Tag Archives: lobster rolls

Colicchio & Sons Tap Room

Despite the number of restaurants that have opened in the Meatpacking District in recent years, it’s still hard to find a good place to go before or after an event in West Chelsea or Chelsea Piers. So many of the new places feel big boxy or inordinately expensive, and the old places can get a little old hat.  (more…)

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The Lot on Tap


Interior, the Lot on Tap

It may seem like just yesterday that the August sun was beating down on us, but guess what? Oktoberfest officially begins on September 22nd. Instead of hiking out to Queens this year, Manhattanites only need to go as far as the Lot on Tap, the Colicchio-orchestrated spot under the High Line. It has the feel of the real thing in Germany – but it’s also quintessentially New York.  (more…)

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Lobster Rolls: Nancy’s in Martha’s Vineyard

When it comes to lobster rolls, the more bare bones a restaurant is, the better. The best lobster rolls we’ve ever had were usually served grumpily through a kitchen window and eaten on picnic tables, often in a crab grass lot by the side of a major thoroughfare. Because why would you need table linens, atmosphere or attentive service? They would only detract from the main event.  (more…)

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Montauk Dining & Drinking

If you ever want to convince someone to like the Hamptons, take them to Montauk. Of course, they might claim that this fishing and surfing village is not actually a Hampton, since there are very few manicured lawns, polo players or designer boutiques in sight. But this naturally beautiful, windswept tip of Long Island could charm even the staunchest Hampton hater.

Exterior, Fishbar

Once just the site of fish shacks and red sauce joints, Montauk has been luring serious diners out here ever since Sam Talbot took over at the Surf Lodge several years back, right after winning Top Chef. He has since moved on to Imperial No. 9, but Montauk’s culinary caché lingers on. For one thing, it would be hard for a seafood chef to be much closer to the source, since lobsters, clams, oyster and fish are hauled in to the docks here every day. Unlike tourist attractions like Mystic, this is still very much a working fishing village.


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The Net Result, Martha’s Vineyard

Still reeling from the $23 price tag of a pint of clams at the Bite, we approached seafood shack the Net Result in Vineyard Haven, Martha’s Vineyard with caution. This combination take-out joint and fish market gets their catch daily from Larsen’s in Menemsha, so they could charge a lot for the fresh quality. But we were pleasantly surprised to find some of the best prices on the island at this casual picnic spot with views of the harbor.

The Net Result, Exterior

Don’t expect a lot of frills here; just get in line and follow the various instructions on hand-written signs around the room. (more…)

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Mermaid Oyster Bar

Though food critics always seem to be on the hunt for latest new undiscovered place, most of the real buzz this year has been about new restaurants by old masters. Just try landing a table at Danny Meyer’s Maialino on opening night or getting through the door at Keith McNally’s Minetta Tavern without a reservation. With established brands like these, a market of loyal followers is already in place before a new restaurant even opens.

Bar Area, Mermaid Oyster Bar

Which is why Danny Abrams’ Mermaid Oyster Bar will probably thrive in the space that once housed the charming but ill-fated Smith’s on MacDougal Street (never helped by the fact that it opened at the same time as “The Smith” on Third Avenue). The redesign shows signs of an expert touch.


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The National Cafe


The task of opening a restaurant has gotten even more daunting in the past few years: getting the investors, the space, the chef, the liquor license, and the staff is only the first part of the challenge. The second, impressing your diners, now begins on opening night, because even if the Times waits to give its verdict, Yelpers wait for no one.


The National is one of a growing contingent of restaurants (like the Redhead) that opened in stages. It first served just coffee, then lunch, then dinner when the liquor license came through. This smart strategy allows the restaurant to start making money on day one, instead of sitting on an expensive lease while waiting for all the elements to come together at once. It also means the chef and the staff have some key practice time. (more…)

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Lunch (and Late Night): Luke’s Lobster

One advantage of lobster rolls is that no one can dismiss them as the next burger/pizza/fried chicken: everyone already said that a couple years ago when Ed’s Lobster opened. Defying food trendiness, lobster rolls have remained popular and even inspired an online frenzy when Luke’s Lobster opened last week. Why? Because when well made, lobster rolls are darn good – and provide some justification for living up nahth, as they’d say in Maine.

Lobster Roll, Luke's Lobster

Started by 25-year-old Maine native Luke Holden, Luke’s Lobster adds some interesting new elements to the New York lobster roll scene. (more…)

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More Chatham Eats

marions-pie-sqFor such a small town (pop. about 6,500), Chatham, Cape Cod has a lot going for it food-wise. Not only are there good restaurants, but there are excellent take-out shops, from the humble to the gourmet, that will free you from the kitchen on vacation.

Chatham Cheese Company * Wequaussett Outer Bar & Grille * The Cape Sea Grille * Nantucket Wild Gourmet & Smokehouse * Marion’s Pie Shop * Marine Cuisine


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More Martha’s Vineyard Eats

lobster-roll-squareAs will become clear from this article, we didn’t make it out of Edgartown during our entire three-day stay on Martha’s Vineyard. (We did the preppy version of this weekend’s NYT tour.) While the picturesque Victorian town of Oak Bluffs is definitely worth visiting, there’s enough dining in Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard to fill a long weekend’s worth of meals, if you don’t mind ending up at the same bar every night. Best of all, you can walk everywhere.


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Alchemy, Martha’s Vineyard

alchemy-squareDining out in a seaside town can be a mixed bag. On the one hand, you have access to the freshest seafood around; on the other, nearly anyone can put up a sign like “Best Lobster Rolls!” and tourists won’t be any the wiser.

Fortunately, Martha’s Vineyard has a large year-round population of about 15,000, slightly larger than Nantucket and more than enough to sustain a restaurant that wants to go above and beyond tourist fare. And many summer people, like our generous hosts, captains of the S.S. Sapphire, have been coming to this idyllic spot for decades. Word gets around fast when there’s a good restaurant in town – or when something new is not worth the hype.

Alchemy in Edgartown is a French-style bistro in traditional New England clothing – muted colors, wainscoting, ivy topiaries. The only thing old-school about the food, however, is the local ingredients like scallops, peas, and oysters, which are just the starting point for the culinary wizardry that ensues. (more…)

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Lobster Rolls at the Rotary

What do you call a restaurant on a hardscrabble piece of land just off the main rotary in Nantucket? Well, how about “The Rotary.”

This and other no-nonsense details about this “fast food” shack make it seem truly New England. The grill master may bend the rules to serve you a lobster roll a couple minutes after closing, but don’t expect him to crack a smile while doing it.

The whole restaurant is a paradox of parsimony and generosity. It’s hard to imagine a place with less frills than the Rotary, with its rudimentary picnic tables separated from a highly trafficked intersection by only a slim hodgepodge of a hedge. Prominently posted rules warn diners what to do and what not to do (arrive without shirt or shoes, skate or bike up to the window), and everything about the place is self-serve – forage for your own utensils, napkins, condiments, and stake out your own place outside.

But look down at your sandwich and you may have a thief’s giddiness of having gotten away with something. The lobster roll here is generally accepted by Nantucketers to be the best on the island, and no wonder. At least an entire lobster’s-worth of meat fills each bun. This may be the only time I found myself wishing for a little more mayonnaise and celery in a lobster salad mix, because it’s pretty much all lobster in huge chunks. Shake it the wrong way and a whole claw may fall out.

The New York standard, disseminated far and wide from places like the Lobster Roll (a.k.a. “Lunch”) in Amagansett and Pearl Oyster Bar in NYC, is a daintier amount of lobster salad served on a perfectly grilled buttered hot dog roll. While I missed the crunch of that roll, I couldn’t complain about the bonanza of lobster that comprised the Rotary’s edition of this classic.

New Yorkers, if you find your way up in these pahts, it’s definitely worth a detour to the Rotary.

The Rotary Restaurant
Milestone Rotary
Nantucket, Massachusetts

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