Bigelow's Clam Chowder in Rockville Centre

May 3, 2013 2:44:45 PM PDT
Bigelow's is an institution in Rockville Centre. It's a small Cape Cod-style seafood shack that opened in 1939.

There's still only one place to sit - the counter, which gets pretty crowded with people usually vying for clams.

Anthony Andreolas is part of the family that's owned Bigelow's for 3 decades.

"Fried Ipswich clams is a staple. That's what people come for," he said. "We also have strip clams. Fried oysters are very good. Everything made to order. That's the difference with us you know.

And then there'st that chowder. The New England version is made with celery, onions, potato, milk and heavy cream, and plenty of clams. The seasoning and corn go in at the end and it thickens. A new batch is made every several hours.

Bigelow's is located at 79 N Long Beach Rd in Rockville Centre. For more information, call (516) 678-3878.

Bigelow's clam chowder

  • 1 pound chopped clams (rhode island surf or sea clam)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ chopped yellow onion
  • ½ stalk cup finely chopped celery
  • 16 ounces clam juice
  • A dash dried thyme
  • 6 large Idaho potato, peeled and chopped
  • ½ quart heavy cream
  • ½ gallon cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 cup yellow corn kernels (fresh preferable)


    In a large soup pot, over medium heat - heat clam juice, and add onions and celery and let them sweat - don't let them burn. Add potatoes, pepper and put on lid let cook til soften. About 15 minutes.

    Transfer stock from the soup pot to a double boiler - add milk and cream over medium to high heat. Once it starts to simmer, add clams, butter and corn. Continue to mix, add thyme (avoid burning the milk). Takes about an hour to get the soup where it needs to be. Serve!

    Serves 4-6.