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Jun 15, 2007 04:33 AM

Lobster rolls - no mayo!

I've eaten my fair share of lobster rolls all over New England. I, too, look for no filler, light mayo and toasted buttered roll. My favorite, of this type, is the lobster roll at the "Raw Bar" in the Marketplace in Mashpee. But that's not what this discussion is about. Years ago, when I went to "Abbott's Lobster in the Rough" near Mystic, Connecticut, I had the most decadent lobster roll - just freshingly steamed and extracted lobster meat, dunked in drawn butter and served on a toasted buttered roll. I went nuts! The next time I found a buttery lobster roll was in Maine - Bar Harbor - and I had to go from place to place to find one with no mayonnaise. Since then - no luck! My wife and I will be moving to Boston at the end of the summer from Washington, DC and want to know - Is there any place in Boston which sells the buttery lobster roll?

P.S. I have already begun devouring the Chowhound Boston boards and am so looking forward to our move. For the past 10 months, we've lived in Washington , DC - went to 119 restaurants; last year, we lived in Philadelphia - went to 139 restaurants; prior to Philly, we lived our whole lives in New York State with New York City restaurants as our standard. I've already asked for Chowhound suggestions on areas to live and restaurants to try ("Moving to Boston" thread), and you have all been so helpful. You'll be hearing a lot more from me.



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  1. The first one to come to mind can be found at Neptune Oyster (cold mayo and warm butter options available). It is generally very well regarded here ( myself included) but some do find this a little heavy because it is served on Brioche. The lobster is lightly sauteed in butter, one trick is to ask for butter on the side, as they usually give a very generous "drizzle" of butter over the lobster meat once it is in the roll.

    1. This is my kind of lobster roll too. Here are a few places where they will make it with butter for you.

      Neptune as mentioned by Food4thought.
      B&G will do it if you ask

      When you want to get down to the shore you can try
      Jakes in Hull, MA
      Evelyn's in Tiverton RI
      Clem & Ursis in Provincetown
      There's a start and I'll add more places as I think of them.

      6 Replies
      1. re: BostonZest

        This is called Connecticut style (vs. New England style with mayo), correct?

        1. re: BostonZest

          menemsha harbor fish market on MV. Check out the pic!

          1. re: trev80

            Wow- it is true that a picture tells a story. The lobster, the lemon, the sunshine- what more could you want?

            1. re: BostonZest

              You inspired a lobster roll craving and I did want to write about Jakes and Hull so we grabbed a little red Mini Cooper Zipcar and went to Hull where I had Lobster roll without mayo. That's the way they make them - just hand picked lobster meat with mayo on the side-- or in my case a bit of melted butter. My husband had a salad with tuna.

              The service here is always outstanding and we had a table with an open window on the water.

            2. Yes, I believe that's a Connecticut-style lobster roll. My favorite is at Lenny-and-Joe's Fish Tale in Madison, CT--just lobster and butter. What's so good about the lobster roll in Mashpee?

              1 Reply
              1. re: MikeA


                The lobster roll at the Raw Bar in Mashpee is just pure lobster meat with plenty of chunks and claws, zero filler, plus just a light coating of mayonnaise. It is expensive (it goes up every year - last season $21), but it is so heavy, laden with so much lobster, it easily feeds 2 people. It is consistently voted as (one of) the best lobster rolls on the Cape - and rightfully so. With a cup of chowder, a stuffed quahog and a cold Sam - I'm in heaven!

              2. It's your lucky day! Today is Friday and the only day of the week that Rachel's Kitchen, in Bay Village, has its Connecticut-style lobster roll on the menu. Hurry over before they sell out!

                14 Replies
                1. re: Blumie

                  Thanks Blumie, but I'm not in Boston yet. My wife an I will be choosing an apartment at the end of June and will move in by September 1st. I'm sure that we'll be at Rachel's Kitchen the first Friday after we arrive.

                  1. re: Blumie

                    I've also heard of a "Rhode Island-style" chowder - what's that all about?

                    1. re: rockpile

                      It's a thinner, brothy chowder quite unlike the thicker New England-style chowder that your spoon will stand up in. Always surprising to me how many folks prefer the thicker, gummier chowder. While they're eating it, that is. Because late into the evening and later yet, one often regrets that choice...

                      It's pitifully easy to make your own chowder, especially in quantity (no problem freezing quarts of it). Then you can easily enjoy it anytime.

                      But make it thin...

                      1. re: mardy

                        "unlike the thicker New England-style chowder that your spoon will stand up in"

                        Respectfully mardy, that is not the way classic N.E. style is made. Properly made, neither thick or thin, it's viscosity is about the same as a well-made fish or seafood chowder would be. The further north you are from Boston the less chances are that you'll be served this touristy, flour-choked, bastardization of real N.E. clam chowdah. Now, what's up with tomatoes in N.Y. style, errr, umm...chowder? :-))

                        1. re: Harp00n

                          Respectfully, Harp00n, I know that's not the way it should be made, but more often than not, that's how it's served. Many, many restaurants promote their chowder as "thick" on menus. I lived north of Boston for 53 years. One of my restaurants in southern New Hampshire served 200 quarts of lunchtime chowder DAILY, because it was thin, tasty chowder. All our competitors for many miles around served the thick version and their sales were nothing like ours...

                          1. re: mardy

                            Hi mardy,
                            I obviously would have no way of knowing that you were in the biz. Nor could I, or would I, doubt what your experiences have been. Having said that, it certainly would appear that yours, in great part, was a savvy local clientele not tourists in search of spackling compound. What other conclusion could I draw from your continued hammering of the competition?

                            I stand by my statement, however, that the further North/Downeast you are from Freeport's outlets the better the chance to get the real thing. That being said, there are still plenty of seafooders in the Greater Boston area that aren't pandering to the tourists. A good example is The Village Restaurant in Essex, Ma. We went there tonight and their Chowdah was spot-on. As is just about anything they do, btw. A bit off topic; I had a 2.5 lb. Lobstah baked-stuffed with Lobstah and all this Irish Kid can say is Oy Vey!

                            In closing, my intent is/was to help enlighten any visiting Summer Hounds on what real New England Chowdah looks like, Certainly it's not those glue-filled, bread bowl atrocities that pass for chowder in San Francisco, for example.
                            All the best,

                            1. re: Harp00n

                              I have to agree with Harp00n - the thick "spoon will stand up" has been in the minority for me (lived in Massachusetts since I was 3). I have found that type of chowder, but in my experience it's not representative of NE clam chowder - maybe more common in NH?.

                              1. re: Rubee

                                Ive had my share of both around mass. I grew up on captain mardins and Legals chowders, both of which id say are the thick style..

                                1. re: hargau

                                  Agreed. Both kinds can be found easily in the area and RI is clear broth (sort of like Legals' light version). While thin is by far my preference, I can tolerate the thick stuff if I view it as a dip for bread rather than a chowder.

                                  1. re: hargau

                                    Can't comment on Marden's, it's too long ago to remember, but Legals neither thick nor thin. It's also very good, btw.

                                    1. re: Harp00n

                                      Then i guess i have not run across the "thick" stuff. I thought you all were calling chowder the consistancy of legals thick. When im in maine the chowders i usually get are no thicker then milk or water with a butter slick on the top.

                                      1. re: hargau

                                        There's almost as much variation in chowdahs as there are in Chilis, and that's a lot. Legals is a bit thicker than I'd like but not so much that the roux is an overpowering factor, IMO. Be very glad that you haven't been presented with some of more egregious glue pots masquerading as chowdah :-)

                        2. re: rockpile

                          I thought Rhode Island chowder was a clear broth with no milk and no tomatoes.

                          1. re: Fort Point

                            That is correct, but rockpile didn't mention tomatoes or milk, I did. There is some hybridization that occurs along the R.I./Ct. border area with Manhattan-style though.