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Island Park: Lunch at Artie’s

Fried Ipswich clams are a specialty at Artie's

Fried Ipswich clams are a specialty at Artie's South Shore Fish and Grill in Island Park. (July 4, 2011) Photo Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus

Artie’s is my kind of seafood restaurant, a no-frills place attached to a fish market where much of the catch is caught by the proprietor, Artie Hoerning, himself.

At lunch on July 4, Artie’s had yet another attraction: Dave Pasternack, chef-owner of Esca, one of Manhattan’s very best fish restaurants. When he’s not cooking, Pasternack, who lives in Long Beach, is usually fishing, often in the company of Hoerning and his band of Nassau County angling confederates. We walked into Artie’s and there was Pasternack behind the counter, picking out some just-caught flukes for Esca.

My pal and I sat down at the counter and soon I was throwing back six cherrystones. Next up: these fried Ipswich clams — there are none better on Long Island. Then a steamed lobster and one of those just-landed flukes. Artie’s cook steams the fluke first, then runs it under the broiler so that it is crispy but still moist.

Pasternack and Hoerning were both excited about a recent fishing expedition they’d taken with Lidia Bastianich (a partner at Esca and at Eataly, where Pasternack runs the fish restaurant). Bastianich had wanted to go clamming and fishing, and so the two old salts arranged for her to do so in the Jones Beach inlet and environs. (The trip was filmed and we’ll let you know when it airs on Lidia’s television show.)

The food, the mood, the company, the special guest stars — all first-rate. A great way to spend a few hours of Independence Day.

Artie’s South Shore Fish and Grill is at 4257 Austin Blvd., Island Park; 516-889-0692.

Fried Ipswich clams are a specialty at Artie's South Shore Fish and Grill in Island Park. (July 4, 2011)


 

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