A Squared: In The Loop: Luke's Lobster

Monday, May 18, 2015

In The Loop: Luke's Lobster

Great news for those of you working in the Loop: Luke's Lobster opens today on LaSalle! In case you aren't familiar, Luke's Lobster is a popular fast casual 'lobster shack' with several New York City area locations that's rapidly expanding to other major cities like Philadelphia, Washington DC, and now Chicago. The menu is small, but everything is crafted with traceable seafood and 100% of the lobster is sourced from Luke's home state of Maine. That means every item on the menu tastes the way that it should: Fresh.

Alex and I had the opportunity to stop into Luke's Lobster last week for a little grand opening preview party they were hosting. The space is charming with lots of nautical touches and framed photos from the Maine coastline. While we were there we did our due diligence and sampled several menu items so that we could report back to you. And I'm happy to say that while there are a few other good fast casual spots for lobster in the city, this one is probably the best!

Luke's Lobster serves up three different kinds of seafood rolls. The first we tried was-- of course--the lobster roll. Luke's only uses huge chunks of chilled claw meat in their lobster rolls and the preparation is deliciously simple: a swipe of mayonnaise in a toasty buttered roll filled with all that lobster and topped with lemon butter and a sprinkle of their house seasoning (which definitely includes some dry thyme). Alex and I agreed that the big pieces of lobster were delicious and we loved that this sandwich wasn't drowning in mayo... you could really taste the lobster.

Next up: the crab roll. This sandwich was prepared in very much the same style as the lobster roll-- with a bit of mayo, a generous amount of lemon butter, and the special seasoning. There was a huge portion of shredded and lump crab meat in this roll. And the sweet chilled crab is a great alternative if you're not feeling the lobster.

The third and final roll that I tried (Alex refrained because of his allergies) was the shrimp roll. Luke's employs the same preparation on this roll as the other two and again, a generous portion of chilled shrimp was piled into this roll. They use smaller shrimp in this roll, which makes it easier to eat and I added a little sriracha to mine (which they have at every table at Luke's), which added some nice heat to the sweet buttery shrimp.

Though the menu is small, there are a few other quintessential New England seafood shack staples on the menu too. Alex and I both enjoyed the traditional New England clam chowder filled with sizable pieces of clam and potato. I also loved that it was creamy, but not too thick as many chowders can be. I also really liked their coleslaw, which was mayo free! It had a great mustard and vinegar flavor with a touch of sweetness. And don't forget the Cape Cod salt & vinegar chips!

Last but not least, we got a little preview of dessert... and it's a good one! Luke's Lobster has enlisted popular local bakery Bang Bang Pie Shop for a special honey pie with blueberry compote (because Maine) that's unique the menu at their Chicago location. Alex and I both loved this pie! I'm not exactly sure what honey pie is, but this was very much like a creamy honey-flavored cheesecake with a buttery graham cracker crust and a delicious tart and sweet blueberry topping.

Luke's Lobster opens today on LaSalle Street just south of Randolph. They are open for lunch and dinner-- and great news: they'll be open on weekends too!

Editor's Note: Our meal at Luke's Lobster was complimentary, however the opinions expressed here are my own.

A Squared

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