Review: The Lobster Roll
In my few years on Long Island I've found out there are a handful of restaurants that one has to try, simply based on tradition, not necessarily the quality of the food. In other words, one hasn't fully experienced food on Long Island until one goes to these places at least once.
One such restaurant is the Lobster Roll in Amagansett. Neither my wife nor I had ever been there, but we finally managed to make our way over there last Saturday. Nor had either of us ever had a lobster roll, from anywhere. So, we filled a deep gastronomic void on Saturday.
But what a disappointment. Where to begin? We ordered two lobster rolls and split an order of fried oysters. The lobster rolls are, of course, lobster salad served in a hot dog bun. The Lobster Roll, in its infinite wisdom, serves the lobster salad on a 6-inch potato bread bun. They do give you a fair amount of lobster, but it is completely out of balance with the amount of bread. And potato bread? How about classin' it up a little?
As for the lobster salad itself, I tasted only blandness and celery. I could not taste the lobster one iota and not even the mayonnaise. It's as if they had found a way to blend the ingredients together to mute every flavor except the celery. I mean, give me a little salt, something.
And the oysters were no better. Not only were they soaked with grease, but they tasted awful. I don't know if they were out of a can or old or had been dropped in the toilet or what, but egh. If that had been my first experience with oysters, I would never touch them again. (It reminds me of the only time I've had escargot to this point. It was at a place called the Bavarian Chef, about 30 mins. outside of Charlottesville, Virginia. The restaurant is otherwise quite good, but my then-fiancee ordered an escargot appetizer. Trying a piece, I tasted a pleasant batter on the outside but in the middle some horrid, putrid, foul, little black thing. I haven't had one since. I have a feeling escargot is not supposed to taste like that, but I can't quite pluck up the courage to confirm this suspicion.)
But I will say the cole slaw they served with the lobster roll was good. The flavors were well balanced, and it was sweet, which was a surprise. Of course, I don't quite see the wisdom in serving something cold and crunchy and containing mayonnaise (cole slaw) with something cold and crunchy and containing mayonnaise (a lobster roll), but maybe that's just me.
And the price? Two lobster rolls (on six-inch buns, mind you) and an order of fried oysters: $51 and change after tax. Yeah. I say buy a lobster from your local fish market for $8 and make the damn thing yourself. Not only will it taste better, not only will you save money, not only can you use a bigger bun, but you get to avoid driving through the Hamptons on a f*cking weekend.
Two lobsters: $16
A bag of hotdog buns: $1.29
Not having to drive through the f*cking Hamptons on a Saturday: Priceless
1 out of 5 stars