Red Hook Lobster Pound’s “Connecticut”: Well Worth a Try

BHB photo by C. Scales

BHB photo by C. Scales

All of us have our notions of quintessance. I have a friend who, should you, for example, mention ginger ale, will tell you that the only one worth drinking is not available outside a fifty mile radius of Syracuse, where he grew up. For me, the quintessential pizza came from the Hub Tavern, downstairs from my grandmother’s apartment in Tyrone, Pennsylvania. Similarly, my quintessential lobster roll was in the “Maine style”: chunks of cold lobster meat covered in herbed mayo, served on a toasted New England split-at-the-top hot dog bun. When I read about Red Hook Lobster Pound’s “Connecticut style” roll, I was skeptical, but curious. Karl Junkersfeld’s hearty endorsement was enough to get me down to Fulton Ferry Landing yesterday to give it a try.

As I walked into the Pound’s tent, I was encouraged to see the proper J.J. Nissen rolls toasting on the grill. Several customers arrived at the same time, and we all asked for Connecticut, so owner Susan (see photo above) piled lots of meat on the grill, then drenched it with drawn butter as sous-chef Nick watched. The meat was then spread out to heat evenly and, when done to the proper temperature, loaded onto rolls. Each got a sprinkling of chopped shallots and seasoning, and was served with half a dill pickle and a small bag of Cape Cod potato chips. The result was quite satisfying, with the butter augmenting the flavor of the meat nicely. The next time, I might ask for a little heartier shake of the seasoning, as seems to have been given to Karl’s roll in his video. At $16.50, this isn’t a cheap lunch, but it’s a worthwhile indulgence.

So, am I a convert? No. I still like the Maine roll, but Connecticut makes for a pleasant change now and then.

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  • Karl Junkersfeld

    Wow, did I pay $16.50? I should count my change from a $20 in the future.

    Was still worth it but that sure ain’t cheap.

  • Matthew Parker

    I’m a fan of butter-based lobster rolls. The best lobster roll I ever had was in Boothbay Harbor, Maine at the Lobster Dock. Fresh steamed lobster gently sauteed in butter in a small pan. The remaining butter goes on the bun, and then the warm lobster meat. Up there, they call it “Massachusetts style”.

    I’ve never understood the attraction mayo-based cold lobster rolls.

    Looking forward to try to Lobster Pound’s version of a butter-based delicacy.

  • ashton

    Lobster meat isn’t cheap. Would you like Susan to both toil over the grill and subsidize your lunch?
    I much prefer eating lobster in a bun than off the carcass of the animal, which gives me heeby-jeebies.
    bottom line: lobster is delicious, as long as you don’t have to perform the post-mortem yourself.

  • AEB

    I vote for seasoned mayo–and a buttered roll. ‘Cause that’s the kind of guy I’m.

    Of course, with a dish as simple as this, everything has to be quite perfect….

  • Claude Scales

    Ashton: both Karl and I said that the roll was worth it. Neither of us want Susan to “toil over the grill” uncompensated. We noted the price because many people (myself included) are on tight budgets now.

    Do you have any setting on your dial besides “acerbic”?

  • David on Middagh

    If ashton has the standard nine-position dial, these are her choices:

    -4 oleaginous
    -3 unctuous
    -2 emollient
    -1 tacky
    0 gelatinous
    +1 stewed
    +2 saucy
    +3 piquant
    +4 acerbic

    Of course, if hers goes to 11…

  • nabeguy

    Give ashton a break. At least she’s shown the courage to quell her heebie-jeebies long enough to actually touch her keyboard to comment.

  • Joe

    The best lobster roll is the one I make at home since I make it exactly the way I like it–warm lobster with very little mayo on lightly buttered and toasted roll with chives sprinkled on top.

    Since I don’t like cold lobster with drenched mayo the CT sounds more appetizing. Looks like I’m going to Dumbo to check it out.

  • Monty

    On a related note, I finally decided to give The Landing hot dogs a try this weekend and pleasantly surprised. I got an earful about his twist on Chicago-style dogs, but I’m not a purist and was just glad that it tasted good. The kim chi dog was also surprisingly great. At $4-7 they are far pricier than the dirty water dog guy, but I’d say they are totally worth it. Maybe next time I will suggest they add Danish style on the menu so I don’t have to wait until November to get one.