What a lucky break I caught stopping by for my first try of Ed’s when I did. Ed himself was there being interviewed right next to me at the bar by some magazine folk and I got to introduce myself and get in a few questions of my own.
First, I must say that I kind of love SoHo, so artsy chic, I feel cooler just breathing the air. So many cute, unique shops, it’s like fancy, small town shopping, but like 20 times as many shops. Ed’s is right there in the thick of it and has a minimalist, retro vibe going on. Come right in to the marble top bar and the friendly,(but in an old timey, not overly familiar way) bartender gets you all set with wine and order. This place is very my scene, I must confess I was loving it before the lobster roll arrived. When I finally took a bite, I will say, I was actually blown away. I expected to like this spot after I saw Ed’s commitment and respect for lobster on the food network. But, this lobster roll honestly rivaled some of the best I’ve had. It was tops for anywhere, but truly nobel prize good for what I expected from a NYC lobster roll. No offense to those committed to serving a lobster roll in NYC, but, it’s not very close to the source, not on the ocean (at least where the great lobsters are caught), no one is a lobsterman, and NYC has a tendency to turn a good thing in to a fad, so I wasn’t expecting much. Plus, none of the NYC lobster rolls at the Lobster Rumble even came close in perfection to the Clam Shack. But Ed’s didn’t participate in the rumble this year, so…
The bread, Ed said, was a standard split top bun, but I suspect it wasn’t the wonderbread type. It had a better shape and taste, which Ed said was due to the fact that it is grilled in a ton of butter. He wasn’t kidding. I hate to take photos of half eaten food, because I think it’s gross, but I made an exception in this case so you could see just how deeply saturated with butter this roll was, without being a bit soggy. I’ve really never had a bun grilled in this much butter and it was truly innovative. It managed to combine the best of the hot (butter) lobster roll with the best of the lightly mayoed roll, without sacrificing anything. The mayo, it was so amazing that I had to ask him what was in it, just perfect. He said it was just mayo, lemon and celery. Wait, what, celery!?! On second look, sure enough, there were the most miniscule shavings of celery, not even large enough pieces to crunch. Color me surprised, I’m loving a roll with celery involved!
I’ve saved the lobster meat description for last. I saw Ed’s technique on the Food Network, or maybe Travel Channel (can’t remember) but, he actually cooks them upside down until they float. Anyone who puts this much thought into how they cook the lobster for a lobster roll was one I simply must try. It was everything I dreamed it could be, tender, flavorful large chunks of tail and claw, minimal spongies. I even did something with this lobster roll that I only attempt with lobster rolls I suspect of greatness…I tried their spongie. It wasn’t bad, didn’t make me gag or anything. I even bet if I didn’t look for and eradicate them before eating, I might never have known.
As an overall restaurant experience alone this place is worth planning a trip around. The lobster roll rivals some of the best I’ve had and I’ve eaten somewhere in the neighborhood of over 100 lobster rolls. It’s not quite as good as The Clam Shack, but, Maine lobster roll places, it pains me a bit to say it, but this city lobster may be as close as I’ve ever eaten to rivaling my gold standard.
Weighed in at 7.2 oz.
Visited July 2012