A snowy night found guests piled into the close confines of 284 Tokeneke Rd. in Darien to sample offerings from the combined menus of Lobstercraft and Bounty food truck. The two outfits have come together to expand their catering services for private parties, weddings and both special events, and we have your first look.
"We thought the surf and turf idea between the best lobster and the best burger would make a great combo," Captain Mike Harden of Lobstercraft told CTBites. "We are working on bringing Bounty under the same roof so you can come to one place and get whatever you like."
First out of the kitchen, via Chefs Chris Vacca and Marc Flemming of Bounty, was a pork belly Bahn Mi with cilantro, jalapeno, quick pickles and sesame soy mayo. I immediately liked this interpretation of the Franco-Vietnamese classic. The pork belly was sliced thin, the jalapeno was fresh, crisp and mild, and the pickles provided much needed snap as well as acidity. These were served on focaccia in place of the traditional baguette, and the bread added a richness of its own to the sandwich. Bounty sources this and several other breads, like the seeded buns which house most of their burgers, from from Balthasar Bakery in SoHo.
The next tray held Lobstercraft's Surf and Turf Wellington, sliced into bite sized chunks and served alongside a spinach and herbed cheese dip. The crumbly, flaky pastry had significant hunks of lobster crowded inside with the beef loin, which was deeply flavorful on its own, but I was thankful for the extra moisture provided by the dip. The herbs added a bit of zest, and the dip's consistency helped to hold everything together.
Bounty rotated back in with their Heirloom Meatball Slider. The meatballs were slightly hefty, but fit perfectly inside a toasted brioche bun, which worked well with the sweetness of the tomato sauce. I could have done with slightly more mozzarella, but that may have made these much heavier, and they weren't meat to be a main event kind of dish, so I see why they kept a light hand with the cheese.
Bounty continued with a platter of Boerewors: Chef Chris' handmade South African sausage rounds (literally "farmer's sausage"), wrapped in crisp pastry. They were highly savory and exhibited flavors I reached to place - there was almost a tiny bit of lavender essence in the sausage spices mixed in with the umami flavors. These were served with a small amount of apple topping, for a sweet/savory combination.
Lobstercraft, as you'd imagine, finds a way to work lobster into everything. Their Arencini blends rice, lobster, cheese and herbs into little balls, which are then rolled in gluten free panko and fried. Crisp outside and soft inside with a distinct Parmesan aroma, these went fast. Sausage - made with lobster, shrimp, scallops and an herb/spice blend in natural casing, was served in small cups, drizzled with a lemon and thyme Buerre-Blanc. These were mild, with the various seafoods holding their own against soft spices. I particularly liked the snap to the casing.
If you're looking for something slightly more bold from Lobstercraft, I'd suggest the Lobster Kielbasa Mac&Cheese, which I truly enjoy (although CTBites is divided in our opinion on this dish) or the Lobster Egg Rolls. These last are lobster (trapped east of Montauk in 700' of Atlantic water), blended with cabbage, carrots, and "a few surprises," accompanied by a spicy mango duck sauce. The egg rolls were easily my favorite new dish of the night - the roll was fried to a perfect golden hue, the level of heat in the duck sauce was just right to elevate the flavors of the other components, and the fresh preparation made all the difference.
The Bounty Slider looks unassuming: a fat little patty of beef, topped with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, bread&butter pickle and "Bounty spread," and it was delicious. The sweet brioche mingles well with the juices it soaks up from the loose grind of the burger, which was held together with a good crust from the grill. The burger itself was meaty, and its own flavor held up excellently in with the slightly mustard-y Bounty sauce and the additional sweetness of the pickles. The cheese wasn't overly inspiring, and I might have chosen cheddar or even a melty slice of dill havarti instead.
The Lobstercraft and Bounty food trucks will be making appearance at the Mohegan Sun concert series and Bridgeport Sound Tigers games in the coming months, and you can keep up with them and see their full menus at LobsterCraft.com, and BountyTruck.com. To book Lobstercraft/Bounty for your next event, contact Cristine Edkins (203 722 2150, email@example.com) or Jill@LobsterCraft.com.