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Luke's Lobster

c11 Oct 5, 2009 01:14 PM

I know it only opened on the 1st but has anyone gone yet and can share how it was?
Thank you!

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    bigkimnyc RE: c11 Oct 5, 2009 01:56 PM

    its great!! fresh succulent lobster perfectly seasoned done up simply!! best lobster roll Ive ever eaten! great addition to a great NYC food block!

    9 Replies
    1. re: bigkimnyc
      small h RE: bigkimnyc Oct 5, 2009 02:21 PM

      How would you compare it to Ed's, Mary's Fish Camp and the late lamented Tides? Those are (and were, in the case of Tides) my three favorites.

      1. re: small h
        NYAngeleno RE: small h Oct 5, 2009 09:57 PM

        Just tried this place for the first time tonight, and I have to agree with bigkimnyc and say it was fantastic. I too agree that it's probably the best lobster roll I've had in NYC. For reference, I've been to Ed's, Mary's, and Pearl's, and others, and I like them in that order (never been to Tides). People will like those three in different orders, but I think the common theme among them is a very "umami-ish" lobster filling due to the mayo along with celery on some of them (I believe). I personally like the Luke's roll better. It's more subtle (but by no means bland). They add herbs that I am still trying to discern, along with a touch of mayo (or butter, if you prefer), and no celery. The meat was fresh and flavorful. The buns were decadently buttered without being overpowering. Also, if you get a chance, definitely check out the crab claws and some of the other (crab, shrimp) rolls.

        At $14 for a full lobster roll, you can't beat the price compared to the others. The rolls here are not as large as those at the others (maybe 75% of amoung of filling?), but they are still pretty substantial. In fact, I think the proportion of meat to bread is better.

        1. re: NYAngeleno
          thursdayclubjason RE: NYAngeleno Oct 14, 2009 10:36 AM

          I thought for $14 that the lobster roll was a bit on the small side but I will agree that it was delicious.

          1. re: thursdayclubjason
            El Tigre RE: thursdayclubjason Oct 14, 2009 10:48 AM

            looking forward to trying Luke's but $8 for a 2oz. (!!!) does seem a little crazy

          2. re: NYAngeleno
            kathryn RE: NYAngeleno Oct 14, 2009 10:49 AM

            The seasonings are salt and pepper, thyme, oregano and celery salt.

            1. re: kathryn
              sam1 RE: kathryn Oct 14, 2009 12:06 PM

              is the bun made in house? brioche? coated with butter?

              ive been going to ed's and mary's for lobster rolls over the last few years but mary's runs out too early in the night and ed's is more mayo based than it originally was when he opened in 2007.

              to ed's credit, his bun is sickly deliciously buttery great.

              1. re: sam1
                egit RE: sam1 Oct 14, 2009 12:10 PM

                the bun is like the tradtional bun you'd get in new england. I'm sure there's an official name for it, but it's like a hotdog roll with the sides shaved off.

                The butter is only on the inside, and then they toast/grill it. The whole sandwich is very good. The lobster meat hardly seems to have any mayo on it at all. It almost seems like they tossed it in a little bit of canola oil. A *very* little bit... just enough to give it a sheen and give the herbs something to cling to.

                1. re: sam1
                  kathryn RE: sam1 Oct 14, 2009 12:43 PM

                  They don't bake their own buns. The brand name escapes me now, but they are commercially baked. When you walk in, you see stacks and stacks of buns in bags.

                2. re: kathryn
                  Wilfrid RE: kathryn Oct 14, 2009 02:00 PM

                  I would ask them to hold the seasoning next time - or just salt and pepper if possible. The oregano was a little overwhelming. It was a good proportion of meat to bun, though.

          3. s
            small h RE: c11 Oct 18, 2009 06:50 AM

            I stopped in last night for the snack-sized lobster roll; my friend had the full grown version. This is definitely the best lobster roll bargain in Manhattan - I can't remember the last time I saw a lobster roll for under $20. And it's not a skimpy portion. It's also very good, except for two things: it's too salty, and the lobster meat is too cold. The contrast between hot bun and icy lobster was weird, and not in a good way. But I would definitely return. Bonus points for the very friendly and efficient staff.

            2 Replies
            1. re: small h
              iFat RE: small h Oct 18, 2009 09:16 AM

              Love Luke's. I could easily put down two (or possibly three) in one sitting. this is one damn good lobster roll and a great addition to NYC. Four ounces of lobster on a lightly grilled and buttered bun. There is just enough mayo and butter to intensify the flavor, but the focus is on simplicity and freshness, which is exactly what eating good lobster is all about. Crab roll isn't half bad either. Well done Luke, well done.


              1. re: iFat
                david sprague RE: iFat Oct 18, 2009 09:23 AM

                tried it for the first time this weekend and yeah, have to agree that it's a top notch value. two ounces/four ounces may not sound like a lot, but it seems like a very good value on the plate/on the roll. had the small version, 'cause i was only looking for a snack and wasn't sure if the place was worthwhile, and was pleasantly surprised. my only caveat was the one mentioned above -- i wish the lobster itself wasn't served so cold. otherwise, the ratio of meat to mayo, roll to butter and spice to both was great.

            2. kelea RE: c11 Oct 22, 2009 02:06 PM

              Is the butter version also cold? I was hoping for a hot version like Neptune Oyster in Boston where they pour melted butter over the lobster but It sounds like it's exactly like the mayo version but with butter

              6 Replies
              1. re: kelea
                small h RE: kelea Oct 22, 2009 02:12 PM

                Yes, all the sandwiches are cold. I don't think the place is equipped to heat anything but the buns.

                1. re: kelea
                  sjjn RE: kelea Oct 23, 2009 09:33 AM

                  Had both versions at Neptune over 4th of July. Those were the best i'd ever had. Can't wait to try luke's. 7th st is probably my favorite street in the city. especially from bowery to ave c.

                  1. re: sjjn
                    kelea RE: sjjn Oct 23, 2009 11:03 AM

                    I actually went last night. It was mighty delicious. Now i will not put them on the same level as Neptune at all. But for what it's worth, Luke's is really good. I tried all three sandwiches, and they were all light yet extremely flavorful and fresh

                    1. re: kelea
                      gloriousfood RE: kelea Oct 23, 2009 02:44 PM

                      Agreed. I had the 3 sandwiches (or rolls?) and loved them. I didn't think they were cold--just room temperature. Either way, it didn't bother me. I thought they were really tasty and, somewhat to my surprise, I was getting a tad uncomfortably full midway through my last roll.

                      1. re: gloriousfood
                        kelea RE: gloriousfood Oct 23, 2009 02:54 PM

                        ahha i felt the same. by the time i got to the lobster i was groaning. I had to eat just the meat and no bread.

                        The temp was perfect yesterday cause it was warm out and the place had the heat on so it was WARM inside. the cold rolls were perfect

                        1. re: kelea
                          jmh891 RE: kelea Oct 24, 2009 11:06 AM

                          The lobster roll was good, but not compared to the taste/value of the mermaid inn around the corner. I paid $20 for an 8 oz(!!!!) lobster sandwich with old bay fries AND a beer. Can anyone beat that?

                2. e
                  edwardspk RE: c11 Oct 24, 2009 05:29 PM

                  Ate at Luke's for the first time yesterday. While I enjoyed sampling the crab, shrimp and lobster rolls (yes, I had all 3), I prefer the heavier mayo at Pearl and Mary's. Plus, given it's location on the Lower East Side, it's not exactly as convenient as Pearl and Mary's for me. So I probably won't be heading back soon. One plus, though - Luke's is cheaper than Pearl or Mary's, if you're willing to go to the effort of getting there and willing to forego the comfort of table service. Also, be warned they don't have a beer or liquor license.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: edwardspk
                    kathryn RE: edwardspk Oct 24, 2009 08:14 PM

                    Luke's Lobster is technically part of the East Village, and from what my Maine friends tell me, lots of mayo is not the traditional Maine prep.

                    1. re: kathryn
                      edwardspk RE: kathryn Oct 25, 2009 06:30 AM

                      That may be true. I wasn't trying to describe more mayo as more authentic to New England, just as my preference in a lobster roll.

                      1. re: kathryn
                        foodwhisperer RE: kathryn Oct 25, 2009 05:12 PM

                        Every lobster roll ive had in Maine had mayo on it. In nova scotia they tend to mix crab and lobster together also with mayo. Moon cake uses no mayo and least expensive ive seen and the lobster is warm

                        1. re: foodwhisperer
                          kathryn RE: foodwhisperer Oct 26, 2009 08:49 AM

                          There's some mayo on the Luke's roll but it's a very very small amount. The lobster is supposed to come to the forefront.

                    2. l
                      livetoeatnyc RE: c11 Oct 24, 2009 09:07 PM

                      I read on Luke's website that it is only claw meat served in the bun (http://www.lukeslobster.com/a-lobster...) -- is that the case at most other places in the city? I usually get my lobster rolls at Pearl's and I think I recall some tail meat in there...

                      1. l
                        livetoeatnyc RE: c11 Oct 24, 2009 09:10 PM

                        Also, does anyone know if they deliver or plan on delivering in the future?

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: livetoeatnyc
                          fishermb RE: livetoeatnyc Oct 25, 2009 12:57 PM

                          I havent been by yet, is this a sit-down and order with a server joint? To-go only?

                          1. re: fishermb
                            kelea RE: fishermb Oct 26, 2009 07:09 AM

                            it's pretty much to-go. the whole place is like 50 sq ft

                            1. re: kelea
                              small h RE: kelea Oct 26, 2009 08:01 AM

                              I ate there. There are about 15 counter seats (all full, on my visit). You order at the register.

                              1. re: small h
                                kelea RE: small h Oct 26, 2009 08:12 AM

                                When I went there were no more than 8 stools and even though we ate in there, it was really uncomfortable. It was too hot and no room to move. So even though there are seats there, i would not recommend going there with an intention of a leisurely meal

                        2. m
                          Miss Rennie RE: c11 Jan 1, 2010 04:16 PM

                          You can ask for no butter or no mayo; I don't like the flavoring in the butter, so I always get it with just a bit of mayo. Grilled rolls are great! They now have lobster bisque and three other soups, and they plan to add delivery and lobster tails in future. You get only claw and knuckle meat on the rolls at present, and sometimes the meat's a bit mushy. But for 14 bucks it's worth it.

                          Of course, better still, go to the Lobster Pound on Bleecker or in Chelsea Market, buy a 35-buck container of cooked lobster meat and you have enough for four rolls. Including two tail pieces.

                          1. c
                            chuckle chuckle RE: c11 Jan 16, 2010 02:13 PM

                            Having traveled extensively throughout New England, Luke's gets an A as the lobster roll was perfectly prepared. In NYC, this place is really pleasing and I wish them the best of luck and a successful future.

                            Luke's Lobster
                            93 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: chuckle chuckle
                              uwsister RE: chuckle chuckle Sep 15, 2010 04:54 AM

                              Is it as good as Red's? Not talking about size (obviously can't compare) but flavor-wise.

                              1. re: uwsister
                                cubanat RE: uwsister Sep 15, 2010 01:15 PM

                                I find Red's to be the least flavorful lobster roll in Maine. It's a tourist trap that actually does make really good fried oysters though.

                                1. re: cubanat
                                  uwsister RE: cubanat Sep 15, 2010 04:30 PM

                                  You are quite lucky if you've found Red's to be the least flavorful - I happen to like their lobster rolls quite a bit, but then again I like my lobster rolls pretty unadorned with plenty of lobster meat (Red's, Beach Plum in North Hampton, etc.) and we almost never wait as we don't go to Maine during the peak season. I don't usually care for fried oysters but maybe next time I'll give it a try!

                            2. guttergourmet RE: c11 Jan 17, 2010 06:08 AM

                              Here's my review.

                              16 Replies
                              1. re: guttergourmet
                                cubanat RE: guttergourmet Sep 14, 2010 12:26 PM

                                Went here last night and have to say that it was AWESOME--in regards to satisfying one's craving for a lobster roll it is on par with Pearl's but without the wait & expense. Granted not a full service resto but service was super and they have those cool Maine sodas (but not MOxie!)

                                1. re: cubanat
                                  sugartoof RE: cubanat Sep 14, 2010 01:27 PM

                                  I finally tried this, and unless they gave me the wrong order, the default is no butter or mayo, or celery or anything on the roll. It was served cold. Not lukewarm, not hot, outright cold. The bun, was soaked and grilled in butter, but no longer warm. Having tried the 3 half sandwich special, I liked the shrimps best of all....and regret I didn't save my money for the Brooklyn Lobster Pound, or another spot instead.

                                  1. re: sugartoof
                                    cubanat RE: sugartoof Sep 14, 2010 02:35 PM

                                    mine was perfectly buttered and crisp (warm) and cold lobster dressed lightly but not with mayo. perfectly seasoned but not overly salty or peppery in the least. I have never ordered a lobster roll anywhere and asked them to OR been promted to change the way they prepare it. These were top notch and oddly enough I liked the shrimp the least. the taste of the lobster was heavenly!

                                    1. re: sugartoof
                                      kathryn RE: sugartoof Sep 15, 2010 09:27 AM

                                      Yeah the dressing they use is extremely light, perhaps they forgot? Or used an even lighter hand than usual? I do think they should serve the roll with room temperature meat. I think Luke's is straight from the fridge.

                                      1. re: kathryn
                                        gutsofsteel RE: kathryn Sep 15, 2010 09:31 AM

                                        Luke's lobster rolls are way too cold, underdressed, and really pretty uninteresting.

                                        1. re: gutsofsteel
                                          uwsister RE: gutsofsteel Sep 15, 2010 09:43 AM

                                          Cold? Like out of the fridge cold? That's not good.

                                          1. re: gutsofsteel
                                            kathryn RE: gutsofsteel Sep 15, 2010 10:25 AM

                                            Ouch! Where do you recommend someone go for a lobster roll in Manhattan?

                                            1. re: kathryn
                                              uwsister RE: kathryn Sep 15, 2010 10:33 AM

                                              This is kind of random, but who was the guy featured in NY mag a couple of months back? The one who makes lobster rolls out of his house or something like that. Was he in Manhattan or BK? Anybody tried his stuff?

                                              1. re: uwsister
                                                EV_Eats RE: uwsister Sep 15, 2010 12:38 PM

                                                Dr. Claw is his name I think. He's on the DOH hitlist, so I don't think he'll be still in business, or just be super low key. If you Google his name, there's plenty of coverage about the whole debacle. Or check out the video of him on Food Curated.

                                                BTW, I really like Luke's Lobster. I'm a bit of a purist when it come to my rolls, so I like the fact that Luke's are uncluttered, they use huge chunks of claw meat which I love. As the weather cools down, be sure to try the Lobster Bisque too!

                                                Luke's Lobster
                                                93 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

                                                1. re: EV_Eats
                                                  uwsister RE: EV_Eats Sep 15, 2010 04:31 PM

                                                  This underworld lobster roll-dealing business fascinates me. I will track him down.

                                            2. re: gutsofsteel
                                              sugartoof RE: gutsofsteel Sep 15, 2010 03:13 PM

                                              "Luke's lobster rolls are way too cold, underdressed, and really pretty uninteresting."

                                              That sums it up accurately.

                                              (There was a thin coating of mayo on the ice cold bun. It was visible, but didn't register as having any flavor)

                                            3. re: kathryn
                                              cubanat RE: kathryn Sep 15, 2010 02:06 PM

                                              I would think the health dept. might take issue with room temp lobster, crab & shrimp meat no?

                                              1. re: cubanat
                                                EV_Eats RE: cubanat Sep 15, 2010 02:21 PM

                                                Not just that. Not in a commercial, licensed kitchen, etc.

                                                1. re: cubanat
                                                  kathryn RE: cubanat Sep 15, 2010 10:10 PM

                                                  The rolls I've had at other establishments don't have cold meat. Not sure how they accomplish this, but there must be some way.

                                                  1. re: kathryn
                                                    chompchomp RE: kathryn Sep 16, 2010 01:23 PM

                                                    Of the lobster rolls in NY, Luke's has been my least favorite. The lobster was so cold on my roll, it was almost icy. My new favorite cheap LR (besides Dr. Claw) is the Red Hook Lobster Pound. They use scallions instead of celery, which gives it a nice little bite.

                                            4. re: cubanat
                                              foodwhisperer RE: cubanat Sep 14, 2010 10:56 PM

                                              I couldnt get in last night, it was so packed. So far I think Mooncake has the best lobster rolls ( no mayo)..i'll give my luke's review this week. Pearl and Mary's I think are overpriced and over rated. Lure isnt bad. I like the Clam Bar's lobster roll in Nappeague, and a great spot in Nova Scotia but that's too far isnt it.

                                          2. BluPlateSpec RE: c11 Sep 15, 2010 09:49 AM

                                            We went there after the Governors Island Food Truck fiasco. Waited in line for over an hour for a lobster roll before leaving. Went straight to Luke's and had an awesome lobster roll, tender, sweet and huge amount of meat. Roll, chips and a natural soda from Maine $17., great price and great food. Go there.

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: BluPlateSpec
                                              sugartoof RE: BluPlateSpec Sep 15, 2010 03:16 PM

                                              $17 as a great price? Yikes. I think it's about the going rate for Manhattan.

                                              I've actually been seeing lines at Luke's on a regular basis now. No more lines at Gray's Papaya anymore, and that's with the rebirth of their 50cent hot dog. Recessions are tough.

                                              Gray's Papaya
                                              539 8th Ave, New York, NY 10018

                                              1. re: sugartoof
                                                kathryn RE: sugartoof Sep 15, 2010 10:26 PM

                                                It's $14 at Luke's if you get a regular sized roll without a drink or chips, IIRC. It's a good price when you see the competition has priced their lobster rolls at $25-30.

                                                Pearl Oyster Bar sells theirs for $27, it comes with fries. Mermaid Inn's is $26, with fries. Lure's is $29 and comes with chips. Mary's Fish Camp has been selling theirs at $30 recently.

                                                Pearl Oyster Bar
                                                18 Cornelia St, New York, NY 10014

                                                1. re: kathryn
                                                  Wilfrid RE: kathryn Sep 16, 2010 06:51 AM

                                                  Correct. The going rate in Manhattan was $25 to $30 (usually shown on menus as Market Price) until Luke's opened. Luke's essentially cut the price in half.

                                                  1. re: Wilfrid
                                                    cubanat RE: Wilfrid Sep 16, 2010 04:14 PM

                                                    Exactly!! I LOVE LUKES!!! But seriously the lobster meat was not ice cold on our visit it was maybe chilled slightly but the bun was perfectly cooked. warm and crisp on the outside & golden hued!! My FCH did tell me that if I had bothered to read the fine print on the menu board that they do offer to make the rolls sans seasonings and mayo. I am in the school of lobster roll lovers that says "get it the way the house makes it and that is all. If it's great then I will get two more"

                                            2. thew RE: c11 Sep 16, 2010 04:45 PM

                                              i've only eaten at the upper east side lukes. it' good, but not great. it was underseasoned, and i like some mayo in my lobster roll. i thought id like lukes butter version, hoping for light and exciting,but it was kinda flat. once i salted it it was a bit better, but still...

                                              pearl is still my fave in manhattan

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