In between the River Street and the Cadillac Bar nightclubs in downtown Hoboken, the historical Clam Broth House continues to serve up a large variety of seafood.
Located on Newark Street, the restaurant is one of the oldest in Hudson County. For more than 100 years, local residents and dockworkers have visited the place made famous by its exquisite variety of seafood. Besides clams, the eatery serves up delicious lobster, mussels, calamari and salmon.
Featuring an Italian seafood menu, the restaurant's executive chef of for six years, Meyer Renteria, is a perfectionist who takes his time to create elaborate, delicious dishes.
"Presentation is a big key," Renteria said last week from the restaurant's kitchen. "And the food speaks for itself."
After studying for half a year at the New York Culinary School in Manhattan in the early 1990s and working for several restaurants in Hoboken, Renteria landed the executive position at the Clam Broth House. Since then, he has raised the level of excellence with the help of his staff of five chefs.
"The food needs to be perfect. I want to make people happy," Renteria said, smiling.
The ground-level dining room seats about 50 people, while the room on the second floor sits up to 60 people and can be used for private parties.
On the first floor is a bar stretching to the middle of the dining room, and the wooden floors and walls create a traditional look.
Renteria's specialty dishes include the Alaskan king crab legs with drawn butter ($22.50); jumbo stuffed shrimp with crabmeat stuffing ($18.95); the Clam Broth family platter featuring two 1.25-pound lobsters, steamed one-pound crab legs and baked clams ($44.95); fried scallops ($14.95); a swordfish platter served with broiled shrimp and scallops topped with scampi sauce ($21.95); and clams served with red or white sauce with linguini ($12.95).
According to six-year manager Mike Marchetti, the menu offers a little bit of everything for the entire family, at reasonable prizes.
"Whatever they want, we do," Marchetti said. "We always keep our customers happy."
The wait staff caters the patrons every need. The bartenders are friendly and make a variety of drinks, including a mean Tanquaray and tonic.
Bisque, steamers and lobster
I began my meal with a bowl of French onion soup with cheese on top ($4.50). It was served hot and it was sweet and not too thick. They also offer both New England and Manhattan Clam chowders ($3.95), and lobster bisque ($4.50). After the soup I tried a tossed house salad ($3.50) and hot fried calamari ($8.95). Other appetizers include baked clams stuffed with seafood ($7.95); a bucket of steamers ($9.95); potato crab cakes served with spiced clam broth ($8.50); and sautéed portobella mushrooms served with garlic creamy polenta ($7.95).
For the main course I enjoyed the whole main lobster ($18.95). This delicious dish was served with a baked potato, and it was stuffed with juicy crabmeat. I was impressed with the size of the lobster, which was quite big. An assortment of spicy steamed vegetables complimented this terrific platter perfect for any lobster-lover. I also enjoyed the chicken francaise served sautéed with lemon and butter ($14.95). The chicken was tender and the sauce deliciously creamy.
The Clam Broth House is located on 38 Newark St. The hours of operation are Monday through Saturday, from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday, from 12 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The restaurant accommodates private parties and accepts all major credit cards. For more information or to make reservations, call 659-6767.