My arm had to be twisted to join a panel for judging Lobster Bites at last weekend’s (September 22) first SAVOR LOBSTER event at the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk. I would be walking around a gorgeous museum filled with things that take me back to the ooos and ahhs of childhood; drinking creative tasty libations; having some of the most delicious bites of Lobster EVA; and judging said bites with slick fellow writer and official realfooddude Andrew Dominick, and the endlessly talented Chef Matt Storch of Match (duh), which just rocked out for its 20th anniversary. You can see how this would be a struggle for a newly single gal on a Sunday afternoon.
The LobsterCraft and Lobster Hut Hamden trucks were situated directly outside the museum entrance and the lobby was draped with vendors. Compared to some of the other events happening during this weekend, it was quite small, and yet, for the indulgence that is Lobster, and the fact that it was a new event, felt like a fitting first showing. I was later told, two vendors didn’t make it, but those that did, SHOWED UP.
Since I had a friend join me, we were able to cover the bases, secure bites or drinks for each other at a faster-pace, and run to pet stingrays in between. Or, in my case, I had a hard time ungluing my face from the glass in front of the seals. I kind of wanted to adopt each one. But wait, what is that over there? Burrata with tomato, basil, and chilled lobster? I’m on my way.
Lemme just say each bite had a kapow of its own, but we were there to judge the best Lobster BITE, and hence, (remember, I’m a professor by day, so I use expensive words like hence and thus on the reg), we had to be mindful of which bite still kept lobster the star.
When the Burrata Lobster bite called out, I was already sold because I am a burrata biyatch of sorts and kind of go into a new dimension when that’s, eh hem, in my mouth. BUT, that bite was about that money combo of basil, burrata, and tomato, and not as much about the lobster, albeit (another expensive word), crisp and refreshing.
Next door, D. Myles Chef & Catering had an adorable tiny cornbread and lobster bite and a seriously delicious curried lobster soup. If I had a thermos, I would fill it to the rim and have it everyday for lunch. Smooth, with a zing of that gorgeous spice, but the lobster was hidden behind the sass of curry. But ring them up tout de suite, damnit. Let’s see how we can get that soup IV’d.
Next came the Lobster Rolls. Now, of course, New England lobster fans have a mountain of opinions, but as LRolls go both Artisan and Lobsterhut had elements for the amassing hungry tasters. Artisan’s apple slaw was crisp, tart, and sweet, and as a matter of fact, I’d likely have that with the soup from D. Myles as a regular lunch. But the roll, was extra thick and cold, so I actually took it off. It overpowered my lovely sea creature. For the purist in Connecticut, the LobsterHut, did their job. Coming in second, this Lobster Roll was not too thick, it was buttered and grilled perfectly, with a sexy mound of fiery red meat.
Now, all became right with the world, when LobsterCraft’s bite came into my life. Their “driftwood” crostini floated in my direction like a wispy romantic film montage and I was instantly weak in the knees. You add butter, sour cream, and a sprinkle of caviar and I’ll give you the password to my (empty) bank account. It was EVERYTHING.
First Place Second Place Third Place
LobsterCraft Lobster Hut Hamden Tarry Lodge Westport
Asylum Distillery, Secret Ingredient Girls, East Coast Kombucha, SONO1420, Poppy’s Cheesecake