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.

Cull & Pistol

75 Ninth Ave. New York, NY 10011(646) 568-1223 • cullandpistol.com

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Can I just say how much I love Chelsea Market? I mean as a foodie it’s like a dream in mall form. Fish markets, Italian markets, spice markets, meat markets, bakeries and restaurants lined up like culinary wishes come true. It’s a bit like Faneuil Hall in Boston, only cooler and less touristy. Not to mention less food courty. If you haven’t been you really need to take a stroll. And if you have been, but haven’t tried one of the restaurants yet, well, you need to do that too (Hale & Hearty Soups withstanding).

I did just that very recently at Cull & Pistol and I have to say, I was pleased & delighted. The vibe is fish shack chic and the service is surprisingly warm and friendly for NYC, from door to table and back again. Not many tables though, so I recommend making a rezzy or going at an off-hour.

Impressing the palate were some of the freshest oysters I think I’ve ever had. Granted I suppose it shouldn’t be that surprising considering they are affiliated with the Lobster Place fish market next door. That said, I didn’t think they had as huge a selection as some other joints in town, but I think they are playing it for quality not quantity and quality they were. My favorite being from Osterville, MA funny enough, which is near and dear to my heart for other reasons as well, I spent many a summer there over the years.

If you don’t dig on the raw variety, however, I highly recommend their fried option, called Pistols on Horseback. Three fried oysters wrapped in prosciutto with crème fraíche and chives sitting atop a mini tortillas. I’m not sure why the name, but I’m pretty damn sure you’ll like ‘em.

The grilled octopus was one of the weaker dishes IMO, but most certainly not bad. Perhaps it’s more due to the fact that I’ve had some pretty astounding plates of pus lately and this was not amongst them.

For the main course I went right into the eye of the storm, ordering the highly acclaimed Connecticut Lobster Roll (pictured), well-knowing that head-to-head with Red Hook Lobster Pound this would most likely pale, and pale it did. Again, most definitely not bad by any distortion of logic, in fact, it was actually very good, but it’s also no Ultimate.

And for dessert, C&P ended strong with a very tasty slice of lemon meringue pie. Not too sweet, with that perfect punch of tartness, which is just how I like it. And like it I did, from the first bit to the last… and from Cull to Pistol… not that I have any idea what that even means.

3 teeth

Luke’s Lobster

93 E 7th St. New York, NY 10009(212) 387-8487lukeslobster.com

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I’ve been hearing for a few years now that Luke’s is one of the best lobster rolls in the city, so I finally managed to drag my ferocious ass on over there and grab a roll. Well, that and a lobster grilled cheese, because why not?

Now I must concur that the force is definitely strong with Luke’s. I like the more understated seasoning. Light vinegar, touch of herbs- perhaps even infused into the vinegar itself. But its subtlety makes it hard to truly go bonkers over. I mean, yes, I applaud the restraint to not drown the poor thing in mayo or butter. And yes, the lobster shines through for certain, but I just crave that little, extra somethin’ somethin’. Like take Red Hook Lobster Pound’s Connecticut Roll, served warm with butter (no drowning) and paprika. Sorry Luke, it’s a game of inches and unfortunately you fall a couple short of Ultimate status.

The other thing holding Luke’s back is the grilled cheese. It’s just okay. Nothing that will rock your world, but definitely better than your average grill, because let’s be honest, there’s lobster in them there parts! But the decision to serve this up without any zazzle or spin only proves to me that while you most certainly have skillz, Luke, you’re not a Jedi yet.

3 teeth

 

Red Hook Lobster Pound

 284 Van Brunt St. Brooklyn, NY 11231 • (718) 858-7650 • redhooklobster.com

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For a lobster roll in the city, there is only one better that I know of, Pearl Oyster Bar. That said, Red Hook has three types and all are varying degrees of holy shitter- the Maine Style (with mayo), Tuscan Style (with vinegar and herbs) and Connecticut style (with butter and paprika). Maine is normally the kind I’ve had in the past, but I have to say, the Connecticut (pictured) is the one to get. In fact, it’s an Ultimate. The Tuscan is also pretty great. And surprisingly, Maine is my least favorite of the three, but that’s more a reflection of how amazing the first two are, as opposed to how bad the Maine is.

On the downside, 15 bucks for a lobster roll half the size of Pearl’s (which is only 4 bucks more) seems awfully steep. I usually need to eat two of Red Hook’s, they are so small. So, 30 bucks for lunch plus a drink starts to be more $$$ than $$.

As for other dishes, the shrimp roll is a big pass IMO. I like the cracked pepper on it, but it’s really not worth forgoing the main event. Nor is the lobster mac and cheese, which is so poorly done you can taste the fact that this was an afterthought on the menu with its giant lumps of lobster thrown half-assed on top of a very average mac. I think RH should just stick to their core competency.

And last but not least, the decor, while campy and bare bones, is also a touch odd with it’s dining room located confusingly next door to the actual counter. So, you actually have to exit one building and enter another to order your food and then eat it.

Back on the plus side, it’s great place to go instead of eating at the Ikea. And if you go to their Dumbo location in the summer, the view of the city is incredible.

4 teeth