ZZ’s Clam Bar

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80 Good

A reservations-only raw bar with high-concept cocktails and very expensive crudo.

169 Thompson St., New York, NY, 10012



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The lowdown

It’s safe to say that this 12-seat raw bar and tasting room isn’t the shabby, no-frills clam bar where you grew up slurping down littlenecks and guzzling Narragansetts during sultry summer evenings. For one, there’s a bouncer at the door, and the only way to get past him is with a reservation, which isn’t quite as easy to snag as a seat at Randazzo’s. And even if you do happen to get past the bouncer for an hour or so, and manage to enjoy a bite or two to the seafood toasts, the carefully prepared (and not inexpensive) crudo and shellfish creations, there’s a chance that he will loom up at your table, as he did ours, and ask in his formidable bouncer’s voice, for you to get the hell out of the restaurant. To be fair, opinionated critics are sometimes targets of the irate restaurateurs who take exception to what we write, now and then, and this doesn’t seem to have happened to anyone else we know. But we exited this possibly excellent (and undoubtedly very pricey) restaurant without making a scene, and we haven’t returned.

Adam Platt

What you need to know

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