Massachusetts if a bill making its way through the Statehouse becomes law.

The hard-shelled clam has helped feed generations of New Englanders and served as a form of currency for Native American tribes. The word "quahog" is a shortened version of the name given the clam by Narragansett Indians.

The bill that establishes the designation is scheduled for a public hearing Monday at the Statehouse before the Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development.

Here’s a little hard data to consider-


Food Feuds In Essex–the Great Fried Clam Battle Airs Tonight–It’s CLAMTASTIC!

“Iron Chef, Michael Symon dives into this seafood battle head first. In Essex Massachusetts (http://visitessexma.com/) it’s all about fried clams but Woodman’s and JT Farnhams make them better than anyone else. Michael Symon jumps in their kitchens, talks to foodies and even goes clamming to figure out who has best fried clams in Essex.”

I grabbed this blurb about tonight’s episode from Internet Movie Database online because it pretty much sums up the action that took place here in our gorgeous town in July—but I have a few behind the scenes photos to share with you, courtesy of the wonderful crew at Essex River Cruises (http://www.essexcruises.com/) who took Chef Symon to the clam flats to see where these delicious fried morsels of seafood goodness came from.

Iron Chef Michael, Dillon from Essex River Cruises and the TV crew prepare for the clam digging–looks like they are waiting for the tide to go out a little more to me.

Receiving instruction on how to dig for clams–and it is a good thing because that clam fork is pointed and sharp!

Iron Chef Symon finds a razor clam.

Something you don’t see to often and might never again–makeup touch ups on the clam flats.

Chef Symon, Producer Mark Summers and the crew.

As much as I wanted to be there, I was taping my TV own show that day.  However, I asked a friend who works at Woodman’s to get me an autograph, and she did–thank you Roisin–and thank you Chef for taking the time to sign it:

I love what is says!

The fried clam was invented in Essex so this was the perfect place for such a food feud for sure!  Here is a link to they history of the friend clam


and in the interest of fairness, here’s a link to JT Farnham’s listing on the Visit Essex dining page:


Be sure to tune in at 10:oo pm Eastern Time tonight to Food Network and find out who wins this epic battle of the fried clam.

I know………….but I am not telling!