Great Places for Lobster in Connecticut 24/7 Last Updated 6/16
By Frank Cohen
The American lobster has likely been a dietary staple along the Connecticut shoreline for as long as the area has been populated. Although lobster is generally viewed as a luxury food around the world, in the American colonies its abundance may have led to its initial perception as poor man’s food. There are tales of prisoners/servants/apprentices/etc. petitioning for respite from the cruelty of having to consume lobster more than twice a week. A far cry from today’s Nutmeggers, who consume lobster morning, noon and night at restaurants—from seafood shacks to gourmet palaces—that turn the daily catch into dishes anything but ordinary.
A Cracking Start to the Day
People acted as if the sky were falling four years ago when popular Kitchen Little moved from its location near Mystic Seaport to breezier quarters overlooking Mystic River Marina. But it’s hard to imagine a more serene spot to enjoy the restaurant’s fresh Lobster Benedict, twin halves of an English muffin capped by a pair of plump poached eggs—in a lovely lemony hollandaise sauce—that release runny yolk over chunks of lobster tail and claw meat.
Popular Olio, in Stamford, also offers a Lobster Eggs Benedict, but changes things up a bit. There’s a base of toasted house bread topped with two perfect poached eggs, fresh Maine lobster, roasted red pepper hollandaise and a pinch of fresh dill weed and cilantro, all of which is plated with chilled asparagus and nicely dressed greens. In the Sandy Hook village of Newtown, Foundry Kitchen & Tavern’s luxurious Lobster Scrambled Eggs comes chock-full of big chunks of claw, bathed in a caramelized shallot truffle cream sauce and served with great home fries.
What the Shell?
Want something different for lunch? The seafood-themed Lobster Post in Fairfield serves a poutine-inspired Lobster Fries with lobster and melted Gouda over crisp hand-cut fries. It also serves at least 10 other tempting lobster preparations, including its Lobster Post Mango Salsa Roll.
Given (Connecticut) Yankee ingenuity, it should come as no surprise that the three foods for which the Nutmeg State is most famous—pizza, burgers and hot dogs—have been adapted to lobster. Doing business since 1935, Roseland Apizza in Derby is famous for its absolutely loaded seafood pizza with lobster tail, shrimp and scallops. Meanwhile, Jack Rabbits in Old Saybrook produces a lobster hot dog made of hand-rolled lobster and butter in soy nori paper (it can also be made in burger form) and pairs it with gourmet accompaniments like foie gras and grilled apple.
Visitors can find plenty of elaborate lobster preparations for dinner. Try the exquisite Lobster Avocado Salad with ruby grapefruit, heart of palm and miso-ginger dressing offered by the Manolo Blahnick folk at Arethusa al Tavolo in Bantam. But for traditional preparations, Bill’s Seafood at the Singing Bridge in Westbrook is music to Nutmeggers’ ears. Perhaps the best way to enjoy lobster there is the Steamed Westbrook Shore Dinner in a Bag, with a one-and-a-quarter-pound lobster, steamers, mussels, red potatoes, corn-on-the-cob and chorizo sausage tumbling, as from a horn of plenty, from the cheesecloth bag in which they were boiled.
For something slightly less traditional, Geronimo Tequila Bar & Southwest Grill, located in New Haven and Fairfield, offers an ultra-rich Lobster and Chorizo Mac & Cheese with lobster meat, chorizo, bell pepper and scallion in a creamy cheese sauce, finished with cornbread crumbs and pico de gallo.
Wherever you are in Connecticut, be on the lookout for lobster snacks at any time of the day. In business since 1947, Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough (and sister eatery, Costello’s—both located in Noank) is famous for all manner of lobster preparations, but perhaps none is more pleasing than its Lobster Deviled Eggs appetizer, which started last year as a special but stormed its way onto the main menu. Lobster on the run? Atlantic Seafood in Old Saybrook sells ready-to-eat lobster rolls plus lobster pie, lobster cakes and lobster ravioli that just need a bit of heating.
At 24-hour Gold Roc Diner in West Hartford, twin broiled lobster tails and other lobster-enhanced fare are available right through the night. It used to be said that the sun never set on the British Empire—in Connecticut it never sets on the opportunity to enjoy lobster, either.
Lobster for Dessert?
With a wink, renowned Lucibello’s Italian Pastry Shop in New Haven will come through with lobster tails, made with flaky sfogliatelle pastry and filled with ricotta, chocolate cream or vanilla cream.
Frank Cohen, a prolific food, wine and travel writer living in Connecticut, never met a cuisine he didn’t like. His motto is “Will travel for food.”