I spent the July Fourth weekend at the beach but somehow failed to consume any shellfish. Grilled skirt steak, Pat La Frieda burgers, marinated artichokes, fresh mozzarella, soppresata, fava-bean salad, peach cobbler, cranberry-walnut scones, yes, yes and yes. But nary a mollusk nor crustacean.
Back inland, I was overcome with regret and last night sought to rectify the situation at Canterbury Ales Oyster Bar & Grill in Oyster Bay. I started with a selection of raw oysters — Pine Island (the local oyster), Malpeques from Prince Edward Island, Delawares and, all the way from the West Coast, Kumamotos. Next came some excellent flash-fried oysters drizzled with Creole-mustard rémoulade; baked clams oreganata; and, the finale, these steamers. (I did have help with dinner.)
Canterbury Ales is a perennial favorite of mine. I love the devotion to oysters and ales (with the former, I enjoyed a glass of the wheat beer Spaten Franziskaner — on tap), I love all the Teddy Roosevelt memorabilia, I love the friendly service and absolute lack of pretension.
Canterbury Ales Oyster Bar & Grill is at 46 Audrey Ave., Oyster Bay, 516-922-3614.