When I heard Ford’s was now open for their first season during the winter, I had to try it out. Main reason was, I really could not picture where they were putting people inside. When we were there in the summer, all seating was outside and there were no buildings besides a small kitchen and lobster pound. Turns out, they have turned a storage building into a lovely restaurant that seats about 50ish with a wall of windows overlooking the ocean. One of the main reasons I wanted to try out Ford’s in winter is because their lobster for the lobster rolls is fresh picked. That’s not so easy to find in the high summer season and pretty rare in the winter. When you factor in eating a fresh picked lobster roll in winter, with a waterfront view, I think I can count the ones I can think of on one hand (Ray’s, Brown’s, Markey’s, Eastwind Lobster and Petey’s).
The staff at Ford’s is a big part of what makes it great. I know, I profess not to care whether staff are happy or not, as long as I get what I ordered, in a reasonable amount of time. But, the staff here just makes you feel like you stopped in to a friend’s house for lunch. They are so friendly, open and chatty, but not too chatty, just right. And, they all just seem to genuinely love working there and love working for the owner. I don’t know who he is, but judging from how his staff talks about him, he seems like a great, hands-on owner who engenders a great deal of loyalty from his staff.
When we were here in the summer, we had the cold lobster roll and the bisque lobster roll. Both very good, but for winter, I wanted to try the hot lobster bomb, buttered, hot, fresh picked lobster (nearly twice as much as in the lobster roll according to our server), served in a sourdough bread bowl. Honestly, I kind of wanted to take home several of these fresh baked bread bowls and eat them with all manner of yum inside. When the bomb arrived, I wasn’t really sure how I should approach eating this concoction. Do I pick it up, use a fork and knife, if so, where do I start? So, I just dove in with my fork and knife chopping into it. Yum, this is some good stuff, tail and claw meat, tender and tasty and sourdough bread that is crispy outside, soft and chewy, warm inside. If I had one complaint, I would say it just didn’t taste buttery enough, but it wasn’t soggy, so that was good. I think they saute the meat in butter, which is a tougher move to pull off since the butter gets too hot to really cling to the meat and cooking already cooked meat makes it taste just a smidge over done. I prefer the meat to be warmed by tossing it in melted butter, maybe barely heating it a bit more. That sort of lobster perfection was achieved by what Ken ordered, the special for lunch, lobster grilled cheese. I know, the first thought with lobster grilled cheese is, isn’t the cheese going to overpower the lobster. The second question is, are they just going to put some small amount of lobster into an otherwise regular grilled cheese. Both of those concerns are no concern in this case. The sandwich contains the same amount of meat as the lobster roll, still in all of its full chunk tail and claw glory. The American cheese melts perfectly into the lobster, giving it the warm creaminess so elusive in many a hot lobster roll. This is what you want, when you want warm lobster on bread, perfection. This may be one of the best lobster concoctions I have ever had the pleasure of putting in my mouth. Too bad Ken ordered it, so I only got a few bites. As if all that wasn’t enough, I’m pretty sure, though I didn’t ask, that the bread used was bakery fresh, I think it was wheat or a multi-grain, a flawless complement. It was a special, so you may want to call ahead so you’re not disappointed.
One more note, the chowders here are fantastic, particularly on a blustery winter day. I ordered the New England chowder (creamy) and Ken ordered the Noank chowder (clear clam broth). Then we switched since we both preferred the other chowder. I was a huge fan of the Noank and it was chock full of clams. More tasty goodness, even if it did mean I didn’t have room to order the peanut butter pie from a nearby bakery for dessert. Oh well, next time!
Visited February 2013