Growing up, my family would spend many summers on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard. Although both the Cape and Vineyard are in part known for their prodigious seafood, I didn’t try a lobster roll until the summer of 2008, coincidentally, one of the best summers of my life. But I’ll get back to that. On the Cape, my dad would order lobster rolls ostensibly every day (which at the time seemed bizarre but in retrospect was awesome on his part), but, naturally, my palette up until I was about 15 was much less refined than his. Yet, even for a kid, my eating habits were indefensibly embarrassing. I would eat pasta, pizza, and I’m struggling to think of a third aliment for the sake of parallelism but I honestly can’t. To my parents’ defense, they tried to get me to eat protein–offering to make me chicken even when they had already made steak for themselves and my brother, or salmon, or a hamburger, but I wouldn’t budge, “angel hair with Parmesan and butter please.” That was my go-to retort to the “What would you like for dinner dear?” question. But somewhere along the line my taste-buds developed. In August 2008 I was in Oak Bluffs, Martha’s Vineyard with my mom, dad, and brother, and we went to one of our favorite restaurants, Nancy’s, where my dad would get lobster rolls and I would usually get pizza. That day, my dad ordered two lobster rolls, and I ordered one personal pizza. While walking from where you pick up the food to our table (it’s outdoor seating, right on the water), a seagull flew right above my head, grazing the humidity amplified poof that was my hair– I jumped back, screamed, and dropped my pizza. It was a truly discommoding moment in my life and to this day I wish I weren’t so intimidated by birds–but I digress. With my lunch now on the ground and my stomach now grumbling, I did the only thing I could do–Ask for a bite of my dad’s second lobster roll. He was hesitant (which is peculiar because he had two and I’m his daughter and I just dropped my lunch), but gave in. I was nervous going in for the bite, mostly because it wasn’t pizza, but took it anyway. And then another, and another, and one could say I never stopped. Since the seagull incident of 08, every summer on the Vineyard and Cape, I turn into the annoying friend/daughter/sister who consistently requests we eat at a seafood restaurant when going out for a meal. Unfortunately, this summer, due to my internship, I will not be going to Martha’s Vineyard or the Cape until late August if at all. But its summer and I need my fix. So I have decided to go on a search— a search for the perfect lobster roll in New York City. I will be updating this blog with each new restaurant I go to for a lobster roll and I will be rating each roll on a 1-10 scale. I have no idea how many lobster rolls I will try so you’re kind of in this with me.
1. Ed’s Lobster Bar. (8.5)
Starting my search out strong with Soho’s infamous lobster bar. Ed’s Lobster Bar is a small bar with an even smaller food menu on Prince St. The second I bit into their lobster roll I knew I would be back many times before the end of summer. The lobster is chunky, not stringy; the rolls are butter-brushed; balmy mayonnaise is offset by a sprinkling of chives. Albeit it’s expensive, you really do get the bang for your buck. If you have 29 dollars burning a hole in your wallet and you have a craving for fresh lobster definitely go to Ed’s.
2.) Dolce Cubano. (5)
So I cheated just a little. This lobster roll was in Connecticut, not New York City, but I’m going to add it to my list anyway. For one of the last days of my internship, the beyond amazing marketing team I work with took me and the other interns out to lunch at one of the most gorgeous restaurants in Stamford. It was a Cuban-seafood restaurant located right on the water and as soon as you walk in you instantly forget you’re in New England. I was really excited as soon as I saw Lobster Roll on the menu but was disappointed when I took my first bite. The bun, along with the lobster, was grilled, which wouldn’t have been an issue if they had made up for the unavoidable dryness with some sauce–but they didn’t. There was no trace of mayonnaise(which I usually hate but is completely necessary for any lobster roll) and the bun didn’t seem buttered or garnished at all. I would definitely recommend Dolce Cubano but not for their lobster rolls.