10 Essentials for a New England Seafood Feast

These 10 essentials for a New England seafood feast are the cooking and serving tools we find helpful when indulging your seafood craving by keeping things simple and stylish.

A platter that looks even prettier empty

This platter has a rather nautical-inspired air about it and capably handles piles of all things seafood, from lobster rolls to lobster tails. Even when it’s been emptied, there’s no problem if it lingers on the table when it looks as understatedly elegant as this.

Vietri Lastra Handled Rectangular Serving Platter, $137 on Amazon.com

Nothing will slip through this net

This reusable shellfish boiling bag is indispensable for steaming all sorts of seafood—clams, crabs, oysters, crawfish, and shrimp. Fill it up, tie it closed, toss it in a pot, and steam or boil your catch until ready. Then tidily pull out the bag without having to frustratingly swish around in deep waters for that last stray shell. Especially essential for any sort of stovetop clambake.

CM 16″ Clam Bake, Seafood, Shellfish Boiling Bags, 10-count, $11 on Amazon.com

Forget salt of the earth

Salt of the sea is where it’s at. Especially when it comes to creating a saline bath for clams before cooking to purge them of any sand. But we don’t use our priciest Celtic sea salt. La Baleine is our go-to brand when we want to buy in bulk yet still have something sufficiently refined for most kitchen endeavors.

La Baleine French Fine Sea Salt, $12 for a pack of 2 on Amazon.com

Everything that’s fit to boil will fit in here

Most anything you pull from the sea needs to be cooked in—you guessed it—more water. This stockpot can handle a heaping pile of any sort of shellfish you’re craving. And imagine the stock you can make after all those shells have been pillaged, which means your summer splurge can live on in your freezer to later enhance anything from gumbo to risotto.

All-Clad 16-quart Stockpot, $200 on surlatable.com

The only buns we allow to be manhandled

Finally, nationwide access to New England-style split-top buns, even for those of us in land-locked states. These split-top babies contain ample lobster chunks or seafood salad (or, heck, hot dogs with the works) without spilling all over the place. We’re imagining a lobster roll in one hand and, well, another lobster roll in the other.

New England Split Top Lobster Rolls, $10 for 6 on Amazon.com

The niftiest way to keep your cool

The only snag with summer is that it gets hot—sometimes oppressively hot, especially for whatever you need to be kept chilled, whether you’re at the beach or in the backyard. This cooler with sturdy wheels, rugged construction, and enough room for all the essentials (and then some) is the answer. And you can put it to use again come tailgating season.

Tundra Haul Hard Cooler, $400 by Yeti

Forget fussy finger bowls or moist towelettes

The romance inherent in a seafood repast doesn’t need to be diminished by grappling with shards of shells. This set of simple yet refined shellfish crackers and forks lets you make the most of those freshly caught beauties without worrying about your wooing game.

8 Piece Seafood Tool Set, $20 on surlatable.com

A table covering that withstands butter and wraps up the afterparty

We suspect 300 feet of crab-patterned paper will see you through an entire summer of crab boils and hands-on picking—or, as they say in the Northeast, shucking. Simply dump your steamed crabs on the table and let everyone have at it. It’s messy work. But this enormous roll has you—and your table—covered. Save any extra for next summer or holiday gift wrap for your fave seafood lover.

N.F. String & Son Inc. Crab Print Paper Table Cover, 300 feet, $33 on Amazon.com

To shell with your seafood salad

This stylish clamshell bowl in a mesmerizing shade of blue and green could only be made more enticing by adorning it with a chilled seafood salad of some sort. Almost, though not quite, as mesmerizing as watching the actual waves.

Tahitian Clamshell 17.5″ Bowl, $250 on alchemyfinehome.com

Drawn butter will certainly be drawn to these

These enameled bowls may, at first glance, seem far too diminutive for the amount of drawn butter you intend to slather on your freshly caught lobster. But fear not, they come in a set of two. One for you and a second for everybody else.

Set of 2 Laguna Small Bowls, $27 on riverbendhome.com


All products featured on Leite’s Culinaria are independently selected by our staff.

Back to 10 Essentials for a New England Seafood Feast on Leite's Culinaria