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


Yum, Yum: Tequila Tromba cocktails

We know what you’re thinking… tequila talk on a Wednesday? You’re still cringing from those shots you did on Saturday night. Cringe no more, Tequila Tromba has put its own spin on some delicious classic tequila cocktails that are sure to go down smooth and painless the morning after. Sounds hard to believe, but here is the reason: Tromba is made from 100 per cent pure agave, unlike most brands served at bars that contain 49 per cent low-grade sugar cane distillate and only 51 per cent agave. Tromba is the real deal and is even enjoyable when sipped straight. And these cocktail recipes are about to make you wonder what you were doing with the lemons and salt all those years.

Tromba Paloma
For this light and summery drink, combine 45 mL Tromba Blanco, 200 mL grapefruit soda, fresh lime and salt. Pour over ice in a tall glass and garnish with a fresh squeeze of lime juice and a pinch of salt. 

The perfect cocktail for a girl’s night out, even the name is girly!

Don’t judge a drink by its name, the Diablo is a lot more delicious than it is daunting. To make this sweet summer cocktail combine 45 mL Tromba, 30 mL fresh-squeezed lime juice, a dash of creme de cassis and top it with ginger beer. Pour ingredients over ice in a tall glass and garnish with pressed lime. 
This fruity beverage is one of our favourites.

Tommy’s Margarita
Perhaps one of the truest signs summer has arrived is sitting out in the sun enjoying an ice cold margarita. For Tromba’s spin on this calssic, combine 60 mL Tromba Blanco, 30 mL  fresh-squeezed lime juice and 30 mL agave syrup in a shaker and shake with ice. Strain into a small glass with ice. 

Who knew margaritas could contain so few ingredients?

While these drinks are super simple to make at home (you can find Tromba at the LCBO for $49.95 per 750 mL-bottle), why not head out and see how different bartenders around the city put their own spin on Tequila Tromba cocktails? Tromba is available at more than 100 bars and restaurants around the city including the Drake Hotel, Barque, SPiN Toronto, The Thompson Hotel, Goodnight, Yours Truly and 416 Snackbar, to name just a few. Olé!