Match Burger & Lobster

580 Riverside Ave. Westport, CT 06880 • (203) 557-8800 • matchburgerlobster.com

Fortunately, there is no affiliation to the Burger & Lobster in New York city, because I’m not a fan. As for this one, I am in love. What gives? “Match’s” which is written in teeny, tiny letters on the logo, but it makes a world of difference, let me tell you.

So, what does the “Match” mean, well, if you’ve been to Match in South Norwalk, this is a sister restaurant, and if you ask me, she’s the much hotter of the two. And while I was extremely sad to see Fleisher’s Kitchen go, RIP, I- wait, what was I saying? Huh. I already forgot, because Burger and Lobster is amnesia-inducing good, boasting both the best burger and the best lobster roll in town. Can’t decide which one to get, fuggetabouit! You can get both with the Mini Combo- a slider version of the bigger Match Burger anda mini version of the lobster roll as well.

Now let me break it down for you. The burger meat is sourced from the amazeballs butcher Fleisher’s, next door, then smothered with sweet and sour onions, bacon and cheddar dip. It’s not for the faint of heart. Granted, if you’re really bold, you can go for broke with their top-of-the-line burger also topped with lobster and truffles (pictured).

As for the lobster roll, it’s Connecticut style, duh, served buttery and warm, with a slight zag, served on a round bun in the larger full-entrée form, yet in a mini hot dog roll for the combo, paying more faithful homage to tradition.

The steamers are also strong. Fries and onion rings are decent, but everything is served with potato chips so you really don’t need ’em. Plus, I personally wouldn’t waste your time or caloric intake on any of them, because they crush it on the desserts. Both the Key lime pie and the warm chocolate brownie a la mode will have you cramming your face into the metal tray like dog to his bowl. Game. Set. Match.

L & W Oyster Co.

254 5th Ave. New York, NY 10001(212) 203-7772 • landwoyster.com

oyster-bar

I literally hate writing this review, because the more praise this place gets, the harder it’s going to be to get in.

But, I have to give credit where credit is due, and man is it due. LOVE this place (hard to believe it’s related to Almond, which is an ugly step sister compared to to L&W). The decor is quaint, yet contemporary. Fun, with a touch of cool. Service is usually great. And the Lobster BLT is insanely good. Possibly the best sandwich in the area, and that’s saying a lot with so many great sammys in the Flatiron. I think it’s the Sriracha. The Short Rib sandwich is also good, but only with addition of hot sauce. Otherwise it falls far shorter to its lobster brethren. Too much of one note. Oh- and even the little side of mustardy cous cous with dried cranberries is excellent.

On other visits I have to say they do some pretty incredible salads as well. Like their fried oyster salad and an inventive take on a Caesar, using frisee and brussel sprouts as opposed to romaine- just awesome.

They also do a great job of serving up some wonderfully fresh raw oysters. And at dinner they have a killer octopus app with saffron that I highly recommend.

The beer on tap is solid. Granted a small selection, but solid nonetheless.

The only hiccup they have going is dessert. The apple cobbler is soggy- zero crunch, which is a cobbler must IMO. And the chocolate brownie was just eh, quite literally Pret’s brownie blows it away. That said, at dinner they fare much better. The sorbet and sticky toffee cake are both pretty good, but they are still not at the level of everything else.

So close to five knives, but my advice to you, skip dessert and you’ll be VERY happy. My advice to L&W, hire a new dessert chef.

4 teeth

Strip House

15 W 44th St. New York, NY 10036(212) 336-5454 • striphouse.com

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Apparently the one in Union Square has better décor, but the charm of the one in midtown is its old school, dated, meat-joint-of-yore vibe. The other thing the décor has going for it is its play on words. The “Strip” house also happens to be decorated with hundreds of black and white photographs of strippers from back in the day when it was still sexy to get naked for a living, not tragic.

For service, we were taken care of very well by a gigantic Romanian gentlemen I’ll refer to us Lurch. Now, I’m not just saying that the service was good because I’m worried about him crushing my skull like the Spaniard in Game of Thrones the other night. He was actually quite good. And good-natured, because trust me, we’re not an easy bunch (no news there). And after a bottle or two of Amarone? Dare I say assholes?

Now…. Let the gluttony BEGIN! First, the onion bread alone is worth a bow, far outshining its pretzel bread cousin. But even the onion bread wouldn’t hold the spotlight long as the sweet corn chowder amuse bouche took center stage and let’s just say my bouche was very amused.

After that, things trickled back towards Earth as the shrimp cocktail, the bacon and the spicy tuna tartar all fell squarely in the land of “good but not great.”

But the rollercoaster was far from over as we surged upward for one of the best bone-in rib-eye’s I’ve had. And a bone in filet that wasn’t half bad either. But the true star of the table was the creamed spinach. Only one or two others have ever dared to compare.

On the downturn, the mac and cheese is a big pass. And the goose fat potatoes, while saliva-inducing in name are just “eh” in execution.

In the solid good realm, I would put the creamed corn and garlic string beans.

And for dessert, skip the red velvet (it’s dry) and the cheesecake (it’s no Junior’s). But very much do the shit out of the chocolate brownie. It’s hella-good. Especially when you down it with some 40-year Quinta port.

So now comes the 20 million dollar question, how’d I feel after all of that food? Well, I think this will answer it best: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXH_12QWWg8

3 teeth