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Littleneck

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288 Third Avenue

718-522-1921

Monday and Wednesday 5 to 10 p.m., Thursday and Friday 5 to 11 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Closed Tuesday.

littleneckbrooklyn.com

Photo by Dominic Perri

Life's a beach even in the dead of winter at perpetually sunny clam shack Littleneck, where you can have chile-studded steamers, a fat lobster roll, and mussels bathed in basil-infused curry delivered to your booth with a craft beer (or, who are we kidding, a can of Narragansett). Its mellow vibe may owe to the fact that Aaron Lefkove and Andy Curtin conceived of this restaurant in Curtin's girlfriend's backyard. The former bandmates were barbecuing clams when they began floating the idea of a restaurant inspired by the sorts of roadside stands they used to pass while traveling. It took about eighteen months for the plans to come to fruition. The guys settled on a Gowanus address that was, "by dumb luck," says Lefkove, near where each of them lived. They were drawn in by the artistic community and the space itself, and they've played an eager part in the burgeoning restaurant scene that's rooting in the neighborhood's old warehouses. In 2014 Lefkove and Curtin found themselves getting a bit restless with one location, so they expanded into a second in Greenpoint; Littleneck Outpost offers dishes that don't fit on the concise menu at the flagship. Many of the dishes up north began as specials from Gowanus chef Nick Williams, though, and you should inspect his list of daily offerings if you want to supplement your New English fare with more creative bites. Be sure to end with the golf-ball-size doughnuts rolled in cinnamon sugar and served with Jameson whipped cream.