On Monday, February 16, 2015 about 24 GSA’s spent a wonderful couple of hours enjoying the delicious fare at the Ipswich Clambake, now located at the site of the former Clam King on the west side of Manchester. This is their second restaurant; the first naturally, is in Ipswich, Mass.
Our service was spectacular. When our “leader” Sue Geyer first arrived, the tables were arranged in one long row. We have found in the past that does not work too well for a social group like ours. They listened carefully to what we wanted, and with a professional and pleasant manner, quickly rearranged the tables to our liking. All the staff were friendly, gracious and patient.
The menu is extensive, with fried, baked, broiled and grilled entree offerings. With seafood platters, homemade soups, a variety of sandwiches and salads, plus steamed clams, fish, and lobsters, everyone found something to their liking. Their award-winning clam chowder (2013 Essex Chowderfest Festival People’s Choice first-place award for best Clam Chowder) is always a menu favorite. At least three of us selected the chowder, and we were all very impressed with it.
Ipswich Clambake in shades of sea blue and calming white is a major transformation of the former Clam King spot. This new, inviting venture for the Ipswich Clambake folks in Ipswich, Mass., brings an upscale feel to fried foods. Ten large-screen TVs offer entertainment at the generously sized bar or from the high-top tables and general seating.
The fisherman’s platter is what you would expect with their pedigree — it’s fresh and lightly breaded. Not everything is fried. Find seasonal salads that can be topped with grilled salmon or steak tips. Classics on the menu include bacon-wrapped scallops, lobster mac and cheese and mussels fra diavolo.
Dinner entrées are even more classic with beef tips, sirloin steak and broiled haddock. The lobster roll meat is sourced from the lobster pound at the door for a local touch. They also offer clambake catering services for off-site parties. Open for lunch and dinner daily.
Traditional New England clambakes offer a few new twists...
The traditional meal features steamed clams and lobster with drawn butter, plus sides including corn on the cob. It is served on a platter in many area seafood restaurants. But the best way to enjoy a clambake is outdoors at water's edge, with sand or at least grass underfoot, sun in your face, and a salt breeze. For most people these days, that means a catered event.
Seafood - whether baked, broiled, raw or fried - will return to the former Clam King site on the West Side this month.
And don't forget the fried clams.