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Linguini with White Clam Sauce


docsconz
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One of my alltime favorite dishes is linguine with white clam sauce. It was one of my mother's best dishes and it is one of mine (certainly the one that I do best that I learned from her). Growing up in Brooklyn, we would eat out at many an Italian restaurant and the linguine was generally very good. The best from my memory was from Monte's in Carroll Gardens. It has been awhile since I have enjoyed this dish in a restaurant, but it is a major litmus test for me for a certain kind of Italian American restaurant. Who is making your favorite version of this dish?

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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The only restaurant example of linguine with white clam sauce that I've had in the past few years that lived up to the standards of 1970s-1980s Brooklyn-Queens Italian-American restaurants was at Don Peppe in Queens (135-58 Lefferts Blvd., Jamaica, NY, 718.845.7587). I just don't think most restaurants bother to do the dish well anymore. There are some upscale contemporary places that do nice versions, but that's not the same.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Enoteca Barbone. Ave B bet 11th and 12th. it's really simple and really good, just like in Italy. They use little cockles insted of small littlenecks, which to me make the difference.

does this come in pork?

My name's Emma Feigenbaum.

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Enoteca Barbone. Ave B  bet 11th and 12th. it's really simple and really good, just like in Italy. They use little cockles insted of small littlenecks, which to me make the difference.

Funny, but I much prefer the dish here than in Italy because I think the littlenecks or even cherrystones provide superior flavor to the vongole, mostly because of the greater amount of clam juice. :laugh: I find that examples with vongole tend to be too dry and with too little clam flavor.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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The Barbone version also has pancetta. I'd classify it as upscale-contemporary (though not expensive), which is to say it's good but it's not what John is thinking of when he thinks of linguine with clams from his childhood in Brooklyn. The Italian-American version is one of those dishes that has evolved its own worthy identity.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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..... The best from my memory  was from Monte's in Carroll Gardens. .....

The mention of Monte's Venetian Room on Carroll Street brings back a flood of fond memories for me. It must be 30 years since I have eaten there. In the '50s, '60s and early '70s, my father took his lunch at Nick's and Joyce's place. His favorite table was the circular, red-leather booth in the bar area. It was his table everyday, unless he called by noon to let it go.

Every time I see Monte's muraled walls in a movie or in a TV show, I swear I'm gonna go back, but I never get around to it. My brother went back a few years ago and a couple of the older waitstaff reminisced with him about our dad.

Monte's celebrated their 100th anniversary last year. Has anybody been there recently?

I used to get a very good linguine with white clam sauce at a place called Gregory's, up in White Plains. That was years ago, too. I'm gonna go back..... I swear.

-- Jeff

"I don't care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members." -- Groucho Marx

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Re: Monte's

I went to Monte's in the late 80s/early 90s, and I thought it was great.

I went back again a few months later, and I thought it was terrible.

Don't know if it's inconsistency, or if I was just extremely lucky at the first or unlucky at the second visit.

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Re:  Monte's

I went to Monte's in the late 80s/early 90s, and I thought it was great.

I went back again a few months later, and I thought it was terrible.

Don't know if it's inconsistency, or if I was just extremely lucky at the first or unlucky at the second visit.

Back then, I would say extremely unlucky the second time. Now, I would have no idea. :sad:

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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La Palma on Willis Avenue (Long Island) got my vote.

I believe you meant La Parma in Williston Park.

Man you just give me a crazy flashback. I used to go to this place all the time in the early 90's. It was kick-ass good (by LI standards) considered by many to be the best N.Italian. The cappalini Fruite de Mare was addictive in its robust marinara laden with roasted elephant garlic. Not sure if I ever had the clams sc but everything was always really good. I wonder if its heldup.

That wasn't chicken

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I thought on Long Island "Palma" and "Parma" are pronounced the same.

(I'm from Long Island, so I can say that.)

Yea, just like Fried Galama and Manigot

The Sunday sauce and their eggplant parm are awesome but that's another topic.

Leave the gun, take the canoli

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  • 6 months later...

Barbone's linguine con vongole has pancetta that adds another dimension. The flavors are quite strong and with adequate garlic. It is one of the better versions that we have had in the city. The late lamented Vucceria in SOHO used to make an excellent linguine with vongole.

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I have a new personal favorite - the version served at Insieme, Marco Canora & Paul Grieco's new place at Seventh Ave. & 51st. St. The flavors are intense, and run right through the dish, as if the pasta was cooked in the sauce. Really wonderful in a simple, classic way.

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