Chefs' Picks: Lobster Rolls
Chefs’ Picks tracks down what the pros are eating and cooking from coast to coast.
Few dishes trumpet summer more than the lobster roll. Like the coastal cousin to a hot dog, a lobster roll conjures tastes of the shore, and is best with lemonade and an ocean view. Bite-size, buttery or slicked with mayo, here are five chefs’ picks for top lobster rolls.
Not one, but two chefs picked this Portland restaurant’s inventive version, which plays on Chinese-style pork buns. “I love the steamed bun, the overall size of the sandwich and the ‘brushstroke’ of the brown-butter vinaigrette,” says Mike Lata of FIG and The Ordinary (Charleston, S.C.). Paul C. Reilly of Beast + Bottle, in Denver, concurs: " Every food has a time and a place, and eating this sandwich at Eventide feels (and tastes) just perfect. The brown butter is just gilding the lily."
Rather than look to Maine for inspiration, Chef Jonathan Waxman of Adele’s and Bajo Sexto in Nashville, and Barbuto and Jams in New York, found his favorite in Southern California. He says, "I absolutely love the lobster roll at Son of a Gun! Cheap, delicious and perfectly sized! Culinary dream."
Shellfish expert Chef Mike Price of The Clam and Market Table in NYC sticks to the classics with his pick. “My favorite lobster roll is from The Corea Wharf Grill, in Corea, Maine,” he says. “It is perfectly toasted, with a buttery bun and not too overdressed. The lobster is literally right off the dock, which always helps! Doesn't get any better than that."
Chef Laurent Tourondel of L'Amico, LT Burger, Arlington Club and other New York City restaurants found his favorite close to home. "My favorite place to get a lobster roll is at The Polo Bar,” he says. “Their Maine Lobster Roll comes on a toasted brioche bun with a very light mayo. It’s delicious! One of the best lobster rolls I’ve ever had."