By SUSAN ERICSON
Mesmerized by the sun glinting off the Shrewsbury River, PieHole almost forgot the real reason we were here, until an insistent, growling stomach reminded us: lunch.
To reach the restaurant, the lunchtime crowd has to navigate its way through a busy, workday marina. One there, though, the vistas of the river and docked cabin cruisers visible from all of the dining rooms inside and the enormous oval bar are worth it.
Our bartender, Maureen Gryson, a veteran of the Mad Hatter and other local bars, suggested we try the Drunken Clams. Although there are plenty of landlubber options on the menu, such as nachos, quesadillas and pizzas, a seafood lunch seemed most appropriate to the atmosphere.
The orders of Drunken Clams ($12.95) and Garlic Shrimp ($11.95) arrived at the same time, both coming with three crucial-to-the-dish chunks of herb-flecked garlic bread.
The four plump shrimp were bathed in an exceedingly pungent garlic-imbued lemon sauce. The shrimp were a tender mouthful, but the leftover brew in the bottom of the bowl was the real party-in-your-mouth. If you’re on a date, order this dish only if you’re both planning to eat it. Consider yourself warned.
The sweet, tender clams were tamer in seasoning but no less flavorful. Steamed in Yuengling beer, the Little Necks were slippery, salty and drenched in a lemon scented sauce with a surprise whisper of tarragon and a dusting of parmesan cheese. Every last crumb of the provided bread found its way into the heavenly broth.
The EvenTide is at 1400 Ocean Avenue, and opens at 11:30 a.m. Friday through Sunday and 4 p.m. the rest of the week.