A happy ending at Luke's Lobster

Friday, July 22, 2011

This week took a somewhat despondent dip for me on Wednesday and Thursday, but today was a surprisingly good day -- in spite of the fact that it was about 104 degrees out. Sometimes I can't stand summers in New York City.

After work, I went to Luke's Lobster (multiple NYC locations and one D.C. location), which I'd heard pretty much only good things about. My father has instilled in me a true love for lobster and an appreciation for lobster rolls. After a visit to Maine at 13 years old, when I feasted on broiled and boiled lobsters dipped in melted butter, I just couldn't have a heavily-dressed lobster. Especially not done the Chinese way, sauteed with some sort of gingery soy sauce or something. With my father, I have chased down lobster rolls in several states, and I think maybe today's roll at Luke's takes the cake.

First off, I have to say I really don't care for lobster on a brioche roll. Lobster is already sweet on its own -- I don't need it on a sweet roll so I feel like I'm eating a lobster cake or lobster stuffed French toast. In fact, the sweetness of the lobster roll at the famed Mary's Fish Camp (64 Charles Street, West Village) is probably what sent me over the edge last time I had the expensive lobster roll there (it was probably about $24 when I last had it in 2009). It wasn't a pretty sight.

So I was pretty happy to find that Luke's lobster roll came on one of those half-bun, half-bread thingamabobs. I went with the lobster Schooner combo, which meant I got a lobster roll ($16 on its own), a soda, a bag of chips and a pickle for $18. For New York City, THIS IS A STEAL. I'm not sure you'd be able to find another decent lobster roll for less than $20 in the city.

I'm going to cut to the chase here. The lobster roll was amazing. The lobster meat was lightly dressed with some sort of pesto sauce, and there was a buttery-mayo spread on the bread (which I wouldn't normally have cared for, but this one was flavored and it tasted great). I even went so far as to give the roll a good whiff half-way through, and it smelled like heaven. A heaven where Paula Deen is the head chef, which means it smelled of butter.

It was a pretty hefty roll and I think it took me nearly 10 minutes to finish it. The pickle was somewhat flavorless, and I'd chosen a Maine Root Ginger Brew soda to accompany my meal. That was delicious too, although it had a major kick to it and is probably not for the faint of heart.

The service at Luke's on the Upper East Side was friendly and more than competent. I will be returning, with my father in tow. That is a certainty.

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