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The Hot Lobster Roll At Lobster Landing In Clinton, Connecticut Is Excellent

August 18, 2011

 

Seems pictureseque... .

As you doubtless know by now I love good lobster rolls very much – indeed I even launched the blog by singing the praises of Abbott’s Lobster In The Rough from the highest hill. As time has gone by I’ve had the opportunity to try some other lobster rolls, including the varieties sold by the Red Hook Lobster Pound (both the Connecticut and Maine variations) and of course, the sublime offering from Luke’s Lobster. I am not such a fool as to think that there is just one tremendous place to get a lobster roll, especially in Connecticut, so it was essential that we make an effort to stop in at that hardcore contender, the Lobster Landing.

As you can see, it is scarcely more than a shack that sits right on the water. It is located just a few minutes away from an exit along I-95, which makes it very convenient (comparatively) to get to if you’re in that part of the world. Essentially you get on one road and follow it until it hits the water.

Are they having an identity crisis?

The menu itself seems to have a near identity crisis. On the one hand, Lobster rolls. That makes sense. On the other, sausage, peppers & onions or a hot dog? I didn’t know what to make of it (although part of me wants to go back and try the sausage & peppers, I’ll bet it’s good).

Not much by decor... .

Next to the shack is a tented area, where we were greeted by two giggling teens who took our order. Behind them are plastic seats and tables, and there are coolers from which you can pluck out a soda or lemonade or some such. The tables can’t be much more than three feet from the water.

Waterfront, but it's no Abbott's.

You really are right on top of the water, and it is very very charming. But, when it comes to decor, it is no Abbott’s. Abbott’s offers a spacious green yard with a beautiful view of yachts and boats cruising past. This was a more workmanlike dock.

Beneath the tinfoil, what awaits?

The waitresses dutifully delivered (after a time) two tinfoil packets. They were quite hot. They were also quite a bit longer than I had expected. While you can’t tell from that photo, I’d say each was about a foot long.

But what was within?

OMFG.

What was within was a huge roll, a gash sliced lengthwise, cut in half. And it was loaded with fresh, piping hot lobster meat. In fact, I would say the lobster meat itself was among the freshest and best prepared I’ve ever had (I’m looking at you, Abbott’s). It was dazzling.

All killer, no filler.

As you can see, it is just 100 percent lobster meat. And butter. They don’t give you butter on the side, but that’s okay, because they have drenched the roll in it – but not to the point where it is sopping and falling apart. The breadiness of the roll does a nice job of absorbing it, and preserving its toasted crispness where it is not so soaked. I can’t lie, the roll was absolutely delicious.

Sensational. Notice the penetration of butter in the bread.

At a bare minimum, it rivals Abbott’s. However, there are some issues. The same quality that allows the roll to absorb all of that magnificent butter can also be a drawback. The roll is frankly somewhat bready, and where it is not sopped it can be a bit mushy, like bad hero roll bread. It’s not offensive, but it in some ways becomes a force to reckon with. Certainly it is a quantity to be reckoned with. It can be chewy, and as a result it is frankly the weakest link: it evokes bread you’d get at a Subway or something.

The bread... If only it were better.

I hope you understand this is dancing on the head of a pin as far as niggles go. I would gladly return to Lobster Landing upon the instant it was available and (relatively) convenient. It is well worth your trip. I understand on the weekend it gets absolutely packed, which is easy to understand, so their small parking space must fill up and cars line the road for some space heading into it. Keep that in mind should you stop in.

The lobster itself was exceptional. Simple, hot and fresh. Cooked to order. Part of me is concerned that other places which I dearly love simply reheat already cooked lobster meat, which if done properly might work – but can easily fail.

So which is better, Abbott’s or Lobster Landing? My preference is Abbott’s, perhaps for sentimental reasons. It’s got a better venue, that’s for sure. Their sandwich is also sublime – but can be hit and miss. Getting the “luke warm lob” instead of the Hot Lob at Abbott’s can be very irksome. Lobster Landing is beautiful, but there’s just a bit too much bread. The lobster itself is amazing, at least on par. I shall have to return and sample it again.

If only I could get the Lobster Landing lobster meat served Abbott’s-style, on a hamburger bun… .

Lobster Landing

152 Commerce Street
Clinton, CT 06413 
860.669.2005
No website, but check them out on Facebook
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4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 9, 2013 5:29 am

    Exactly how do you manage to develop this type of wonderful audience regarding commenters to your site?

  2. Michael Vogel permalink
    September 3, 2013 1:59 pm

    I’m late to the party, but I have to disagree somewhat. Yes, for me, Abbotts had long-ago come to define the perfect lobster roll, and like you, the location had a lot to do with it, situated as it is on a piece of real estate with what must be what must be one of Connecticut’s most wonderful views. But alas, it’s a bit of a factory sometimes, and, as you said, the result is sometimes luke warm. And the cylindrical hunk of lobster meats looks like it came from a tuna-fish can or a scoop made from one.

    Lobster Landing, on the other hand! Hands-down the finest lobster roll in the state of Connecticut! In every way. I always ask for my roll “well done” so it has a bit of char on the edges. Amazing what a little caramelization of a hot dog bun can do for its taste! The split-top hot dog roll is a New England tradition, and we can’t imagine why it hasn’t become standard fare elsewhere and everywhere. But getting back to the whole thing: Some hot lobster rolls are drowned in too much butter. Lobster Landing’s contains just enough, along with a little bit of lemon, to lubricate the sweet strictly fresh just-cooked (not reheated) lobster meat. Make no mistake — this is lobster roll perfection, i.e., as good as it gets.

    Lobster Landing’s location isn’t too shabby either. SIt under the tent right at the edge of the water, or on the dock adjacent to it and extending out over the water, an aqua-hulled workboat and smaller recreational ones in view at the docks just below you. There, you’ll watch a procession of power and sailboats in the channel, entering and leaving nearby Cedar Island Marina, while you sit waiting for the lobster rolls that you’ve just ordered at the counter to be swiftly brought to you. (That’s right; they bring it to you while you just enjoy the surroundings).

    And finally, the charm of Lobster Landing’s weathered shack is matched by that of its warm and friendly owners, red-bandana’d, silver-bearded always-smiling Eano, and his wife Cathie. All reasons that this place and its fare is at or very near the top of the list of local experiences I love to share with out-of-state visitors and uninitiated friends. (And no, I have no connection with the place at all except for its having become a regular Sunday habit).

  3. Micki Staino permalink
    August 5, 2016 9:07 am

    I have had both and although Abbotts is excellent, it’s the hamburger roll that I don’t like. Therefore, I always go back to Lobster Landing. Simply the best! Also, love the simplicity of the lobster shack.

  4. August 5, 2016 10:45 am

    You can’t go wrong with either. Now I want to go back!

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