Tag Archives: Lobster

Summer Means Lobster Rolls

We’ve had the wonkiest weather ever in New York for the past few months, and the warmer temperatures have definitely affected my appetite. Not affected as in like, I lost it (that is reserved only for the most traumatic of traumas, I assure you) but in the way that I’ve been craving summer foods before I’m supposed to. Case in point: the lobster roll. In the interest of full disclosure, I used to work very close to a little spot that sold lobster rolls for $10 and I used to go a sickening amount. Thank God I don’t work at that job anymore… my cholesterol can’t take it anymore.

Anyway, I was craving a lobster roll like I can’t even tell you, so I Googled “Best lobster rolls in NYC” and came up with the list of usuals: Luke’s Lobster, Red Hook Lobster, and one I’d never heard of: Ed’s Lobster Bar. I took a look at their menu… and I was sold. If you don’t like lobster or seafood in general, please don’t go to this place. You’ll simply clog it up for those of us who live for the stuff.

Ed’s Lobster Bar Annex, 25 Clinton Street (btwn Stanton St and E Houston St), New York, NY 10002. Ed McFarland, owner of Ed’s Lobster Bar, is a Staten Island Native who grew up in pizza parlors and later graduated from the French Culinary Institute. He worked all over, in esteemed kitchens throughout the city, until he opened up his own place. Ed’s Lobster Bar (the original) is located on Lafayette between Broome and Spring and offers a more refined menu of full lobster entrees. The Annex, where I dined last weekend, has more of a low-key, relaxed maritime vibe with menu offerings such as lobster meatball sliders, mini lobster thermidor pizzas, and shrimp tacos. During the summer months they have an outdoor patio where you can sit and sip a cold white wine with your seafood. Note: the annex only serves wine and beer.

On the menu:
Prosecco rose
Little Neck Clams
Lobster rolls with chips and housemade pickles

Verdict: Oooooh lobster lobster love of my life. This had to be one of the best, if not THE best lobster roll I have ever had. Three words: butter soaked bun. That’s right. Just in case you were thinking, “Oh no, where’s the butter to dip all the giant chunks of lobster in my lobster roll?” Ed’s has you covered. The bun is literally brushed and semi-soaked in butter. I had to stop myself from licking the plate. I could’ve even done without the fries… maybe substituted it with more lobster? And as a side note, they make their pickles on premises and they are spicy and sweet and I ate so many I burnt my tongue. …I’m not joking. In addition to the amazing food, the staff was super laid back, informed, and efficient. I’ll be back, Ed. I’ll be back.

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High Rolling

Hazelnut chocolate cakeI’m about to tell you a story of the good life. Or at least the good life according to Lauren E. Last weekend, as I mentioned, I traveled to Pittsburgh, PA to visit my fabulous cousin Casey and also attend the Lady Gaga concert (and can I just say… hooooly holy hell. Officially the most impressive concert I’ve ever been to.).

But enough about The Fame Monster herself. The weekend began with true VIP treatment. Casey is wine director at The Capital Grille in Pittsburgh and when I tell you her friends and I got the experience the Steelers get (although apparently, Polomalu rolls in in sweatpants) I am not telling you a lie. Below, a photographic journey.

The incredible meal began with cocktails at the bar, followed by our seating at a primo table next to the open kitchen. The table was already laid with huge cold seafood platters, chock full of crab legs, shrimp, and raw oysters (I don’t have a picture of this because I felt like such a goober pulling out my camera – Casey quickly yelled at me after the first course and told me to take as many pictures as I wanted… heeeey).

The platters continued (keep in mind, we hadn’t even ordered yet… these were just compliments of the chef). Next to the table was trays of poke (raw tuna and seaweed salad, Hawaiian style!) with salted chips that I ate heaps of.

Poke

After the poke came lamb lollipops and scallops wrapped in bacon. The picture I took of this dish was completely blurred, probably because I was so ready to dive into that scallop that was the size of my face.

After the lamb and scallop, the waiter told us he’d allow us a small break. A break? A break before what? Oh, that’s right… we hadn’t ordered dinner yet. That’s right. This was the pre-cursor.

When I was a kid my grandmother always used to say that my eyes were bigger than my stomach, and in 25 years, not much has changed. I ordered the Filet Oscar, a steak filet with crab meat and bernaise sauce, with a side of lobster tail. I bragged to the guy sitting next to me that I was still STARVING and I’d probably eat the whole thing. I took a bite. Two bites. Two and a … half… bites… Done. I was done. “Thought you were gonna eat the whole thing?” the joker asked. (The following afternoon I had a lovely Filet Oscar sandwich). We were also served bowls of mixed mushrooms, green beans, and lobster mac and cheese that was to. die. for.

Filet Oscar

We weren’t done yet, friends. Dessert. “You have to try the coconut cream pie!” someone gushed. So I did. My review? This is probably the dessert they serve in heaven. Just saying.

Panna cotta and coconut cream pie

In addition to the unbelievable food (the so-tender-you-could-cut-it-with-a-fork steak, the buttery lobster, the impeccably fresh tuna, the creamy-dreamy hazelnut chocolate cake), I was afforded a tour of the kitchen. I watched a pastry chef removing panna cotta from the forms. I walked into the giant cooler with the dozens of hunks of aged beef. I shook hands/claws with a live lobster. I know I could never handle the schedule and the work load of a professional chef, but there is something that stirs in me when I’m in a real live working restaurant kitchen like that. I love it. The sounds, the smells, the characters. I could’ve pulled up a chair and watched the choreography for hours.

Thanks for the incredible weekend, Casey! I’ll be back real soon.

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Happy Holiday Weekend!

I don’t know about you guys, but I am jonesing for a long weekend. And this one is especially spectacular because it’s Memorial Day weekend and it’s the OFFICIAL (drum roll pleeeeeease) beginning of summer! Prayers: answered.

This weekend, I’ll be eating a lot (I know, it’s terribly shocking) and to whet your palate, a few pictures of beautiful brunches inhaled calmly and daintily enjoyed last weekend.

Magnolia 6th Ave at 12th Street, Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY

On the menu:
French toast with real maple syrup
Lobster frittata with red bliss potatoes and an English muffin
Eggs benedict with red bliss potatoes
Coffee
Mimosas

Verdict: Love this place! Let me paint you a picture: my old friend, Kristy, and I met at Magnolia to catch up after almost two years of not seeing each other. So we needed some time… a lot of time. The staff was incredibly sweet, amazingly patient, and they didn’t even judge us when we ordered three full meals between the two of us. “Can we uh… have the French toast for dessert?” Our waiter grinned and assured us that “people do it all the time!” Thank you for lying, waiter friend.

Another thing that completely sold me on Magnolia was their banana bread basket served before the meal. Tucked inside a linen napkin were squares of moist, flaky banana bread (without nuts! wahoo!) that Kristy and I munched on before, during, and after our meals. I love when a New York restaurant serves bread and water immediately after you sit down, as if saying, “Hangover cures while you wait!”

Happy Memorial Day weekend, friends! Enjoy every sun-filled minute.

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