Chasing the Perfect Lobster Roll

Every year I wait. When Autumn leaves start rolling in, and the first frenzied lines form for pumpkin spice lattes, I keep waiting. Throughout long Winter nights of slow cooking, warm soups, and signature holiday dishes – I wait. Spring glides in with her stone fruits and garlic scapes; I know it’s almost time. Yet, I stand firm for my favorite dinner companion.

Why do I wait on him all year long?

Because he’s truly the most tender of all. A King. A little plump, yes…but who amongst us is a stranger to a few extra Summer vacation Lbs. He forever reigns supreme as the best catch in all of the big blue. And his time is Summer. When it comes to catching the perfect lobster, there really aren’t more fish in the sea. It’s the lobster that faithfully makes the good times roll. And a few are definitely worth the wait.

So, I’m rounding up a few of my best lobster roll encounters in over 40 years of chasing them on Earth. Fun Fact: Did you know lobsters can live to be over 100?

East Coast Lobster Roll Round-Up

1. LUNCH Lobster Roll | Amagansett, New York

Annual Summer visits to this retro-style seafood shack on the East End always produce an unforgettable lobster roll. I order mine “Connecticut-Style,” which is served with hot, tasty chunks of lobster claw and knuckle meat tossed in drawn butter and stuffed inside a toasted split-top hot dog bun. A side of golden crinkle French fries and homemade coleslaw makes it even more of a beach break moment. Pair your roll with the bar’s signature “The Affair” margarita – named as an homage to the HBO show that filmed many scenes on location at LUNCH. Or, sip like a local and enjoy a crisp Montauk Watermelon ale.

2. Showfish at Gurney’s | Newport, Rhode Island

I recently tried a delightful lobster roll at the new restaurant inside Gurney’s Resort in Newport – Showfish. Elevated and beautifully presented, it was a roll to remember – and you are invited to order to your taste – traditional or spicy! A side of Truffled-Herbed French fries perfectly accompanies this roll and is best enjoyed on the expansive deck overlooking Narragansett Bay. For a little extra lobster love, try the incredible Lobster & Kimchi fried rice on the menu with a special Sam sauce!

3. Alisson’s, Kennebunkport, Maine

When in Maine, roll deep! I was traveling to meet a buyer at the local Hannaford supermarket, and on the drive back, we stopped at Alisson’s. This quick lunch stop is where I met one of the best lobster rolls I’ve ever tasted. Maine’s state slogan is “Dirigo,” the Latin word for “I Lead.” When it comes to lobster, it’s hard to disagree.

At Alisson’s, the “Famous Maine Lobster Roll” on the menu arrives with mounds of the freshest local lobster and is offered with a choice of mayo or butter on a grilled roll and, of course, served with a side of drawn butter. The options improve at Alisson’s with offerings like The BLT Lobster Roll, a Lobster Bisque Lobster Roll, Picnic Lobster Roll, and a South-of-the-Border Lobster Roll. They also serve a petite Maine Lobster Roll and Clam Chowder combo – and you don’t want to miss the clam chowder here!

4. The Boat House, Tiverton, Rhode Island

Panoramic water views and coastal New England charm abound! The Boat House invites you to dock your boat, relax on an Adirondack chair on the lawn, or stroll inside to the waterfront dining room perched on a scenic bluff overlooking Mt. Hope Bay.

“More meat than mayo” is my kind of lobster vibe, and The Boat House delivers! Their signature chilled lobster roll is dressed in fresh herbed mayo tucked inside a warm griddled brioche roll. Lean into the mood with a “Boat House Doli,” an icy cold shaken vodka martini with fresh pineapple, and sip to the spectacular sunset.

5. Castle Hill Inn, Newport, Rhode Island

The chance to sit at their Terrace Bar and enjoy a meal is almost as grand as the sweeping views from the great lawn at Castle Hill Inn in Newport. Take in panoramic views of ships gliding by while diving into one of the most delectable lobster rolls in the Country. Prepared fresh from the Atlantic, this roll is served with heaping lumps of chilled lobster meat and finished in fresh Tarragon and Crème Fraiche, making it one of the most elegant versions.

6. Sundays on the Bay, Hampton Bays, New York

No fanfare here, this spot is nestled behind a small marina off of Dune Road, and their menu is focused on fresh seafood and bay-inspired fare. Sundays On The Bay lobster roll is simply served on a toasted hot dog bun. It’s so fresh you can almost watch the lobstermen pulling in the traps straight to your plate. Another great option is their house-made lobster sausage – served on a split-top toasted hot dog bun and topped with a fresh tomato relish.

7. The Lobster Trap, Bourne, Massachusetts

Avoid (some) of the infamous Cape Cod traffic and stop at this lovely spot right over the Bourne Bridge. Founded in 1969 as a neighborhood fish market on the back river in Bourne, this is a favorite Cape Cod experience.

The lobster roll arrives heaping with piles of lobster meat and pairs great with their delicious sides of street corn and potato salad. There is even a Lobster Reuben on the menu for a twist! Offering incredible daily specials – the stuffed Quahogs with chorizo, peppers, and cornbread is not to be missed. The Lobster Trap is also attached to a fishmonger and retail store, so you can even try to mimic their epic lobster roll at home.

We focused on East Coast faves and will report back on the best of the West next time! Did we miss a spot you love? We would want to hear where you’ve had your favorite lobster rolls. Tell us on social @join.timeless.

About the Author

Hilary Pereira
Hilary Pereira is a best-selling author, entertaining expert, designer, experiential marketer, and award-winning beverage entrepreneur. She is a sought-after guest speaker on women in business and all things lifestyle and culinary. Hilary has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Veranda, Refinery29, Real Simple, and multiple other beverage and lifestyle publications. She has appeared on the Martha Stewart Living Show and is a frequent guest panelist & host for brands like American Express, Food & Wine Festivals, Birch Box, and Dermalogica.

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