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Manhattan

Svenningsens's is Svell

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Svenningsens's is Svell

eeee | Feb 7, 2003 12:45 PM

First off, I'm a huge fan of fried whole clam bellies. When I heard this new place on 5th between 30th and 31st had them, I had to go.

I arrived at 8:30 last night. The room was small and pleasant - light wood bar with huge bowls of goldfish, a small back room with white tableclothed tables. There was a petite lobster tank near the host station.
The room was about half full.

The menu is primarily seafood with a few beef and chicken options (I don't remember seeing any vegetarian entrees). Prices are very reasonable. Appetizers ranged between 5 and 10 dollars, with salads at 5.5 dollars and half a dozen Spinnaker oysters at 10. Lobster rolls were 13 dollars. Entrees were between 16 and 20 dollars. The small wine list ranged between 24 and 38 dollars a bottle, and a few dessert wines were available as well. We ordered a very nice bottle of Erath vineyards Pinot Noir for 32 dollars.

To start, my friend and I decied to share the baby spinach salad with hardboiled egg and cranberries and the seafood sampler app (two jumbo shrimp, two raw clams and two oysters.)

A basket of lovely warm rolls was brought to the table along with a slightly warmed cup of butter (for easy spreading).

The salad was in a nice light dressing, but the dried cranberries were inedible. The sampler was delicious and exceedingly fresh.

For mains, I got the "fry kettle." This is supposed to be a mix of fried whole clams, scallops, shrimp and haddock, but you can request any combo of the four. I of course asked for only clams. My friend got a lobster, which was extracted from the tank (1 and a quarter pounds, 19.5 dollars).

His lobster was cooked perfectly and served with uneaten sides of potatoes and vegetables. My clams were delicious, though greedily I found the portion a bit small (it didn't help that my friend filched a few!)

Desserts were all 5.5 and included selections like key lime pie and strawberry shortcake. I had a phenomenal carrot cake.

Service was gracious and helpful.

By the time I left, at 10, the room was almost empty. I think this restaurant is a very good value and a fine choice for last-minute dining. Give it a try.

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