I felt like I had really reached some inner circle of lobster roll status when some folks who saw my Lobster Gal interview on NBC 30 passed on this tip to me. I had literally never, ever heard of Ford’s Lobster in Noank, not on any boards, searches, articles, nothing. As you may know, I’m not really a fan of the popular Connecticut lobster roll spots, also in Noank, Abbott’s and Costello’s, so to hear that there was another lobster roll establishment in Noank for those in the know came as quite a surprise. Even writing about it now feels a bit like letting the cat out of the bag and sharing some sort of lobster roll state secret. Much as I would love to keep this spot all to myself and those few in the inner circle, this venue deserves to be known, much more widely.
It’s not easy to find. Frankly, it wasn’t even easy to find the address on a google search, all lending more to the exciting, clandestine nature of Ford’s. Once my GPS finally figured things out and led us down a tiny, windy road to the water, there it was. Nothing more than a quiet lobster sign with the word Ford’s marked that you had arrived. There is was, down by the water, just two little shacks covered in lobster buoys and a deck overlooking one of the prettiest views with lobster in Connecticut.
The menu is fairly basic, at this BYOB establishment, but they were clearly getting quite creative and much more high-end than a shack with their specials list. Then I saw it on the menu, the lobster roll I dream about and often put together myself, the lobster bisque option in addition to a hot with butter and a cold with mayo. We decided to go with one cold and one bisque, it was a warm day, and frankly, Abbots had recently turned me off from the hot version. I asked and the meat here is indeed fresh picked, not at Ford’s, but at another local facility every morning. She did say that the lobster was Canadian, not Connecticut lobster. I respected and thanked her for her thorough honesty on the lobster source, that’s very important info to me and not something every place is willing to part with. Honestly, ideally, I always prefer local lobster, not Maine, but whatever state we are in when eating the lobster roll. I think it lends to the authenticity, freshness and it always feels good to be a lobster locavore. But, I will take fresh picked lobster however I can get it as it is not very common anywhere and less often in Connecticut.
I actually forgot to ask about the previously frozen, fresh picked status before ordering, but once I bit into this one, I knew immediately, that this was not previously frozen. The fresh, briny, tender flavor was there and if you happen to have just eaten a suspected frozen, then you eat a definitely fresh picked, the difference is obvious. Ford’s uses large chunks of tail and claw, tender, the cold version is tossed in minimal mayo and has celery chunks, which I could do without and mostly picked out, but I didn’t really mind because the meat was so tasty. They also seem to mix to order, so I’m sure you could request sans celery. The bisque version is warm and has the very thick bisque poured on top. I would really prefer it to be tossed in the bisque. The large blob on top makes it a bit unwieldy and the bisque doesn’t move into the whole sandwich, equally distributing itself in each bite. The bun is not your standard top split bun, it’s more of a hearty hot dog bun, somewhat larger and more dense. The flavor is similar to the standard white bun, but it has a bit more flavor, freshness and I suspect possibly bakery fresh. The bun is not toasted or grilled. I happen to like it this way, but I know it’s not for everybody. They are so nice here though, I suspect they would grill it for you if you asked. The Ford’s lobster roll is certainly among the best in Connecticut, fresh hearty meat served on fresh bread on the ocean, doesn’t get much better. They also had something curious on the menu called a lobster bomb. I assumed this just a jumbo lobster roll, but our waitress explained that it was kind of a hollowed out bread bowl, filled with lobster. Wow, this is definitely something I need to try out.
As it happens and I actually had trouble believing at first, Ford’s is open year round, Wednesday – Saturday. I say hard to believe, because I’m still not sure where they put people inside, but sure enough on their Facebook page, lots of specials and pictures going on through the winter. I fully intend to make my way down there this winter and report back. I’m thinking a hot lobster roll in the winter, on the ocean, would be just heaven.
Weighed in at 6.3 oz. for the bisque and 6.1 oz. for the cold lobster roll.
Visited September 2012