The Clam's Spaghetti and Clams, One of Our 100 Favorite Dishes
Dish no. 84: Spaghetti and clams at The Clam (420 Hudson Street, 212-242-8420)
"It's soy sauce," The Clam chef and owner Mike Price divulged as he spilled the secrets of his terrific spaghetti and clams. The soy sauce, he went on to explain, adds a bit of umami flavor that you don't often get in more classic renditions of the gravy, balancing the tangy notes of the tomato, the breath of heat imbued by spices, and the sweet undertones of the mollusk. That sauce is ladled onto chewy noodles, which get topped with plump, fresh in-shell clams and then a fresh vinaigrette-stung salad, which lends a palate cleansing edge to the end of each bite. Simple and soulful, it's a comforting dish you'd like to cook for yourself on a regular basis -- if only you could do it like Price.
In advance of our 2014 Best of NYC issue, we're traipsing through the boroughs and divulging our favorite dishes of the year. They're presented here as a countdown, but we're listing them in no particular order. Consider this a guide to what's good to eat in this town right this very second.