The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene.
The motto of The Shack in Huntington (a year-round spinoff of The Shack, a summery stand in Centerport) is clams and chaos. That same phrase might well describe the restaurants Long Island clam chowder ($4 cup; $6 bowl), described as a combination of New England and Manhattan.
That translated as two soups poured into the same bowl, creating a random pattern in red and white. The problem, with both soups, was that any clam flavor was obscured by an overdose of dried herbs. On the other hand, a special of corn and crab chowder ($5) proved rich, lively, deftly spiced.
There was yet another eccentricity: A very good lobster roll ($19) came sprinkled with grated carrots. Carrots? Once I picked off all the orange shards, I was able to enjoy the entire thing, potato roll and all.
The place has a kooky, casual beach-shack vibe, with blue checkered tablecloths and Christmas lights. Note that it's closed Monday and Tuesday in winter.
The Shack is at 46 Gerard St., Huntington, 631-923-2126, theshackny.com.