Lobster rolls gathered steam on the New York City scene a while ago. But lately, it seems that seafood "shacks" have staked claim around Brooklyn. Fried Clam Rolls and Carolina Shrimp Boils at-the-ready with a handy selection of craft beers, plenty of butter for dipping and a whiff of attitude, I admittedly have enjoyed the likes of Littleneck and the Red Hook Lobster Pound, and also plan a trip to Sea Witch soon.
Yet, when a pal recently had access to a car one evening, the seafood siren's call didn't lead us to Gowanus, Red Hook or Greenwood Heights. Instead, we ventured to a far off land known as Sheepshead Bay to visit a legendary Italian-American seafood institution...
Does it get anymore old-school than Randazzo's Clam Bar? We're talking the real deal; over 75 years in business and most of the staff seems like they've been working there for half that time or more.
And what about the food? Picture a platter of fried and boiled Scungilli, Mussels, Shrimp, and Calamari served with the restaurant's famous Hot Sauce. Follow that up with a dozen Steamed Cherry Stone Clams and an order of Shrimp Parmagiana with Pasta, and you've got a memorable seafood meal in Brooklyn on your hands -- with nary a hipster in sight.
Of course, now that I've written this post, that might change.
Still, I have a hard time picturing Randazzo's bare-bones dining room filled with ironic tee-shirts, skinny jeans and Fedoras. Besides, there are no craft beers on the menu. Let's hope they keep it that way.
Am I saying old-school beats hipster hands down? Not at all. I just like to keep the two at opposite corners, so I can enjoy my bivalves in either Brooklyn style.