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The weather today may be more suited to meats on the grill than hearty winter soups, but you know that won’t last.  Before you can say “outrageous gas bill,” the cold weather will be upon us, which means that it’ll be time for some New England clam chowder. (Sorry, but the tomato-based Manhattan version just doesn’t do much for me.) 

Adam Longworth,  the new chef at 701, offers a decidedly creamy chowder on his lunch and dinner menus ($11 for a sizable bowl).  The appetizer, sweetened with small Manila clams, is thickened with both spuds and house-smoked potato gnocchi. The latter ingredient lends the chowder a smoky depth of flavor that no salt pork could ever provide.

And get this: Longworth, a Vermont native, is so obsessed with his chowder that he’s even baking his own oyster crackers. His first batches haven’t met his approval, so he’s still relying on commercial crackers. But look for that to change soon. Perhaps even sooner than the weather will change.