Tag Archives: lobster roll

North River Lobster Company – Almost…

2 Jun

I have been struggling to find time to blog these last few weeks (as is embarrassingly evident) and each time I sat down to squeeze in a post I realized that my blog editor just would not work.  I couldn’t type anything.  So while I love sharing my pictures, doing so without words I figured would not be a great way to review restaurants.  Today, I finally had the time to scrape through the help forums to figure out how to fix it.  As it turns out, a Plugin was not updated and had shut my WordPress editor down entirely.  Of course, it was the one that began with “Z” (in an alphabetical list) so it took me a few hours to turn them all off and on individually to find the culprit.  But here we are… we’re back! And just in time to post about our less than ideal adventure to Pier 81 on West 41st Street right on the river (just below The Intrepid) to visit the new North River Lobster Company.

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(view of The Intrepid from the entrance to the pier for the North River Lobster Company)

It was Memorial Day, and a gorgeous weather day as well, and we had some time to kill.  We had received some discount coupons in the mail so we decided to brave my concerns about it being a Frying Pan-style crowded shit-show on a holiday.  It had some resemblance from what we knew about it… a floating bar with food, outside, on the river.  Every time I’ve been to The Frying Pan with very good intentions I wind up leaving hating humanity, not nearly as drunk as I want to be, and typically thirsty and hungry after giving up waiting for hours on end for beer and food while being pushed and shoved by my least favorite brand of New Yorker: rude 20-something men and the women that want to feel temporarily loved by them. (Sorry humanity) But this was lobster… on a boat… just blocks from my apartment. We had to check it out.

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A long line of buoys, that reminded me in a delightful way of many summers in Maine, lead the way to Berth 1.

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There were a number of red stools lined up facing a dock with some picnic tables… but no floating restaurant that I could see.

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Just a duck.

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I looked around for where to go and then spotted this sign:

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It wasn’t until then that I remembered that not only was it a floating restaurants, but that I read somewhere that it mentioned something about the boat actually going out on short sails.  I guess we showed up at the perfect time for the boat not to be there.  Luckily, it was about 3:30, so we figured we could wait the 15 minutes for the boats return. And then right on schedule… in it came…

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We got onto the boat in short order and I was filled with excitement. The bottom floor was basically empty (signaling a low level of probability of pushing and shoving).  Could this be everything I want it to be? Could this be a place on the water (that, while brown, I feel is totally underutilized as an attraction in this city), with outdoor and indoor (air conditioned) locations, that had available seating, Maine beer, and lobster?

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We walked around the boat, which featured at least 3 bars on 3 different decks, and a lovely row boat filled with raw seafood.

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On the top floor is an open deck. It was super sunny out, however, and this fair skinned weenie decided it was safer to sit at the bar under the overhang so we could enjoy the fresh air without the sun burn.

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And look at that… two open seats!

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We quickly ordered some Maine beers from Belfast Bay Brewery (one of our favorites) and toasted to what was looking to be a great place.

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We weren’t overly hungry, but we skimmed the menu and decided to go Maine style and get steamers and lobster rolls.

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That was when we got the bad news… turns out, since this place is still new they are working out some kinks.  A big kink happens to be that when they go out to sea, they lose WiFi connection, which is how they place orders to the kitchen.  Since they had just returned, there was a huge backup of orders, apparently, and our bartender said they couldn’t put in new orders for about 30 minutes while they sorted out the kitchen. But we had beers and good weather and a breeze… so we could wait 30 minutes!

Except 30 minutes became an hour.

And then we heard the chef had to leave the boat to get more food, and maybe there was a problem in the kitchen, but no one was really sure.

And another 30 minutes went by.

It’s now 5:30 and an announcement comes on that the boat is about to leave for the 6pm sail, and if anyone wanted to get off, now was their chance.  We asked our apologetic bartender if he knew if food would be available to order before the 6pm sail and he very dejectedly informed us that he hoped so but doubted it.

Soooooo… dejectedly we went down to the raw bar and spoke to the lovely man behind the boat.  He didn’t have much left at this point but we had to get something. I noticed some lovely looking crab claws so I went up to the bar next door and ordered 4 of them.

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He was nice and must have taken pity on our lobster-less sad faces and threw in the rest of his crab claw stack.

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We solemnly ate our pretty delicious claws and bid adieu to the boat just before they took off for their 6pm sail.


Huge points for the concept and the potential, and for the fact that it wasn’t super crowded and annoying (who knows for how long), but we have no idea how good it could have been.

And I’m still craving a lobster roll…

Broadway Bites: Pop-up Restaurants in Herald Square

15 Nov

Broadway Bites opened earlier this month, with pop-up restaurants in Greeley Square, right near Herald Square/Macy’s and the Manhattan Mall).  It’s just like Madison Square Eats (which just closed down a few weeks ago) and from the same team at UrbanSpace.

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There are a lot of vendors (full list here), and we went with some friends to try a few and I went back on a few days (since it’s so close to my office… dangerous).

I first went with Red Hook Lobster Pound and tried the Lobster Roll “Maine Style.”  Maine Style to them meant with a lemon mayo (though it also had some paprika or Old Bay on it, which was an issue for me since I’m allergic, but I scraped it off and made it work).  This was just okay. The lobster wasn’t as flavorful as I would have liked, but I AM super spoiled.

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I also tried the lobster macaroni and cheese from there, which was very good. The lobster was more flavorful in there and the pasta was nice and cheesy without being soupy. They took a torch to crisp up the top, but it felt more for show than for taste.  It was barely scorched when I opened it up, and I would have preferred much more, but it was still quite tasty.

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Mike went with a brisket sandwich from Mayhem & Stout.  He said it was tasty but it was served a bit cold.

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One of our friends stopped at Mrs Dorsey’s Kitchen for a smoked gouda grilled cheese sandwich. She enjoyed it, but I was surprised to see that the cheese was hardly melted at all.   A grilled cheese sandwich is not merely cheese on toasted bread. It must be melty!

Her take: “Tasty ingredients in the grilled cheese (good cheese, good crispy bread), but it wasn’t melty at all. All in all, just an average grilled cheese, I’d say…”

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And our other friend went with the veggie meatballs from Mighty Balls.  His feedback: “I’d say the balls themselves could have used a bit more taste and crust.  The bread made up for the crunch, but it was a bit too mushy in texture.  A bit more spring in the bite would have been welcomed.  The jalapeño jelly though was delicious.  Would like to try it separately.  I believe they sell it in jars.  Could see it being great on other sandwiches, and even lamb.”

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I don’t know if any of us were overly impressed, and there seemed to be a heating problem across the board.  But it’s a nice way to try some restaurants without having to travel too far and it’s great to go as a group so there is something for everyone. We happened to go on a very warm November day, so most of the hot food was not overly appealing to me.  I went back a few days later when it was quite chilly and I was more in the mood for hot food.

I chose a butternut squash and pine nut arancini (fried rice ball) from Arancini Bros.

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It had a great crisp and wasn’t at all greasy (a problem I sometimes have with arnacini).  The rice was perfectly al dente and there was a mild cheesiness in combination with the squash and pine nut flavors. A really great dish, and could probably be a meal in itself.

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But I also went in search of vegetables.  You know… to be healthy.  I didn’t find much. But I did find a zucchini and mozz sandwich from Cannibal (where I previously had a great pig’s head). Zucchini counts as a vegetable right? Even when on toasted bread with cheese?  Say yes…



Back to the sandwich.  I unwrapped it and was immediately displeased. I like the idea of wrapping in brown paper, but it always shows just how greasy it is.  And I was trying to tell myself that this was healthy!


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I opened it up and noticed that while the pesto and mozzarella looked good, I was surprised at the skimpy amount of zucchini. Two thin slices on the entire thing? Lame!

But holy hell. This was DELICIOUS.  Super duper ooper delicious.

Yes… ooper.

The bread and cheese and pesto and zucchini mixed together into something that didn’t seem feasible by the sum of its parts.  I guess this was the power of damn good ingredients.


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I would definitely stop by before it closes up at the end of November.  It was also lovely that there were very short lines across the board every time I went!



Eventide in Portland, Maine

8 Nov

Right before embarking on our whirlwind tour of venues in Maine, we spent a night in Portland, Maine with a new friend, the photographer and husband of the editor for Eater Maine (whose last name happens to be the same as mine, though surprisingly, no relation). 

He recommended we visit a favorite of Eater Maine, Eventide Oyster Co.  Eventide  is the sister restaurant of Maine staple, Hugo’s (where we ate for my birthday the day after, more on that later!)

They specialize in, you guessed it, oysters.

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They have many varieties and part of the bar itself is made up of the oysters on ice, with a shucker going to town behind the bar.

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They also have a great selection of local brews, and we were finally able to try Oxbow.  This quickly became one of our favorite beers and we drank a lot of it on this road trip!

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We went with half a dozen Winter Points and half a dozen Basket Island oysters (both local to Maine).  These were fantastic, though I really loved the Winter Points.

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We then tried the Eventide Lobster Roll and the Fried Oyster Bun.

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They were served in more of a steamed bun (like a Chinese pork bun consistency) and everything was flavored so insanely well.  This was not your classic lobster roll, but it was nice to have a new spin on an old classic.  Mike and I weren’t very hungry, so we split both of them, but boy oh boy did I regret not having my own.  They were so damn good.  

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And even the bathrooms stayed on theme.

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I was really impressed by Eventide.  They are doing new things with good food and everyone there is excited to be doing what they are doing.  The vibe is great and the food far surpasses expectations.  I can’t wait to go back.

Total Nom Points: 8.5 out of 10