New England Primer: Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough

Marne Setton

Photo: Marne Setton

I don't have a whole lot of lobster roll experience. It's a New England or, more expansively, East Coast thing and I grew up on the other coast, where I'd never even heard of them. Just before my first trip to Cape Cod last summer, I asked around to find out what regional food was de rigueur on the Cape. "You HAVE to try a lobster roll," one Bostonian friend said. I promptly envisioned some kind of charcuterie made from lobster meat, something that might look like head cheese, or maybe a lobster bologna made from the crustacean's less glamorous parts. I didn't picture chunks of fresh lobster piled onto a butter-soaked bun, or the cold version: peony-pink, mayonnaise-based lobster salad tucked inside a rolled up piece of white bread.

On the way back from the Cape yesterday my boyfriend, his two kids, and I made a stop at Abbott's Lobster in the Rough in Noank, Connecticut. When Abbott's opens for the season round about Memorial Day, it's a harbinger of summer for those in the know. The place really gets rocking around the fourth of July. My original hot lobster roll (pictured) was incredible and well worth the wait in the long queue. Abbott's sells straight up lobster, steamed and in the shell, but I prefer the lobster roll. I believe this means I've taken another crucial step toward East Coast conversion.

117 Pearl Street

Noank, CT 06340

860/536.7719