I remembered this lobster roll as being my favorite NYC lobster roll at the Lobster Roll Rumble, so I needed to try it in its natural habitat. I hit the West Village location of Luke’s, the address confused my cabbie for a few blocks back and forth, but finally made it. If lobster shacks could exist in the middle of NYC, this would be it. This is not a fancy pants restaurant like many of the other lobster roll spots in NYC, there are no cloth napkins, no wine. This is just a no frills replication of a Maine lobster shack, with the exception that, I’m guessing, a metal grate gets pulled down after closing. I respect their pursuit of authenticity.
This was also the quickest and least expensive of the NYC lobster rolls. Just like a shack with picnic tables, but not exactly. I wonder if you can byob here, like you can at a shack. This lobster roll managed to exceed what I remembered from the rumble. The meat is the real standout here. I still haven’t figured out the secret, but there are just a few spots I’ve ever tried that manage what I can come up with no other way to explain, but the “slippery” texture. That sounds kind of gross, and really doesn’t describe it, but it is all I can come up with to describe the elusive, perfect lobster texture and it always goes with outstanding flavor. The true test is in the spongies, if they taste delish, they’ve nailed it. Luke’s nailed it.
I would have liked to see tail meat and a bakery bun, but a difference of philosophy, I guess. The bread was the standard white bread, split bun, but really saturated with butter grilled, achieving the butter flavor without the sog. I’m wondering in this is some NYC lobster roll technique because I saw it twice there and I don’t remember ever seeing this before. It’s genius really. The meat has just a bare glaze of mayo and something sprinkled on top, tarragon maybe? I had my doubts about the green sprinkle, but it was good. I’m glad I don’t live near this one, I might be tempted to grab one for lunch every day.
Weighed in at 6 oz.
Visited July 2012