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This isn't quite the right thread but what restaurants in the area, particularly in NoVa, serve Cherrystones raw on the half-shell? The only place I have found so far is Kinkaids. Thanks.

Yesterday, Mother's Day, we went to Legal Sea Foods in Montgomery Mall. We ordered a couple of dozen Cherrystones and told the waitress in our mock tough guy voice that if any puny ones were included we'd send them back. A couple of minutes later, the manager bounced over and showed us an unshucked clam. She said sometimes they get bigger ones but this was it for the day (in a month without an r). We said the size seemed okay, but sometimes you can't tell what's inside. With that, she took her clam and went back to the bar. As it turned out, all 24 were plump, briny and suffused with tart, savory liquid. And LSF does have a good mignonette sauce.

I also recommend the top neck clams at Sea Catch. These are the overgrown little necks. And they are really tasty.

I have had less success at Black Salt. Their product is unduly expensive and inconsistent.

Of course the best bargain around is happy hour at Old Ebbitt's Grill. FIVE DOLLARS FOR A DOZEN LITTLE NECKS if you're there 3-6 Mon-Thurs. They're small, but 3 of my friends and I once ordered a gross!

After having le grand plateau de fruits de mer (shellfish platter) at Balthazar in NY one afternoon, a friend and I visited my aunt, a Frenchwoman. She said, "Ah, zees is dangereuse. I almost to die and must go to ze 'ospital." My friend, who happens to have a Putlizer-winning way with words (he has two), said, "That may be so but it would be worth it."

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