How to Plan a New England Clambake with Style


Have you ever wondered how to plan a New England style clambake? Well, here are some inspirational ideas. You can have your clambake catered or do it yourself. The most important thing is to have a fun, relaxed crowd to spend the evening. The perfect setting helps too.

For this clambake, the setting could not have been nicer with a charming cottage overlooking the ocean and a grassy dune where the kids could run freely along the beach. The adults were able to enjoy a cocktail while the kids played. My daughter made a friend that evening and is looking forward to seeing him again.

To complete the nautical theme, a small starfish was placed on the white plates. Everything was a crisp blue and white color. Simple and elegant decorations are perfect for a clambake.

The food was as good as it looks and the wine paired beautifully. White’s Catering on Cape Cod did a fabulous job. To start the evening, there was an artisan bread and imported cheese course, raw oysters on the half shell, and jumbo shrimp cocktail. Spicy oyster and vodka shooters were served after people had a little food in their bellies. Then, some delicious New England clam chowder with oyster crackers was served in mugs to allow the guests to continue to move freely about the party.

A refreshing mixed green salad with cherry tomatoes and balsamic dressing arrived before all the platters of steamed lobster, mussels, corn on the cob, and clams. There is not much better than cracking open a lobster and eating the sweet, tender meat. Everyone enjoyed one or two lobsters that night.

Even though we all were stuffed, we could not resist the rich cheesecake with a shortbread crust. The host’s mother made her special recipe for everyone to enjoy. It was divine.

Installing twinkling white lights overhead enhances the ambiance and keeps people outside the entire evening. It is worth the effort to install the poles and string the lights. These lights were hung over the blue and white linen tables illuminating the food and creating a cozy seating area for later in the evening.

The hosts, Matt and Jessica thought of everything and captured the evening with professional photographs by Alice Park who was kind enough to share the images for this post. She has more photographs on her blog you will want to see as well.

How to Plan Your Lobster Clambake

If you want to treat your friends and family to a clam bake, here is how you do it. You can order the seafood from your local market or call Cape Fish and Lobster Company in Hyannis, MA and have them ship the seafood to you. The number is (508) 771.1122. I have tried their seafood and it is incredibly fresh. They will crack and steam the lobsters for you but I do not recommend it if you are having the lobsters shipped.

You may also go to lobsters-online and they have Lobster clambake packages you can order. Since lobsters are so inexpensive right now, the price may be higher than if you order everything individually. Call both places and see who has the best price.


 New England Style Lobster Clambake

First Course

Artisan Cheese Platter with Imported & Domestic Cheeses, Sliced Artisan Breads, Herbed Oil, Crackers & Grapes
WellFleet Oysters on the Half Shell
Peel and Eat Shrimp with  Cocktail Sauce And Lemon Wedges or
Shrimp Cooked on Himayalan Salt
Maryland Crab Cakes or Eggless Crab Cakes

Second Course

Clam Chowder with Golden Oyster Crackers
Mixed Green Salad or California Chicken Salad

Third Course

Steamed Maine Lobster
New Red Potatoes & Sweet Corn on the Cobb
Steamed Clams and Mussels
Homemade Corn Bread

Fourth Course

Peach and Blueberry Cobbler
Blueberry Pie
Raspberry Cheesecake or Eggless Cheesecake
Sliced Watermelon


Blueberry Lemonade with Lemon Balm Sugar
Spicy Oyster and Vodka Shooters
Wine and Beer of your choice (Wine Suggestion Below)

I asked Perrine at Perrine’s Wine Shop for a wine recommendation and she paired this white wine for the clam bake menu. I had it tonight at a seafood restaurant and it is a crisp, smooth white with fruity overtones. I loved it. We enjoyed raw oysters as well as scalloped pan seared with a sweet meat and the flavor in the wine complimented both perfectly. I am going back to buy another bottle. Enjoy!

2010 Domaine Servin Chablis 1er Cru Montée de Tonnerre (France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis 1er Cru)

Did you Know? 

“Clambakes were originated by Native Americans who lived along the New England shoreline. They prepared the clambake by digging a deep hole into damp sand. Large rocks were collected and placed in the hole while driftwood was collected and piled over the rocks. The burning driftwood heated the rocks, the rocks were raked across the bottom of the pit and covered with one foot of moist seaweed. The seafood was tucked inside the seaweed which was covered over with a clean, wet cloth and buried with sand to slowly steam for hours, richly mingling the flavors of fresh seafood, salty seaweed and vegetables. After the clambake had completed cooking, the sand was dug away, the seaweed removed and the feasting begun. ” Ipswich Fish Market


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