Star-Ledger by Peter Genovese, Star Ledger Staff (08/03/2001)    

Harvey Cedars Shellfish Co., Harvey Cedars

Harvey Cedars Shellfish Co. has come a long way since opening in 1976. The former beach house is now a thriving restaurant and fish market (the old bedroom is now the restaurant dining room). There were two items on the menu back in 1975: a lobster platter and a jumbo shrimp platter, each $3.95. The menu now includes such items as mussels marinara over linguini, jumbo lump crabmeat seafood platter and grilled Atlantic swordfish.

“I’m still leaning on the same counter after 25 years,” Mike Garofalo, co-owner, with his brother, John, said laughing.

Louisiana crawdads made for a great, if eye-opening, start, with their spiced shells and Cajun dipping sauce. The sautéed clams and mussels over garlic bread was a staggeringly large plate of shellfish only Gulliver, with the aid of an army of Liliputians, could finish. Dig for the bread – it’s way under there – and dip it into the ambrosia cal white wine, garlic, butter, herbs and parmesan cheese sauce. The clams marinara over linguini did not quite live up to the menu’s “hot and spicy” billing, but the sautéed Maryland soft shell crabs, served in a delectable, tomato-heavy scampi over linguini, was the Munchmobile driver’s favorite dish of the day.

“The corn is really good today,” waitress Janet Durborrow told us. She was wrong; it was great.

What Baby Boomer could not like a place where the piped-in-music includes such flashback-inducing tunes as “Hurdy-Gurdy Man” and “Down in the Boondocks?” Almost made us want to run out and buy some lava lamps.

The post-meal aftermath looked like a fish-only version of a summer food fight. Oyster crackers, lemon wedges, cups of drawn butter, corn husks and crumple napkins were strewn across the table. We walked away from the disaster area, and continued on our way north.


• Guest Muncher Linda Musto: clam chowder, The Clam Bar, Somers Point; Louisiana crawfish, Harvey Cedars Shellfish Co., Harvey Cedars; broiled scallops, Kelly’s Old Barney, Barnegat Light; Alaskan king crab leg, Something Fishy, Sea Bright.

• managing editor John Shabe: clam chowder, The Clam Bar; sautéed clams and mussels, Harvey Cedars Shellfish.

• Star-Ledger photographer Joe Epstein: clam chowder, The Clam Bar; broiled stuffed shrimp, Kelly’s Old Barney; Manhattan clam chowder, sautéed clams and mussels, clams marinara, Harvey Cedars Shellfish; Alaskan king crab leg, Something Fishy.

• Star-Ledger reporter Peter Genovese: clam chowder, grouper sandwich, The Clam Bar; Louisiana crawfish, soft-shell crab over linguini, Harvey Cedars Shellfish; fries, Kelly’s Old Barney; crab sandwich, Shellpile Restaurant, Shellpile.

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