Lobster Season: 11 Shell-icious Dishes to Dig Into

Summer may be over, but it’s not too late to get in on peak lobster season. While we won’t turn down lobster any time of year, new shell season is the best time to eat it — that time of year where lobsters who have outgrown their shell trade up to the next size. When they shed the old shell, they have a bit of room in the new one, which is taken up by salt water that marinates the meat and helps make it both saltier and a bit sweeter. The meat is also more tender, allowing seasoning in dishes to penetrate it more. The season varies each year but includes September and October, and sometimes stretches into November. To take advantage, we’ve rounded up some of the best, most creative lobster dishes from across the country. Bib up and dig into lobster season.

Lobster Roe Noodles, Island Creek Oyster Bar, Boston, Massachusetts
You’ll want to eat your weight in oysters at this hotspot near Fenway Park, but save room for the Lobster Roe Noodles, a pasta made with lobster roe and topped with a rich red wine and veal stock-based sauce with braised short rib, grilled lobster, oyster mushrooms, and Pecorino cheese. Make a reservation at Island Creek Oyster Bar.

Lobster Season

Maine Lobster Diavolo, Quality Italian, New York, New York
This lobster isn’t only spicy — the tomato pepper sauce is made with piquillo peppers, roasted and pickled — it’s flamed tableside with chili-infused vodka. Hot! Make a reservation at Quality Italian.

Lobster Season

Estilo Puerto Nuevo Lobster, Playa Amor, Long Beach, California
At this casual waterfront restaurant, chef Thomas Ortega has created a menu of Mexican-style seafood dishes, including this Estilo Puerto Nuevo Lobster, which is griddled in clarified butter and served with rice and beans and fresh flour tortillas. Make a reservation at Playa Amor.

Lobster Season

Lobster Roll Croissant, Union Fare, New York, New York
This is a lobster roll with a New York twist — lobster salad made with mayo, sriracha, and Old Bay seasoning is served atop a toasted everything bagel croissant. Make a reservation at Union Fare.

Lobster season

Lobster Roll, Hinoki & The Bird, Los Angeles, California
At this fusion restaurant inspired by the Silk Road, the lobster roll gets an international twist. The lobster is dressed in a green curry aioli accented with Thai basil, and the roll gets its dramatic black hue from charcoal powder. Make a reservation at Hinoki & The Bird.

Lobster Season

Lobster Curry, Crave Fishbar, New York City, New York
This red Thai curry is full of charred red onion, Japanese eggplant, Thai apple eggplant, bamboo shoots — and the meat of a whole lobster. Make a reservation at Crave Fishbar.

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Christmas Dinner in New England: 5 Spots to Rock Lobster

Think Christmas in New England, and it’s a good bet that it’s lobsters and not sugar plums that dance in your head. Bib-up and enjoy the classic lobster dinner of your dreams — decked out with all the traditional trimmings like corn on the cob and boiled potatoes — with this guide to Christmas dinner in New England.

Atlantic Fish, Boston, Massachusetts
Santa and the Mrs. would approve of Atlantic Fish’s New England Lobster Feast for Two, which features two-pound steamed lobsters and stocking (and stomach) stuffers like clam chowder, mussels, steamers, corn on the cob, and new potatoes. There’s also a Maine Lobster option (one-and-a-quarter up to a three pounders, and crabmeat stuffing, too, if you want) with corn on the cob and potatoes. A special Holiday Surf and Turf will also be available — a 10-ounce filet and cold-water lobster tail with creative sides, such as asparagus, organic poached egg, homemade hollandaise, and seasoned bacon.

Christmas Dinner in New England

Legal Sea Foods, Boston, Massachusetts
There are more than two dozen Legal Sea Food restaurants in and around Boston, and most of them will be open and serving lobster on Christmas. Choices include Steamed Lobster; the Lobster Bake, which includes a cup of clam chowder, steamers, mussels, chorizo, and corn on the cob; and the Baked Stuffed Lobster with shrimp and scallop buttery cracker stuffing. Unwrap this idea: You can order lobster dinners in larger sizes for the whole fam — baked and stuffed lobsters are perfect to share. Legal Sea Foods typically has four- to six-pound lobsters available anytime for sharing, but for Christmas, go ahead and order behemoth eight- to 10-pound lobsters by calling the restaurant 72 hours in advance. (Note: The Copley Place and Park Lane locations will be closed on Christmas Day).

Christmas in New England

Saltwater at the Newport Harbor Hotel & Marina, Newport, Rhode Island
A traditional lobster boil dinner will be served on Christmas Day at Saltwater with new chef Scott Rackliff at the helm. You’ll get a steamed lobster, corn on the cob, potatoes, and Saltwater’s signature gluten-free clam chowder topped with fried pancetta and leeks — Newport’s Christmas gift to you.

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Trending on Recent OpenTable Restaurant Reviews: Lobster

This is the delectable Fourchu lobster special I had last time I dined at ABC Kitchen.

I won’t debate the existence of global warming (only because I happen to believe it is absolutely a real thing!), but, wherever you stand on it, you may have noticed that an unseasonably mild winter and a scorcher of a summer have been causing some problems in certain parts of the  food world. Farmers in the midwest are facing the worst drought conditions in a generation, and there is a large surplus of lobsters, which is leading to lower income for lobstermen. OpenTable diners have been doing their part to help by ordering up the terribly tasty crustacean creatures in droves. Find out what they’re saying about the inventive lobster dishes they’ve been eating.

801 Chophouse Leawood, Leawood, Kansas: ” I started with the lobster corn chowder, which was a true treat. One of the best soups I have had in a long time.”

Adara, Montclair, New Jersey: “We couldn’t wait to see what each new course would bring! The rolls were wonderful, and the lobster in a veil was a treat.”

Alma Nove, Hingham, Massachusetts: “The lobster salad sandwich was a big hit.”

Brava Bistro, Calgary, Alberta: “Presentation was beautiful and the taste matched. Lobster gnocchi was especially good!”

* Brown’s Beach House, Kohala Coast, Hawaii: “Make sure to try the lobster with the vanilla beurre blanc. Superb.”

Cameron’s American Bistro, Columbus, Ohio: “This is our new favorite place to go. The lobster perogies and calamari are sensational.”

Central Michel Richard, Washington, D.C.: “Fun atmosphere, exceptional food, friendly and efficient service. Cheese puff pastry appetizer, crab cake, gazpacho soup, lobster burger, and scallops are especially noteworthy.”

Cili, Las Vegas, Nevada: “This is the best lobster salad on the planet!”

* The Cottage Chestnut Hill, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts: “We had terrific omelets, a great lobster cobb salad, and delicious French toast.”

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Valentine’s Day 2010: Put a Fork in It!

Valentines-Day-2010-Put-a-Fork-In-ItValentine’s Day 2010 is just a fond (I hope!) memory by now. I hope yours was as fun as mine (I dined at SHO Shaun Hergatt and had a delightful Valentine’s Day dinner!). I didn’t get there in a limo, but some lucky Tweeps had that option, thanks to winning the OpenTable Valentine’s Day Limo Twitter Giveaway, sponsored by Limos.com. Congratulations to all our winners!

One of the most popular eateries for Valentine’s Day, according to your tweets in response to Monday’s query, was — surprise! — The Melting Pot. On Tuesday, when we asked who your celebrity dream date is, the most popular celebs were actors Halle Berry and Tyrese. Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds took second place. Angelina Jolie may have Brad Pitt, but more of you want to dine with his first wife, Jennifer Aniston. The “Jersey Shore” cast proved popular, with JWoww, The Situation, and DJ Pauly D getting some love from OpenTable diners (but not, alas, Snookie. Poor Snickers!) Your most random dream dates? “Golden Girl” Bea Arthur and hockey great Gordie Howe. Someone chose reality-TV-star-turned-punchline Jon Gosselin. Let’s hope it was in jest.

In terms of your favorite food to eat on Valentine’s Day, your tweets told us that it was a bad day to be a cow or a lobster, as surf and turf was one of top most romantic dishes. OpenTable diners are clearly chocoholics as chocolate, though, took first place. Strawberries dipped in chocolate were also wildly popular. Back on the savory side, a stand-alone steak, pasta, oysters, and fondue were also all the rage. The sweetest most romantic food-related tweet I saw? A diner tweeted, “Anything healthy so we can live a long life together.”

When we asked you to tweet your favorite romantic movie on Thursday, Love Actually was the winner — but just by one vote. The Notebook came in second. Other picks included Casablanca, Ghost, Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally, and The Princess Bride. Offbeat tweets highlighted Better Off Dead, The Empire Strikes Back, and Shaun of the Dead (Nothing says romance like zombies, really.). Cutest tweets: Lady and the Tramp got two votes. That pasta-sharing scene gets me every time I see it, and, clearly, I’m not alone. It also makes me want to eat spaghetti every time I see it.

Finally, the most romantic city, according to your tweets, is — shocker! — Paris. New York bumped San Francisco to third place, by just a single tweet. Florence and Venice, Italy, each got a lot of love as did Charleston. Unique suggestions included Bruges, Pittsburgh, and Warsaw.

Congratulations again to our winners, and thanks to Limos.com and for all your terrific tweets. If you’re still seeking more romance until next Valentine’s Day, check out the Top 50 Most Romantic Restaurants, according to the 2010 OpenTable Diners’ Choice Awards.