Whether the sun or moon hangs high in the sky, the umbrella tables on the deck of The Clam Bar beckon. Snag your seating and join the multigenerational crowd at the counter, where you'll be handed a lobster that vibrates to tell you when your food is ready.

Out on North Country Road, traffic whizzes by. I tune it out, focusing on the trees, the hydrangeas and the welcome breezes.

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Even on the hottest day, the exemplary Manhattan clam chowder is a must. I prefer cool, briny raw clams to the heavily crusted fried clam bellies.

An otherwise fine lobster BLT on toast is too thick and unwieldy to eat without deconstructing; even so, the components work. Or you can opt for a traditional lobster roll.

I'm a fan of the smoky, juicy hamburger but wish the humdrum fries were better. A tuna burger - a slab of grilled tuna on a bun - comes up rosy and smoky. And nothing says outdoor eats like a hot dog.

Linguine with red or white clam sauce (always a favorite here) heads up the roster of seafood pastas. Other Italian classics: pasta with meatballs, chicken Parmesan, even chicken scarpariello. There's always pizza, by the slice or the pie.

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And remember: You're overdressed if you're wearing anything fancier than shorts and sandals.