Shell & Bone

Shell & Bone sits on the waterside at Long Wharf in New Haven where you can watch boats come and go from the marina next door. On nice days you might be able to get lucky enough to sit on the porch right over the water and see out to the greater New Haven area across the water. It’s especially beautiful during sunset.

They have an extensive rum list, which I love, as well as a good amount of wine (something I don’t pay much attention to, I do not drink wine, but they looked like they have a lot of good choices). As they name implies, they have a selection of both seafood and land. And since I love surf n’ turf, I decided I wanted to love this place.

And it was good. I have only a few complaints and they’re nowhere near deal breakers for me.

This was the second time I went there, the last time was maybe a year ago, so I don’t remember it much. I thought I remember there being a long list of rum cocktails and selections that weren’t there this time. There was an entire page of rums they sell straight up, but I could’ve sworn they had a lot of mixed drinks. This time there wasn’t a lot. Not to say the cocktails they offered weren’t good (I had three grapefruit and cucumber margaritas which I found very refreshing and Richie got a couple very sweet but strong pineapple mojitos) but I remembered more selections before. Maybe they changed the menu since I was last there.

We all got oysters to share. They had four different types—two Atlantic and two Pacific—when we went so we all got one of each to try, but when they came we weren’t told which was which so I’m not entirely sure what it was I was eating. I know they were tasty as super fresh! Actually the last time I had oysters I was in Philadelphia for my friend’s wedding (not served at the wedding though) and they had sand in them still. It took all my power not to spit it right out in front of everyone at the table. But Shell & Bone cleaned theirs much better. I can’t say I’m surprised, we New Englanders know our seafood better than most.

You know what was even better than the unnamed oysters? The clam chowder. They put an entire clam still in the shell inside the bowl (which was a mini cauldron that I was very tempted to steal) and topped it with Cape Cod potato chips. They got a little soggy but I like the idea of the chips for crunch instead of the normal crackers so I’ll give it to them for flair even though execution didn’t quite make it. The chowder was also nice and chunky with a good potato to clam ratio and the added bacon is always a nice touch. I know that’s not the classic New England Clam Chowder, but hey, not like we’re throwing tomatoes in there, right?

My meal was one of the specials of the day of prime rib and bone marrow. I think this was the first time I ate marrow, and it was delicious. It was smooth and creamy and was absolutely delicious on top of some sourdough. They baked some cheese on top too for a salty layer of flavor.

Look at that presentation though! Bonus points

The sides that came with it were less up to par. I like my fries well done, but these were a little too far, it was like the potato filling burst out in the fryer. And the Brussel sprouts didn’t have as much bacon flavor as I like to think they should have. Maybe if they had roasted them a little longer and increased the amount of bacon (fat) used, it would have been much better.

Richie got the signature dish named after the restaurant and while he liked it, he felt that giving only one piece of shrimp for the shell portion was not enough. Yes it was a large shrimp but a couple more on the plate would have been better. And he was a little disappointed for the same reason with the asparagus side, which was minimal to the point that I didn’t see it on his plate while he was eating. However, we did get very filled up from the food and drinks, though we couldn’t resist trying some desserts. We were out for my birthday after all.

I got a pistachio crème brûlée with a little bit of fruit and whipped cream on top that I felt was amazing. I could definitely taste the pistachios in it that wasn’t overpowering and still let me enjoy the cream and sugar. We also got a chocolate mousse to try which was very rich and tasty, but much denser than I think a mousse should be. I always think of mousse as light and whipped even, creamy at most. But this was hard to get your spoon through, which made it even richer. It wasn’t bad, but can you really call it a mousse? The ricotta doughnuts were okay, but a little bland. They came with a chocolate ganache for dipping which was good, tasted like it was made with the same recipe as the mousse (maybe it was just the mousse heated? Probably not) but there was an element missing in this one. Maybe fruit inside as well as ricotta. I would have liked that I think. And finally the lemon cheesecake was also tasty, but I think it could have gotten more lemon in it. But I love things like limoncello and lemon squares where the lemon flavor is in your face so maybe I just need the extra punch and can’t appreciate the subtle hint anymore.

All in all, everything was very tasty and I would love to go back again. Especially for those views! Next time I will have to go out there and get pictures of the water (the porch was completely packed while we were there).

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