Photo Gallery »



Steamed Clams, Lobsters, Mussels, Shrimp, Linguiça

Roasted Red Potato And Asparagus Salad

Maple-Soaked Strawberry Shortcake With Blueberry Sorbet

Lemon Shandies

Ginger Lemonade


Fried Clams

Homemade Potato Chips With Clam Dip

Roasted Corn

Heirloom Tomato And Watermelon Salad With Feta

Portuguese Rolls

You can take the Hearty Boys out of New England, but you can’t take away their clambake. Dan Smith, who grew up on Long Island, and Steve McDonagh, who’s from New Jersey, are best known as the hosts of Food Network’s Party Line with the Hearty Boys and for their local catering business, cooking school, and brunch spot (at 3819 N. Broadway). Ever since they bought their house in Rogers Park six years ago, they have been reliving their coastal youths by inviting friends over for an annual backyard feast of clams, lobster, Portuguese sausages, and more.

Smith and McDonagh’s signature summer party comes with a well-thought-out yet low-key setup. Butcher paper sprinkled with sand covers a long table set with vintage enamelware; beverages (including homemade ginger lemonade) are served in small Mason jars; and serious dinner napkins are eschewed in favor of workaday dishtowels.

With buttery roasted corn and lots of juicy clams on the menu, “things can get pretty messy,” says Smith, who owned a café in Maine for five years and had to wait until he had a big enough deck to bring his favorite New England tradition to Chicago, where he has lived for 12 years (McDonagh has been here for 15). “People start calling in about February to find out when this year’s party is so they can put it on their calendars,” he says.


Related: Photo Gallery »

Photograph: Tyllie Barbosa
Styling: Barri Leiner


Photo Gallery »

New England Clambake
/ serves 6-8

  • 2 dozen steamer clams
  • 2 dozen mussels
  • 2 dozen shell-on large shrimp
  • 6 whole lobsters
  • 2 lbs. linguiça sausage, tied in
  • cheesecloth
  • 1 Spanish onion, quartered
  • 3 tbsp. whole peppercorns
  • 12 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 large bunch curly parsley
  • 4 cups dry white wine
  • Fresh seaweed, stored in salt
  • water (often available at fish shops)

Pour the wine into an extra-large stockpot. Add the onion, garlic, peppercorns, and parsley. Place on the stovetop or on your grill and let the wine come to a simmer. Next, add a layer of seaweed followed by the lobsters (placed on their backs), another layer of seaweed, the shrimp, more seaweed, linguiça and the mussels, more seaweed, the clams, more seaweed, and cover with the lid. Let the pot steam over low heat about 1 to 1 ½ hours. Once the clams have opened up, you’ll know that everything is done. Serve with nut crackers for the lobster and lots of melted butter.


Related: Photo Gallery »

Photograph: Tyllie Barbosa
Styling: Barri Leiner


Roasted Red Potato and Asparagus Salad
/ serves 10-12

  • 4 lbs. red potatoes, cut into
  • 1-inch dice
  • 2 tbsp. minced garlic
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. dried basil
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 1 lb. asparagus cut into
  • 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups good-quality mayonnaise
  • 2 roasted red peppers, peeled and seeded, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Toss the potatoes in a large bowl with the garlic, dried herbs, salt, pepper, and olive oil and place them on a sheet pan. Place the pan in the center of the oven and roast until the potatoes are tender, about 45 minutes. Make sure to flip the potatoes at least once during that time. (If you like, roast the potatoes a little longer so that some are dark brown and crispy.) Meanwhile, bring a small saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil and add the asparagus. Cook for 2 minutes and drain immediately. Pour the asparagus back into the saucepan and let cold water run over it until the asparagus is cool to the touch. Drain again and combine with the chopped onion in a large bowl. Set aside.

Place the mayonnaise and red peppers in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the mixture is well combined. Pour into a small bowl and set aside.

Once the potatoes are tender, place them in the bowl with the asparagus and onion. Pour the dressing over them and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Related: Photo Gallery »

Photograph: Tyllie Barbosa
Styling: Barri Leiner


Photo Gallery »

Maple-Soaked Strawberry Shortcake with Blueberry Sorbet and Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream

/ serves 6

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for the work surface
  • ½ cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¾ cup plus 3 tbsp. heavy cream
  • 2 pounds strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 1 cup maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Combine the flour, 1/2 cup of the sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Add 3/4 cup of the heavy cream and mix just until a dough forms. Put the dough onto a floured surface and pat it into a disk that’s roughly 1 inch high. Using a star-shaped biscuit cutter, punch out as many as possible. Re-form the dough and repeat, placing the stars on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush the pieces with the remaining 3 tbsp. of cream and sprinkle them with the remaining 2 tbsp. of sugar.

Bake the shortcakes in the top half of the oven for 25 minutes, until they are golden and firm to the touch. Remove the shortcakes to a baking rack to cool.

While the shortcakes are baking, put the berries and maple syrup in a bowl. Let macerate until ready to assemble the desserts.

Slice each shortcake in half and place the bottom halves on a platter or on individual dessert plates. Divide the berries among them. Cover with the shortcake tops and serve with blueberry sorbet and whipped cream.


/ makes 1 quart

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 6 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Combine the water, sugar, and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Pour the syrup and blueberries into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Pour into an ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s directions or, alternatively, pour into a shallow pan and place in the freezer for one hour. Remove the pan from the freezer and scrape down the sides and mix well with a spoon. Return to the freezer. Repeat this process several times to break up the ice crystals. At this point you can transfer the sorbet to a sealable container. It will be a rough sorbet, like a granita. Run it through a food processor for a smoother texture.


Whipped cream
/ makes 1 quart

  • 1 pint heavy cream, well chilled
  • 2 tbsp. powdered sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped

Pour the cream into a chilled stainless steel bowl and add the vanilla bean seeds. Beat cream until it starts to thicken and add the sugar. Continue to beat until peaks form.


Related: Photo Gallery » 

Photograph: Tyllie Barbosa
Styling: Barri Leiner


Photo Gallery »

Lemon Shandy
/ serves 1

  • Chilled pale ale or light lager
  • Gingered lemonade

Fill a pint glass two-thirds of the way with ale and top with lemonade. Serve the drink ungarnished, as the English do.


Gingered lemonade
/ makes 1 quart, enough for about 10 shandies

  • peel of 1 lemon
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 1⁄2-inch “coins” fresh ginger
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice

Using a sharp knife, cut the peel off the lemon, leaving as much of the bitter white pith behind as possible.

Put 1 cup water, the sugar, lemon peel, and ginger into a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar and remove the pan from the heat. Allow to cool, remove the peel and ginger, and add the lemon juice along with 2 cups water. Chill the lemonade before using.


Related: Photo Gallery »

Photograph: Tyllie Barbosa
Styling: Barri Leiner