New Yorkers aren’t accustomed to hearing “Gowanus” and “seafood” in the same sentence, but Littleneck may change their thinking. Hounds say this New England–style eatery near the famously fetid Gowanus Canal does right by the regional classics.

Littleneck styles itself as a clam shack, and its steamers do not disappoint. Steve R says they’re very good, a generous bowlful seasoned with garlic and red chile. Clam chowder, peppery and not too thick or creamy, is also on the mark, as is the well-stuffed, not overly dressed lobster roll. Beyond the New England standards, hounds are enjoying simple, satisfying dishes like the bacon appetizer, beet salad, and perfectly cooked black bass. And Steve R singles out the big, meaty skate wing over parsnip purée, served with greens and a bit of brown sugar sauce: “This was outstanding.” There’s also a raw bar—hambone recommends Belon oysters from Maine, if they’re around—and a well-chosen lineup of beer and wines.

Littleneck, though just four months old, has some history behind it: Brooklyn restaurant pioneer Alan Harding (Patois, Gowanus Yacht Club) is running the kitchen. Steve R, a longtime local, is glad to see him in the house. “Since I’m one of those that have always appreciated the role he’s played in the development of decent restaurants in Bklyn, I’m happy he’s back,” Steve says. “All in all, this is a very informal, friendly place that we’ll return to.”

Littleneck [Gowanus]
288 Third Avenue (between President and Carroll streets), Brooklyn

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