THE APPETIZER – A Warm Welcome

By Eleni Upah

Ahh, soup. A common choice for an appetizer at any fine restaurant, sometimes even presented as an included side to a number of entrees. It can be light or hardy, creamy or brothy. The food is so diverse that one could have soup for lunch every day for an entire year and never have the same bowl twice.

The clam chowder at Splash Seafood Bar and Grill is the most popular soup on the menu, and its fresh ingredients explain why.

The clam chowder at Splash Seafood Bar and Grill is the most popular soup on the menu, and its fresh ingredients explain why.

For this issue of soups and stews, we chose clam chowder to start off your meal. Its thick, creamy base is the perfect opening to a meal. The potatoes and clams make it a more substantial start than many other options. Chowder is rich in flavor both in the sauce and the foods it contains.

For some of the best clam chowder this side of the East Coast, stop by Splash Seafood Bar and Grill in downtown Des Moines. The New England recipe was inspired by the fresh, classic flavors of the coast, according to Executive Chef Dominic Iannarelli, who has been working at Splash for the last 13 years and had a hand in creating the chowder recipe.

“When we sat down and created that recipe, we really wanted to stay true to the old East Coast way of making clam chowder,” he said. “We wanted it to be like if you were in Boston, or if you were up in Maine or wherever. We wanted it to be that true fish and traditional creamy clam chowder.”

Made with bacon, shrimp stock, potatoes, fresh cream and a whopping 10 pounds of whole baby clams, the chowder has become the best-selling soup on Splash’s menu. The process is long and meticulous and one that Iannarelli goes through often — the restaurant prepares it at least every other day, usually each day, depending on demand. And during these colder months, he says customers come in especially for the warm, creamy concoction.

What really sets the clam chowder at Splash apart from the others is the baby clams.

“We use lots and lots of baby clams, and they’re nice and tender,” Iannarelli explained. “A lot of time you’ll see people use chopped clams instead, and we serve whole baby clams. So I think that makes a big difference.” RELISH

Tags: ,

Categories: The Appetizer

%d bloggers like this: