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Get crackin': Searching for stone crabs

People dine in the RARE650 restaurant in Syosset.

People dine in the RARE650 restaurant in Syosset. (Jan. 16, 2010) Photo Credit: Yana Paskova

The stone crab, with its black-tipped claw and sweet meat,  is making its seasonal visit to some local menus.

Once described by Damon Runyon as having shells "harder than a landlord's heart," the delectable claws of these beauties are the mainstay of Joe's Stone Crab in Miami Beach. I remember once staying in Fort Lauderdale during spring training and driving to Joe's on three straight nights to dive into a platter of large ones, only because the jumbos weren't available.

Today, you'll be able to find the treats locally at Bryant & Cooper in Roslyn and Rare650 in Syosset. They're market price, which means they rival and sometimes go beyond the cost of lobster.

 But thanks to a winter birthday, I received a gift of claws from my beloved and generous neighbors, now vacationing in Florida. Paired with mustard sauce, the claws were my favorite meal of 2010. You won't find them at every steak house of seafood spot. But if you do, invest.

Meantime, Bryant & Cooper is at 2 Middle Neck Rd., Roslyn, 516-627-7270; and Rare650 is at 650 Jericho Tpke., Syosset, 516-496-8000. 

Rare650 has stone crab claws. Photo by Yana Paskova

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