Friday, September 15, 2006

Totally lobstered!

On a very rainy day in Manhattan we had decided to take a lovely client out to lunch at City Lobster. We could see some of the lunch menu moving languidly around their large tank as we took to our table. The décor not surprisingly is American diner meets New England seafood shack which plenty of ‘Pinchy’ (note Simpson’s reference here!) memorabilia emblazoned on the wall. On consulting the menu I felt it would be rude not to order the ubiquitous lobster so plumped for one of the day’s specials - Seafood Bisque with Lobster, Scallops and Crab. I enjoyed it but found it was rather a large portion and was worried that I might struggle with my main. I also had a taste of K’s Warm Blue Crab, Artichoke and Spinach Gratin, which I thought was seriously good, and wish that I’d selected it.

We were convinced we’d end up covered in pieces of lobster during out ministrations so we draped ourselves in napkins and lobster bibs and armed with claw crackers and lobster forks for wheedling out those juicy bits and awaited our main. I’d ordered a New England Lobster Bake with Littleneck Clams, Mussels, Summer Sweet Corn and New Potatoes for main, thinking that it would be a another kind of gratin dish but it was just an enormous plate of whole lobster, whole corn cob, a pile of mussels, another of clams and potatoes filling the remaining space (though there actually wasn’t any). The plate was piled so high it was difficult to know where to start, there seemed to be no flat surface to start making inroads.

S had just gone for a lobster, a large one, a monster lobster, one that perhaps had been crossed with a whale! Not realising how totally enormous my main dish would be I’d also ordered Lobster Mash Potatoes – well it would have been rude not to, and a small vat of this turned up also.

My lobster was really good, the lobster mash was utterly fabulous and if I’d been honest, I could have had just this. In fact this has to be one of my ultimate comfort foods, good mash with really tasty lobster – what more could one want? The clams and mussels weren’t at their best unfortunately, both a little dry but there was just so much other much tastier stuff that I really didn’t care. The new potatoes were beautifully sautéed and with a touch of rosemary – very good indeed! I certainly wasn’t able to eat all of it and none of us could remotely face a dessert. After lobster served three ways I had to admit that I was utterly, totally lobstered. City Lobster deserves two lobster forks – especially for that awesome mash! Okay. it's not as sublime as Gary's may be, but it's seriously comforting!

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