The seafood at this Galveston hideaway is absolutely sublime. But it's the picture window in the dining room that elevates Clary's above its mainland competitors. Through the window you can watch the pelicans and seagulls circle a glistening shrimp boat tied up at a tiny dock on Offats Bayou. The boat just in from fishing, its nets are stretched out to dry in the sun. Behind it a gray snub-nosed oyster boat shifts a little in the wake of passing ships. Clary's isn't just a seafood restaurant, it's a seafood restaurant in the middle of the shrimp fleet. As you might expect, the flame-broiled shrimp and spicy boiled shrimp are excellent. And the plump and juicy fried oysters, which are served on toast so you can sop up the juices, are way better than any fried oysters on the mainland. But it's the fried shrimp that brings people back to Clary's again and again. Like all of the fried seafood here, it's nicely seasoned with a spicy batter and deep-fried just enough to make it crisp and golden, but not enough to dry it out. It's so good, you'll hesitate to ruin the flavor with a dipping sauce.
Readers' choice: Pappas Seafood