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Best lobster roll in the city?

xfoodsmith May 31, 2007 06:32 AM

Summertime & i'm looking for the best lobster roll in town, any ideas?

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  1. k
    kiworan79 RE: xfoodsmith May 31, 2007 07:03 AM

    Pearl Oyster Bar -- hands down.

    4 Replies
    1. re: kiworan79
      whit565 RE: kiworan79 Jun 7, 2007 04:58 PM

      I agree. Pearl without question and we've eaten them all. But as Ed Levine pointed out this week on seriouseats.com (and as I have on this site) if you eat Mary's or Ed's lobster roll, you are really eating Pearl's. They both worked at Pearl before leaving and ripping off the Mothership.

      1. re: whit565
        JoLi RE: whit565 Jun 8, 2007 06:29 AM

        Although I ate at Ed's last weekend, and while it's a good try, it is no way better or even equal to Pearl's.

        It was actually sort of bland, had to shake some sea salt on it.

      2. re: kiworan79
        MichaelK RE: kiworan79 Nov 27, 2007 09:57 PM

        I just tried the Pearl Oyster Bar lobster roll and I was disappointed. The lobster was overcooked (i.e. tough). Many restaurants seem to be obsessed with overcooking lobster but I thought such a specialized place would be more cautious. All of that mayo didn't really do anything for me either.

        1. re: MichaelK
          MMRuth RE: MichaelK Dec 16, 2007 04:10 AM

          I'm a huge POB fan - we were there this week, and I did think that the lobster meat was a bit chewy this time. Don't mind the mayo though - I dip the fries in the "extra".

      3. m
        MIKELOCK34 RE: xfoodsmith May 31, 2007 08:12 AM

        Pearl Oyster Bar--hands down.

        1. m
          Mrsfblatt RE: xfoodsmith May 31, 2007 09:35 AM

          Just tried Black Pearl, which they claim is the best lobster roll in the city, sorry folks far from! Hard to choose between Mary's Fish Camp and Pearl's. I may have to go back for another round of testing!

          1. n
            NinaNYC RE: xfoodsmith May 31, 2007 10:35 AM

            I am a Mary's Fish Camp loyalist (as I live in the neighborhood) but last night committed adultery and went to the new Ed's Lobster Bar on Lafayette. I have to say, the lobster roll there was phenomenal and even more generously-sized than Mary's or Pearl's. Sides were very tasty too. And at least for now, there was no wait for a table at 7:45pm, though the place was full by 8:30.

            1. Nosher RE: xfoodsmith May 31, 2007 10:50 AM

              For lobster rolls: Pearl.
              For grilled lobster: Mary's.


              NYCnosh* http://nycnosh.com

              1. j
                JoLi RE: xfoodsmith May 31, 2007 11:13 AM

                My vote goes to Pearl, based on customer service (I once had a bad experience at Mary's which I have written about)

                1. k
                  kobetobiko RE: xfoodsmith May 31, 2007 11:24 AM

                  While I enjoy the lobster roll at Pearl's, I actually have had very good lobster roll at Fresh in Tribeca. It was on par, if not better, then Pearl's. The price was higher mainly because (i believe) the decor and the restaurant sitting. Service was definitely much much better than Pearl's.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: kobetobiko
                    RawTunaFan RE: kobetobiko May 31, 2007 05:29 PM

                    I also prefer the lobster roll at Fresh over the rolls at Pearls. I think the owners of Fresh actually own a seafood distribution company that provides seafood to all of Manhattan premier 4 star restaurants, so at least you know that their selection of lobster as well as anything else, is as fresh as it can get!

                  2. r
                    randymac88 RE: xfoodsmith May 31, 2007 01:42 PM

                    I'm a big fan of lobster rolls, and I've got to say that Ed's Lobster Bar has an extremely kick-ass version.

                    Surprisingly, Lure Fishbar also made a damn good one as well.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: randymac88
                      Souper RE: randymac88 Jun 1, 2007 04:14 PM

                      Lure Fishbar was my NYC lobster roll initiation, and I wasn't too impressed given that it's priced higher than the other spots. Not to mention the service, the staff seems to resent you as soon as you fail to order wine.

                      Actually, it was fine except that the meat was too chewy, and ice cold to boot. I couldn't pinpoint what was wrong with it except that when we walked out, my companion said "the lobster salad was pretty cold" - that's what had been bothering me all night long. Cold is fine, Cool is better, but Ice cold kind of ruined it for me.

                    2. t
                      tpigeon RE: xfoodsmith Jun 2, 2007 12:56 AM

                      Just out of curiosity, I heard tides made a great one but have heard no love thus far. Anyone care to comment?

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: tpigeon
                        MMRuth RE: tpigeon Jun 2, 2007 05:37 AM

                        I had one there - not particularly thrilled with it - had dill - though I like dill, I didn't like it with the lobster. Can't remember the other details, but have no desire to return there. Pearl's lobster roll is still my favorite, but those are the only two I've tried in Manhattan - as opposed to on the East End.

                        1. re: tpigeon
                          stuartlafonda RE: tpigeon Jun 4, 2007 12:49 PM

                          I think Tides is a fantastic restaurant, but the lobster roll is a peculiar item at Tides. I like my lobster roll to just be lobster and mayo on a bun ,but that is not the Tides way. The menu changes seasonally and they pick a region/cuisine that they use as an accent to many dishes.This winter it was a Norwegian theme and the lobster roll had horseradish and dill. Now the accent is "Americana" and it has diced cucumbers.One time it was Greek, but i don't remember what the extra ingredient was. So, it is not your average lobster roll. The second problem with the version at Tides is that it is served with yucca chips, nothing beats great fries. My favorite, by far, is Pearl.

                          1. re: tpigeon
                            kayonyc RE: tpigeon Sep 19, 2007 01:28 PM

                            I liked mine at Tides. I can't remember what extra ingredient they incorporated into the mix, but I do recall that instead of that conventional roll, they used something akin to brioche - which actually worked for me. Loved the sweet potato chips accompaniment.

                            1. re: kayonyc
                              RGR RE: kayonyc Nov 26, 2007 12:34 PM

                              At Tides, the lobster roll is somewhat unusual. The mayo mix always includes an herb -- during the summer it was basil, right now, it's tarragon -- as well as finely-diced cucumber, lemon juice, and black pepper. I like these additions though I'm sure there are many who would view them as "sacriligeous." lol

                          2. c
                            cricri7 RE: xfoodsmith Jun 2, 2007 07:59 AM

                            I had one at only one place in the city, so I can't talk about the other ones, and I loved it...it was at BLT fish. Everyhting was excellent, the fries, the cheese bun they bring you first, the coleslaw. I could not eat a thing when I got out of there. It was around 20$ at lunch time, but you get a lot for it.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: cricri7
                              tsiblis RE: cricri7 Jun 2, 2007 11:38 AM

                              I like most of them but the one at Chelsea Market's Fish Place is cheaper and I think seasoned better. It's not a restaurant, more like having a picnic indoors. The chowder is good too.

                            2. Yaqo Homo RE: xfoodsmith Jun 2, 2007 01:18 PM

                              NYT dining section had an article maybe 2-3 years ago about a very good "secret" lobster roll stand set up in the back of a nondescript sportsbar or something.... does anyone remember what this place is/was called?

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Yaqo Homo
                                Lucia RE: Yaqo Homo Jun 2, 2007 04:18 PM

                                Black Pearl. It's now reopened in Chelsea. I haven't been.

                              2. b
                                burp RE: xfoodsmith Jun 2, 2007 02:48 PM

                                The original lobster roll was at nathan's coney island, cheap and good and hot. Cyril's in east hampton has good lobster roll at half the price of Mary's,, Mary's lobster roll is good but $28 bucks for a lobster roll is as big a rip off as ive seen . You can get a nice big lobster at francisco's on 23 rd st. forget the lobster roll.

                                1. w
                                  wheretherearewolves RE: xfoodsmith Jun 2, 2007 05:57 PM

                                  hey i've been eating 3-4x/week @ ED's Lobster Bar - on lafayette its bangin!
                                  Ed McFarland the old sioux chef from P>O>B is the head chef there. Lobster roll is on point but even better is the softshell crab sandwich. Check it-

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: wheretherearewolves
                                    wlark RE: wheretherearewolves Jun 4, 2007 02:44 AM

                                    Haven't had the softshell crab sandwich yet, but I second Ed's for its delicious lobster roll.

                                    1. re: wlark
                                      sam1 RE: wlark Jun 4, 2007 06:13 AM

                                      i actually went to pearl oyster for the first time in nearly 7 years on friday evening...and while the lobster roll was enjoyable...it was way heavy on the mayonaise. it seemed straight from a bucket to be honest.

                                      for me to be impressed with a good lobster roll, i need hunks of meat, some mayo and butter on a great toasted roll with butter...i think ill stick with reds in maine.

                                  2. p
                                    pastoralia RE: xfoodsmith Jun 4, 2007 06:32 AM

                                    While Pearl is great it is also pretty expensive.

                                    Jordan's Lobster Dock (way out in Sheapeshead Bay) has them a lot cheaper...about $15 a roll of fresh lobster. You add your own butter or mayo to taste. It's worth the trip...last summer they had 3 one and a quater pound lobsters for $30. I'd get them cooked and make my own salad at home. It's worth the trip.

                                    And I know I'll get pooh-poohed for saying it I love the super cheap lobster at Fairway in Red Hook.

                                    Look, if it's not Lunch in Montauk- you take what you can get.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: pastoralia
                                      bigdsgoats RE: pastoralia Jun 4, 2007 03:00 PM

                                      I had the lobster roll at Lunch this weekend, and I thought it was pretty bland compared to those I've had in the city. BLT Fish is still my favorite, if only for the brioche roll.

                                    2. jrazzle RE: xfoodsmith Jun 4, 2007 02:55 PM

                                      There's an article in the Post about this topic... http://www.nypost.com/seven/06032007/...

                                      1. c
                                        ceasar11 RE: xfoodsmith Jun 8, 2007 06:31 AM

                                        just want to mention Mermaid Inn on Second.

                                        1. i
                                          iheartlobster RE: xfoodsmith Sep 19, 2007 01:24 PM

                                          Best lobster roll in the city is a matter of taste, so if you like lots of Mayo Pearl Oyster is the best. If you like a classic lobster roll then its hands down Ed's Lobster bar. i have done my due diligence and research, and most NYC lobster rolls use TOO MUCH MAYO...

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: iheartlobster
                                            PhishFoodie RE: iheartlobster Sep 20, 2007 11:05 AM

                                            totally ageree on the too much mayo most places. I just tried BLT Fish's roll and found that too "wet" as well, & it had an interesting flavor I didn't care for. It's one I wouldn't order again, though I enjoyed everything else I ate there.

                                            LUNCH is my favorite on earth, and way cheaper than anything in the city, but I can't go out there often enough ;) I really like Mermaid Inn, but right now I'd say Ed's is my winner in the city. Now I wish I'd gone there for lunch today.

                                            1. re: iheartlobster
                                              sam1 RE: iheartlobster Nov 26, 2007 09:29 AM

                                              totally agree with you...and im a huge ed's fan.

                                            2. Lori SF RE: xfoodsmith Nov 26, 2007 08:53 AM

                                              We were in Manhattan for only one day wanted to try as many lobster rolls as we could. Mary's Fish Camp was indeed very good, a bit more mayo style than I care for but good fresh chuncks of lobster and soft roll, loved this place over all.
                                              We wanted to compare it to Pearl's but they were closed for the Thanksgiving holiday, sadly did not try the roll from here.

                                              We catched the last train to Chappaqua where we were staying for the holiday and got a lobster roll to go from the Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station. Not sure if I would say it was better than Mary's only because it was late evening and it was a bit chewy but I would imagine earlier in the day it would of been fresher. The lobster roll from the Oyster Bar in Grand Central had less mayo which I give points to And they were able to accommodate getting us a roll together in less than 15 min. so we would not miss our train.

                                              1. o
                                                olsher RE: xfoodsmith Nov 26, 2007 09:09 AM

                                                I'm surprised not to see Ditch Plains mentioned here. For my money (and lobster rolls require a lot of it), their lobster roll is better than all the rest because of the lobster-to-mayo ratio (high), and also because of the buttered hot dog roll. You should try it before making your final judgment. (Caveat: it comes on a bed of dismal sweet potato chips, requiring you to buy a side of pretty decent fries.)

                                                1. k
                                                  kam0424 RE: xfoodsmith Nov 28, 2007 01:43 PM

                                                  I liked Mermaid Inn's, much less mayo than others that I have had. Would like to try Ditch Plains though.

                                                  1. s
                                                    so_hungry RE: xfoodsmith Dec 10, 2007 07:11 PM

                                                    was wondering... are lobster rolls seasonal at all?

                                                    i'm coming from the west coast and will be out there in feb; would be thrilled to try my first lobster roll!!!

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: so_hungry
                                                      Lori SF RE: so_hungry Dec 13, 2007 08:47 PM

                                                      Lobsters don't really have a season, but winter is the worst because the harsh conditions during the winter weather, is the most challenging to catch and harvest and they are smaller. I am a lobster roll crazy and I hate to tell you this my friend but your fist lobster roll should not be had in Manhattan or maybe that is a good thing. Getting out to Portland or Martha's Vineyard, Edgartown and other New England coastal spots will ruin it for you because there is nothing like it.

                                                      I did like Mary's Fish Camp but still the mayo thing bothers me.

                                                      1. re: Lori SF
                                                        so_hungry RE: Lori SF Dec 15, 2007 02:20 PM

                                                        ok, got it. i'll pass until i can do it right, then.

                                                        thank you!!

                                                    2. l
                                                      lukebdonnelly79 RE: xfoodsmith Dec 14, 2007 06:02 PM

                                                      I can't fathom the overwhelming support of Pearl's. Maybe I just had their lobster roll on a bad day, I don't know, but I found it to be terribly mediocre-, bland, too much mayo, the lobster meat was tough. For me Mary's and Mermaid Inn are way better.

                                                      1. samersova RE: xfoodsmith Dec 16, 2007 07:09 AM

                                                        I will second the Lure Lobster Roll
                                                        Its very good

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