Once I knew that Buoy One was up and running in Huntington Village, it was just a matter of figuring out how soon I could stop in for a doubleheader of fried clams and steamers. I rarely drive by the fish restaurant’s first location, on Route 25 in Riverhead, without braking for a clam fix, and, as of Thursday, those clams had moved much closer to my office in Melville. Friday, I pounced.
I was not prepared for the grandeur of the surroundings. Located in an old garage and equally divided between fish market and dining room, the original Buoy One in Riverhead is exceedingly modest. The second location, which opened in 2011 in Westhampton, is markedly nicer. But the Huntington spot, which moved into what used to be the eclectic-schizoid boîte Strawberry’s, is striking, all bleached wood, sea-glass blue accents and billowing white fabric. The cavernous space also has a ceiling full of exposed ductwork. With the dining room not even half full, the noise level was high: this may be one fish restaurant that puts the din in dinghy.
Then again, I would be happy eating Buoy One’s clams next to a foghorn. We shared a platter of a dozen fried whole belly (Ipswich) clams ($16.95) and they were light on the breading, heavy with the sweet taste of the sea. A half bucket of steamers ($10.95) was equally good. We also split a clam bake ($25.95) which included a small steamed lobster, and steamed shrimp, clams, mussels, corn on the cob and a baked potato.
Buoy One Seafood Restaurant is at 279 Main St., Huntington, 631-923-2550, buoyone.com