139 North 6th Street between Bedford Avenue and Berry, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
about $50 for two, without drinks, without tip
Brought to my attention by that stand-off with Bobby Flay, the Hurricane Hopeful Surf Bar claims to have the best clam chowder in New York City. It was ninety degrees but that didn’t stop us from tasting and judging them for ourselves. We ordered the crab and corn chowder and the popular haddock chowder for about $6 each.
Corn and crab chow-dah
Now, I don’t really know anything about chowder. I’ve had several during multiple visits to Maine and Boston and I’ve tasted them watery like broth and thick like bisque–I just don’t know what proper chowder is like.
At Hurricane Hopeful Surf Bar, my ignorance didn’t matter because they are all really good. The consistency is in the middle and I liked them that way. But skip the other items on the menu when you go. The conch fritters were mostly made of batter. The red snapper ceviche was very watery and tasted of sweet orange juice.
The space looks miniscule from outside but it extends all the way at the back to an outdoor garden decorated with small paper lanterns. The sand on the floor takes you as far away as, well, some beach in the Northeast but the service is exceptional. For a busy Saturday night, our waiter treated us like real ladies, making sure we were okay with everything during that one balmy summer night.