Before the newish East Village spot Luke’s Lobster opened its doors, everyone and his mother seemed to be in on the hype action. Maybe because the owner’s twenty-five and, judging from his photo, the GM isn’t much older than that, they obviously know their way around new media (not to mention a social-networking site or two). Peddling fresh Maine crustaceans, served in unadulterated form at little more than half the city’s current going rate, they also tapped in to one of New York’s evergreen fixations: the lobster roll.
I’ve made my feelings on the matter quite clear by now; needless to say, it was at the top of my Restaurants To Try list. I went before this Dining Briefs blurb was published, and I could barely read the piece when it came out, I was so stymied by the accompanying photo. Go ahead, click over and take a look. I’ll wait.
For normal folks, a small lobster roll runs $8, a large is $14; I’m not sure how much the Times paid, but I am positive that their large—and Thrillist’s, too, for that matter—was twice the size of mine. There’s nothing like truth in advertising, huh?
As for the roll itself, it wasn’t bad. The meat, while obviously as fresh as promised, didn’t leave me marveling at the flavor, as Red Hook Lobster Pound’s Connecticut version (warmed and tossed with drawn butter instead of mayonnaise) has on occasion, and as Pearl does every single time without fail. Though the faint sprinkling of spices on top (I guessed Old Bay, other people have mentioned celery salt and/or oregano) was a surprisingly nice touch, ultimately, I was underwhelmed.
There’s a crab roll on the menu that looks promising, though. Could this be the start of a new obsession?
93 E 7th St.
New York, NY