My friend from Connecticut was with me and so we had to get the clams. They were Manilas from Washington, not littlenecks, but they were delicious, plump and tender in their shells, ten or so jostling for the spotlight from their perch in a pretty, footed soup bowl. What lay beneath easily earned the name of chowder—perfectly cooked carrots, potatoes, onions in a flavorful broth bearing the classic notes of white wine and thickened slightly with blended potato for an effect that gave it body but kept it light. I reached for the thick slices of charred bread—and then for a spoon. With a flight of French wine, had nothing else arrived at our table I wouldn’t have complained.