Newly Renovated Old Clam House Ain't What She Used to Be

How do you update a 150-year-old restaurant like the Old Clam House, the subject of this week's full-length restaurant review? Do you give history a glancing nod or wrap yourselves around it? The Dal Bozzo family (owners of Stinking Rose, Calzone's, etc.) who recently purchased the Bayshore Boulevard institution, have done some of both.

They've restored the exterior of the original 1861 building, cleaned up the interior, and covered them with old photos. They've enclosed the patio and made the bar area — the most photogenic section — a pleasant place to sit in, day or night. And they've applied the same menu template that they use in all their other restaurants, which is heavy on Italian influences, 1980s ingredients like sun-dried tomatoes, and other attempts to “gourmet” up the now-pricier food.

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