Dressing Room's New England Lobster & Mussels

Jon Vaast

This classic New England dish is featured on the Dressing Room's dinner menu and is one I've always wanted to make in my own kitchen.  Aromatic and satisfying, Chef Vaast's New England Lobster & Mussels is a great recipe for spring entertaining. The Dressing Room uses Wave Hill Bread for dipping, but The Flaxette would do the job nicely as well.  


New England Lobster and Mussels


1 head fennel - chopped

4 stalks celery - chopped

2 large Spanish onions - chopped

4 clove garlic

1 red pepper - roasted and peeled

1 jalapeno - split

1 bay leaf

2 stalks Parsley

4 sprigs Thyme

2 lobsters 1 ½ pounds each

2 pounds mussels

2 10oz can whole peeled tomato

1 2 oz can tomato paste

2 cups white wine

3 quarts chicken stock

1 large stock pot

1 medium stock pot with boiling water


4 tablespoons Butter

1 cup Cream


1.) Bring a large stock pot to a boil, lightly salted

2.) Boil lobsters for 5 minutes, remove from water, twist off the tails, cook claws and body’s for 2 more minutes

3.) Remove lobster and transfer to an ice bath along with the tails

4.) Drain water, wash the pot return to stove

5.) Over medium high heat sauté fennel, celery, onions until caramelization begins.

6.) Add crushed garlic, jalapeno, roasted pepper, tomato paste making sure to stir paste until it’s incorporated.

7.) Once tomato paste starts to stick to the bottom of pan deglaze with 1 cup white wine, repeat once more.

8.) Add lobster bodies, and shells from claws, tails, knuckles, chicken stock, herbs, pinch of salt, bring to a simmer covered for 90 minutes.

9.) Pull the shells and herbs using a slotted spoon, discard

10.) In a blender puree the broth with veg, butter, and cream.

11.) Run the sauce through a fine mesh strainer 2-3 times until all of the sediment is left behind.

You can freeze the sauce for up to 6 months.

For the dish: 

In a medium sauté pan over medium heat, sauté garlic, shallots once golden add mussels, 16 ounces of lobster broth simmer until all of the mussels are open, finish with a touch of butter, mix of chopped lobster meat, tail, claws, knuckles.  Finish with red pepper flakes if you want it spicier.  Top with chopped parsley and lemon zest.

Serve with toasted bread (We use Wave Hill bread).