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victoria060 Mar 24, 2011 07:21 AM

I hope you chowhounders can help me. I'm looking for a restaurant that serves 3 to 5 lb. lobsters for dinner. It's my brother's birthday and lobster happens to be his favorite. I know the steak houses (Sparks, Morton's and The Palm) serve big lobsters but we've been there for lobster before. Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Westchester or New Jersey would be okay also.

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    nmprisons RE: victoria060 Mar 24, 2011 07:39 AM

    Try oceana. http://www.oceanarestaurant.com/menus...

    120 W 49th St, New York, NY 10020

    1. s
      steakrules85 RE: victoria060 Mar 24, 2011 08:44 AM

      Yep Oceana for sure. Had the 3 lb lobster and it was amazing.

      120 W 49th St, New York, NY 10020

      1. sgordon RE: victoria060 Mar 24, 2011 11:25 AM

        A 3lb-er at Oceana would be $81. And mind you, a 3 lb lobster only issues about 12 oz of meat, at best. And then they have the cojones to charge you $4 extra for sauce, because they couldn't just throw that in on the house at that point. Add the tax & tip and you've spent three figures on one person's entree. And you haven't got apps or dessert, yet. Most steakhouses are going to be in that same price range.

        So, personally, I couldn't see going that route. I go to a high-end restaurant for the chef's creativity and skill. If they're just steaming or broiling a (dramatically overpriced) beast and handing it to you with drawn butter... well, I could do that at home.

        On the other hand, you could go to Oriental Garden and get the double lobster - usually two 1.5-lb-ers - for $30 give or take. Same amount of meat in the end - it's a myth that larger lobsters issue a larger percentage of meat by weight. And most chefs consider the 1.5 - 2.5 range the best quality - after that many feel they start going downhill. OG is well-regarded as having the best, freshest seafood in the neighborhood, and a number of big-name chefs (David Bouley & David Chang come to mind) are among their regulars for whatever that's worth. One assumes they know a quality lobster when they bite into it. I'm sure they can do larger lobsters as well - a 3 lb-er instead of the two 1.5-ers - on request, though you might want to check in advance.

        If you wanna go BIG, though, Ping's does (did?) a special feast with a 10-lb monster as the main course.

        Oriental Garden
        14 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10013

        22 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

        120 W 49th St, New York, NY 10020

        2 Replies
        1. re: sgordon
          steakrules85 RE: sgordon Mar 24, 2011 12:09 PM

          I agree it is a bit pricy but I split that and the soft shell crabs with my father last summer and it was incredible. Oceana has some really good food and I love the decor.

          120 W 49th St, New York, NY 10020

          1. re: steakrules85
            rrems RE: steakrules85 Mar 24, 2011 07:33 PM

            I agree with steak, Oceana is IMO the best seafood restaurant in Manhattan. It doesn't appear that price is a major consideration based on the places you have been to. I assume you will be ordering a number of other dishes aside from the lobster, and everything from appetizers to side dishes to dessert is just superb. They have a great wine list too, including some really nice selections at the lower end of the price scale, and the sommelier is very helpful.

        2. j
          j. marie RE: victoria060 Mar 24, 2011 12:01 PM

          The lobsters at Centro Vasco are always done to perfection and they have a variety of sizes.

          Francisco's Centro Vasco
          159 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011

          1 Reply
          1. re: j. marie
            fishermb RE: j. marie Mar 24, 2011 12:26 PM

            I will second Centro Vasco, I had a 3 pounder there about a year ago and it was fantastic, broiled with bread crumbs it's one of my favorite meals in the city.

          2. Motosport RE: victoria060 Mar 24, 2011 12:14 PM

            With regard to small VS large lobster:
            We are out East on the North Fork of LI in the Summer and get fresh lobster often. I.M.H.O. the smaller lobsters taste so much better. The local fish markets usually have a special price for the "culls" (one claw lobsters). Most of them are 1-1.5 pounds.
            The larger lobsters look great but most of the weight is in the shell. You get less meat per pound. The twin lobster special at Oriental Garden is a bargain.

            1. f
              fourunder RE: victoria060 Mar 24, 2011 12:32 PM

              Thinking a little out of the box, I would also recommend a Chinatown restaurant.....steamed with ginger and scallion......if you decide to venture into New Jersey, Ferry Street in Newark has a few places to choose from.....$32 for a twin special......Jumbo 4-12 pounders @ $11.95/lb. The Manor in West Orange has a quality AYCE for 45.95 W-F. Weekends are higher at 52.95.

              4 Replies
              1. re: fourunder
                chefdaddyo RE: fourunder Mar 24, 2011 03:41 PM

                How about Compass on 80th & Amsterdam? I have only been there for cocktails, but their excellent menu used to list a three-pounder for (I believe) for $39. That was approx seven months ago.

                208 West 70th Street, New York, NY 10023

                1. re: chefdaddyo
                  mahler5 RE: chefdaddyo Mar 27, 2011 07:22 AM

                  Compass is on 70th, east of Broadway. You must be confusing it with another restaurant.

                  1. re: mahler5
                    rrems RE: mahler5 Mar 27, 2011 09:14 AM

                    No, Compass is on 70th, west of Amsterdam (and Amsterdam is west of Broadway at that point). I think chefdaddyo is right about the lobster, but it is no longer on the menu.

                    1. re: rrems
                      mahler5 RE: rrems Mar 27, 2011 09:19 AM

                      Thank you for the correction.

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                pauliface RE: victoria060 Mar 24, 2011 05:47 PM

                Anybody have current opinions on El Quijote on 23rd?
                Lobster was a specialty and the place was a hoot, but I have not been for many years.

                El Quijote
                226 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011

                1. h
                  howster RE: victoria060 Mar 26, 2011 01:30 AM

                  city lobster and steak has them.

                  City Lobster and Steak
                  121 West 49th Street, New York, NY 10020

                  1. v
                    victoria060 RE: victoria060 Apr 2, 2011 12:48 PM

                    Chowhounders thank you so much for all of the great recommendations.In the end we decided to go to our old stand by Meson Madrid in Palisades Park N.J. and as usual it did not disappoint. 4 lb lobsters were $54.00 with veg., fried Spanish potatoes and yellow rice, and salad or soup. Oriental Garden sounds very interesting and will diffently give it a try. Funny thing when my sister and I went to Maine ,the towns people recommended us to go to a Chinese restaurant in Portsmith New Hampshire (cooked with ginger and scallions) it was sooooo delicious that we went back again the next night.. Ironically we could not find any lobsters whether in a restaurand or fish market that was over 2lbs because they said the larger lobsters are sent to the High end restaurants (namely the steak houses for big$$$$$). Thanks again for all your suggestions.

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