Bittersweet, Westport, Massachusetts, offered a Friday Father’s Day Clamboil treat which I scooped up for Ed, and since it was Friday Night Dining Out, Sue joined us. Earlier in the week, while we were listing summer Friday Night Dining choices, we had decided to eat at a local restaurant but after I opened a Bittersweet Father’s Day email we changed our minds. I made reservations for three for the upstairs dining room (we usually prefer the downstairs Tavern) and waited with anticipation for the event.
As we walked up Bittersweet’s slowly curving walkway to the dining room Sue and I noticed that the guests in front of us were dressed to the hilt and in comparison Sue, Ed and I, who had not received the memo, were dressed to eat clams in comfort. As more and more people entered we wondered out loud why people were so overdressed for a ‘boil — why, for a rehearsal dinner, of course, held up-upstairs! There was also an event under a tent in the side yard — Bittersweet was rocking!
Once settled at our window-side table our waitress delivered our drinks and took our clam boil for 3 orders, oh boy, the fun began! After Sue tasted her peach sangria she declared it to be the best she had every had and by the end of our stay had the rough recipe from the waitstaff. The meal began with clam cake fritters, followed by cups of hot clam chowder and cornbread with spicy jelly, mmmmm. For some reason, the fresh ground pepper was an especially good addition to our chowder – the pepper blend just kicked up the chowder that extra bit. This is about the time that Sue fished out her first peach slice and Ed poured a perfect head of his Sam Adams, we noticed that the dining room was beginning to fill with families with dads in tow. Sue and I toasted Ed’s fatherhood, toasted the end of our school year and new contracts, and bottoms up again — our successful dining nights out friendship.
After our bowls had been cleared our clam boil arrived in individual dutch ovens. Conversation became skimpy as we opened the lids and dug in each to his/her own order of eating — I prefer to arrange my sausages, onion, corn on the cob and red potato on a separate plate, Ed sort of did the same but got to his clams sooner than I did — Sue, well Sue, likes her boil whole from the pot. She shucks her clams all at once, dips them in clam juice and butter and eats them along with the rest of the meal. Did I mention that the clams were super clean and melted in our collective mouthes? Our conversation picked up as we all finished at the same time, happy and full, planning on returning during the summer months for other feeds. When Sue heard that Bittersweet was offering a new fruit sangria each month she declared that we would be back with bells on. Ed and I will definitely try to work Alex and Alicia into our Friday Night Dining schedule even though as lifeguards they won’t be free until later in the evening. To this Sue sings out, “More time for sangria!”