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Lobster Dinners or Lobster Rolls in Manhattan

Any suggestions for a good New England lobster dinner in Manhattan that won't break the bank? Alternatively, a good place for lobster rolls will do. I remember seeing a place in the Chelsea Market for lobster rolls. Anyone have recent experience? Thanks.

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  1. Pricey as all hell, but Aquavit has amazing lobster rolls.

    1. The Chelsea Market one (I think the place was call Lobster something) had a great one for about $12 or so (I was there in early July). There are tables at the market to sit down and enjoy it or take home. So much meat it was obscene. Don't think there were any sides as you are buying from a fish market (how much more fresh can you get??).

      6 Replies
      1. re: eve

        The Chelsea market place is probably the best bargain. The best New England style restaurant is Pearl Oyster Bar.

        1. re: kenito799

          POB has a great lobster roll but it's not New England style, it's Maine style - New England style is served hot with no mayo i.e. Abbots in Noank.

          1. re: wingman

            wingman, I’m so thrilled to read your post – a legitimately mayo-free lobster roll, without them having to make mine up special. I’ll make a point of getting to this noank place! Does NE style exist in manhattan? Liz

            1. re: wingman

              "POB has a great lobster roll but it's not New England style, it's Maine style - New England style is served hot with no mayo i.e. Abbots in Noank."

              Last I looked, Maine was in New England. It just depends where are. CT seems to be more about the hot butter and mayo elsewhere in NE. But you can get them w/ butter at one place in Boston, Neptune. They come with butter OR mayo (on the side) at the infamous Red's in Wiscasset ME. See related thread on the Boston board.


              1. re: wingman

                not to get totally off the manhattan board subject, but abbott's was the best idea we had during our stay in mystic. YUMMMMM... really good clear broth clam chowder too. RI style.

                1. re: wingman


                  I haven't been there in umm decades so it's great to know that place is still around!

            2. For lobster rolls, some of the most commonly mentioned names are Pearl Oyster Bar, Tides, Mermaid Inn, and Mary's Fish Camp.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Lucia

                I am sorry to report this, but that past 3x at Mermaid, shell chards, and an ever smaller portions of actual lobster have turned us against ever ordering this here again. My wife cut her lip pretty bad last time. Not at all cool. They have always done the right thing by comping something, the last time the roll since a blood bath ensued, and apologizing. But they are obviously not interested in the fixing the problem.

                Pearl is the best bet for sit down service, Chelsea Mkt. is the bagain portion for take away.

                1. re: noodles

                  I just wanted to check the Chelsea Market price--I was off a bit--it's about $14. I think still a good price for what you get.

              2. Most of the menu is sub par, but the Lobster Roll at Pershing Square is excellent. It is a pile of great meat, but generally needs a squeeze of lemon. It comes with a cucumber sald but is $20>.

                1. I second Pearl Oyster Bar.... It's a tiny place but packed with goodness!

                  1. Every monday Ulysees on stone street has a lobster special, i think $20.00. I can't recall everything it includes but several friends have gone and said it was pretty good for the price.

                    1. My brother recently enjoyed Dock's seafood on the upper west side, which has a deal on Sunday and Monday nights where you get 2 lobsters, clams, mussels, salad, potato, and dessert for $37.

                      1. A week or so ago, Ditch Plains was using a little tarragon and some finely chopped celery in the lobster mix. The rolls are slightly charred, which I liked.

                        1. For lobster rolls, Mary's Fish Camp wins for me hands down. I like it better than Pearl Oyster Bar.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: nansue

                            Mary's and Pearl's are identical, they both season with salt, pepper mayo and celery as a filler, what makes one better than the other? About a year ago I went and bought one from each place to go, went home with it and compared. Both the wife and I found them almost identical, except for the following:

                            Mary's was mostly claws and lobster tail, the total weight without bun was 3.2 ounces.

                            Pearl's was mostly knuckles and claws with a total weight of 3.4 ounces

                            Don't get me wrong, I think both places offer good seafood but I wouldn't be able to say they were the best, being the best requires alot and before I found other places I was one of those that would only swear by Mary's or Pearl's because of a lack of options in this type of eatery (seafood shacks).

                            Seems like when it comes to Lobster rolls and seafood, you have to really just go and try, then find that place you always seem happy with and go from there.

                            Good Luck

                            1. re: jonnyk

                              Went to Pearl last night, had lobster roll and partner had grilled lobster.
                              Roll: tons of meat, including big pieces of tail, great buttery roll, shoestring potatoes were hot and fresh, a good deal at $22. No celery filler noticed by me--I think it was just lobster and mayo.
                              Lobster: Either $27 or $29, this was a really big 1.5 lber, tail done just right, it was a female and the charred eggs were fantastic. Grilling cooks the claws a bit more so the meat was a bit drier than the tail but what a great taste.

                              Oysters beforehand: 6 fried (served on a really nice tartar of chopped pickles and mayo) and 6 raw, good but small.
                              Nice variety on the wine list. We had a light, fresh, tangy Bizkaiko Txacolina which was interesting in that it wasn't in the fizzy style.
                              Blueberry pie and hot fudge sundae for dessert.
                              Great friendly service, sat at the bar. When I walked in at 8 she said 30-40 minutes but we actually sat down at about 8:15. (Monday, after all.) This has happened several times at Pearl--the wait never seems to be as long as the original estimate, which is nice.

                              Still love this place and have a hard time wanting to try anywhere else when I get a lobster craving.

                              1. re: jonnyk

                                Likewise, I tend to go back to the same place for the same dish over and over...in this case, Pearl's lobster roll. Thank you for the detailed comparisons. I can't wait to try Mary's.

                                Chubo is running a 3-course lobster menu this month. I just had the lobster salad with blue cheese and caramelized blueberries last night and was very good.

                                Has anyone been to Francisco's on 23rd lately?

                            2. About a year ago, I ordered the lobster roll at the Chelsea Market. It was cheap by New York standard. But the meat was from the claws and knuckles only, so the meat texture is quite different from the tail portion. To their credit, it was from a big lobster, so it was not just the undeveloped pinkish ends. The tail portion is sold by the pound separately. Economically, I understood their reasoning, but it is not exactly what I wanted in a lobster roll.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Amy L

                                "Economically, I understood their reasoning, but it is not exactly what I wanted in a lobster roll."

                                I agree.....

                              2. Aquagrill on Spring/6th Ave has a cold lobster sandwich at lunch. A few months ago it was $15 or $16. It's a nice restaurant for a sit-down meal.

                                1. Tracks in Penn Station has a very good raw bar, and a substantial lobster roll with seasoned fries for $16.95. It's downstairs next to the LIRR ticket windows. Walk past the bar to the dining room.

                                  1. I had a lobster roll at the Mermaid Inn on Sunday evening just to compare it with Pearl Oyster Bar and Mary's Fish Camp. It was really very good and served with Old Bay seasoned fries. I had no shell pieces like one of the posters above mentioned...really enjoyed it. Despite that though, I thought that both Pearl Oyster Bar and Mary's versions were better.

                                    1. I went to Shelley's on 57th a few weeks back b/c we couldn't get in to Nobu57 and the food was surprisingly good. The noise level was unbelievable, but the food was really good for a touristy place.

                                      Anyway, I ordered the lobster roll ($26) and it may have been the best in the city I have had yet. The enormous portion of lobster salad, was mix of all tail meat, a bit of celery and mayo and was nestled into a homemade toasted brioche hot dog roll...served with a silver cup of fries and an arugula and onion salad.


                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: jonnyk

                                        How does Shelly's compare to Pearls?

                                        1. re: Mickey Blue

                                          I had the roll @ shelly's and didn't find it as good as Pearl's , however their crabcakes are some of the best i have had in the city and i have been on the search.

                                          1. re: Mickey Blue

                                            Thanks for checking on that. Report back with your thoughts on the lobster roll.