Neither of us could remember how Lobster Landing ended up on our list of summer plans, but it had been there since last year so my boyfriend and I decided to finally cross it off.
Why drive two hours from the Boston area to a lobster shack in Clinton, Connecticut, you ask? Because I had heard whispers across the web that it had the best hot-with-butter lobster roll in New England, and rumors just don’t satisfy my taste buds. I had to see for myself if the legend was true.
Spoiler: It was.
You think you’ve had a lobster roll—Maine-style, cold with mayo—but you are mistaken. You haven’t had a lobster roll until you’ve had Connecticut-style, hot with butter, and then you’ll never have anything else.
I can count on one hand the restaurants around Boston where I’ve had the Connecticut-style (Neptune Oyster, Mare, City Landing, Row 34) because they hardly ever appear on Boston-area menus. The scarcity baffles me, because at the restaurants that offer hot-with-butter, I see all the tables around me ordering it.
Wednesday, May 14, 2014. It was a lazy summer Wednesday. Around midnight I had beaten Mass Effect 2. Having saving the galaxy from certain annihilation and upped my gamerscore by 215G, I could finally make room in my schedule for a visit to Lobster Landing.
Lobster Landing is a waterfront shack. Ocean view speckled with boats and docks, see-through plastic to brace against the sea breeze, floor of crushed shells, menu on a dry-erase board, fishermen at the table next to us chatting about crayfish.
My boyfriend took the first bite and said, “Nic, I think we just found the Frank Pepe’s of lobster rolls.”
He was right. “Why is all the best food in Connecticut?” I asked. “And why are we still in Massachusetts?”
A little drizzle of lemon opened up my taste buds for the butter and sweet, uber-fresh lobster meat. The thin roll was toasted very slightly on top, with butter soaking into the bottom of the roll—a heavenly moment for my taste buds. When hot butter occasionally dripped onto the tinfoil, I quickly mopped it up.
There were no sides. We didn’t need them.
The lobster pieces were smaller than I usually see on hot lobster rolls. This made Lobster Landing’s roll easier to eat without a knife and fork, which is good because I had forgotten to grab some at the counter and I wasn’t about to get up and risk my hungry boyfriend finishing the roll that is rightfully mine.
With only a quarter-pound of meat, I thought the size was small compared to the hot buttered lobster rolls I had been used to at Neptune Oyster, where a pile of lobster chunks spill out of a full-sized sub roll. That being said, Neptune charges $27 and Lobster Landing only asks $16.
My solution to the “small” roll? I got two. I was going to split the second with my boyfriend, but if you had the sea’s gift to land in front of you, you would “forget” to share, too. (My good metabolism is going to expire in a few years, so I’m living it up while I can.)
“I think that’s the best lobster roll I ever had,” said my boyfriend as we walked back to the car. I thought the same. I can’t wait to return.
Between day trips and lobster rolls, it’s going to be a great summer!
INFORMATION as of May 2014
Address & Phone
152 Commerce Street
Clinton, CT 06413
(860) 669 2005