Yum, Yum: Rock Lobster Co.

What  began as a food truck has now blossomed into one of our new fave seafood spots. We first met owner Matt Pettit at Lobstahpalooza (read: lobster, booze and sun), serving up whole lobsters and joking around with Food Network host Kevin Brauch. Now Pettit has transformed the former Watusi space at Ossington and Argyle into Rock Lobstera 75-seat wood and Canadiana-themed hot spot playing everything from Biggie to Blink 182. The resto also includes a 1950s-type mural painted by Pettit’s dad, Donald and a semi-private dining area called the Anchor Room, perfect for an intimate birthday dinner. 


Your friends will love you forever if you have your birthday in the Anchor Room at Rock Lobster.



Before we get into the awesomeness that is the food, let’s talk booze. Rock Lobster has brought in Josh Lindey, responsible for the cocktails at Campagnolo, to help create their tasty and interesting drink menu. We opted for the Ribbons and Swallows, a combination of Sailor Jerry rum, Aperol, coconut syrup and passion fruit juice ($10) and the White Rabbit with Tromba Tequila, lemon juice, horseradish shrub, Angostura orange bitters and Bowmore Scotch rinse ($10). If wine is your thing, it’s priced at $1 per ounce so drink up, but if Caesars are more your bag, the Rock Lobster Caesar ($12) combines Ketel One vodka, Tobasco, Worcestershire sauce, Clamato juice and steak spice, and is topped with (get this) half a lobster tail.


You’ll probably finish this caesar in two shakes of a tail. 
Image source.



The food here is the real deal, and almost made us wish we lived on the east or west coast so we could have access to seafood this awesome all the time. We started with a delicious beet salad with heirloom carrots, goat cheese, radishes and orange segments ($7). In our minds, it’s pretty hard to go wrong with beets and goat cheese but the orange segments give it that little extra something. Next up was the Surf and Turf ($12). Now this is no ordinary lobster and steak, no, this is unreal steak tartare topped with buttery lobster and served with Pettit’s homemade version of Ms.Vicky’s chips. Ah-mazing.


Beets or bust. 
Image source.

We ended our meal with the fancy man’s version of KD, Lobster Mac and Cheese ($14). This baby comes in a mini skillet (and mini pot holder sleeve!) with fresh lobster, aged Canadian cheddar and topped off with a golden brown Panko crust. It’s going to be hard to go back to the boxed stuff after this one. 


If you like cheese and lobster, this is the dish for you (and if you don’t like either of those things we probably shouldn’t be friends). 

What makes this place even better is that they offer more than straight up lobster; choose from pork belly and creamed spinach or flank steak with fried duck egg, house-made hickory sticks and Crown Royal whiskey sauce. If you still have room, try the Whale Tail ($6): fried pastry with crème anglaise, cinnamon sugar and Canadian maple sugar. Bottom line: go to Rock Lobster if  you know what’s good for you. 

Follow them on Twitter: @RockLobsterFood


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Rave: Summer of lobster

Lobster, once an expensive food associated with the elite, has experienced a boom this summer in Toronto. Perhaps it’s as a result of the historically high hauls Canadian fisherman have been experiencing this year. Whatever the case, record low lobster prices mean we’re all able to dine like the Kennedys. Whether you’re a lobster-eating newbie or an old pro, we round up our top ways to enjoy the celebrated crustacean. 


DIY


Lobster is incredibly simple to cook, once you’ve gotten over the fear of killing your own dinner. The first step, naturally, is to pick up some lobster – 1 to 1.5 pounds per person is about right. Heading to the Maritimes for the weekend? Then grab some live lobsters on your way back (when packaged properly, you can carry these onto the plane). For the rest of us landlocked folks, stop by Hooked to get your lobster fix – they carry them most Fridays. 


GOOPy is a lobster-cooking pro!



Now, for the cooking part. There are a ton of videos and tutorials online outlining the best ways to do this, but Simply Recipes and Bon Appetit are our faves. Once you’ve boiled the sucker, we suggest letting it cool and eating it with hot butter and lemon; preferably outdoors and with an ice cold beer. A tip for amateurs, eating lobster is messy, so leave your fancy clothes for another time.

Drake’s Sunday Lobster Fare




Every Sunday evening this summer, The Drake Hotel serves up lobster on the Sky Yard. Beginning at 7 p.m., and by reservation only, lucky diners can snag a seat and enjoy lobster and its accoutrements in a fun, family-style dinner. For $32 (plus tax and gratuity) diners receive a one-pound lobster, grilled corn, butter and herb potatoes, coleslaw, a biscuit, strawberry shortcake and a bottle of Keith’s. Oh, and hot butter – of course. Sounds like a pretty good deal to us. For non-beer lovers, there’s also a special Bin End wine list. Email specialevents@thedrakehotel.ca or call 416.531.5042 ext. 1 for reservations. 


LobstahPalooza 2012


Their signature lobster rolls. Yum!

Craving a good, ol’ fashioned East Coast party in Toronto? Then LobstahPalooza is the place to be this Sunday, August 19. Hosted by Rock Lobster Food Co. and 99 Sudbury, this lobster-focused jamboree begins at 1 p.m. Tickets are $50, which includes a 1.5-pound lobster, a variety of summer sides (including corn-on-the-cob, potato salad and a fresh lobster salad) and three drink tickets. Tickets can be redeemed from any of the local craft beer, wine or spirits partners, which include Tromba Tequila and Kesington Ale Beer. There’ll be live music and prizes on-site. For those craving one of Rock Lobster’s signature lobster rolls (pictured above), they’ll be available for an extra price. Visit the EventBrite page to purchase tickets. 

Buster Sea Cove Food Truck


We’ll take two of everything. 



Will 2012 be known as the year of the food truck? Maybe, but you won’t hear any arguments from us. This May, St. Lawrence Market stalwart Buster Sea Cove joined in with their very own, seafood-focused food truck. They’ve got a bevy of seafood delights, including fish tacos and crab rolls, along with (what else?) lobster rolls! You can find the mobile seafood-shillers most lunch hours at the corner of Queen & Jarvis, but food truck expert Suresh Doss is a great resource to locate Buster Sea Cove, along with other food trucks.