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|Table for Two
The Lobster Pot, 119-121 Hope Street, Bristol
by Bob Mariani
I’m sure I will not be the first, nor the last, to use the words "panoramic," "inspiring," and "majestic" to describe the view from the bayside dining room at The Lobster Pot. Even on a bitter cold January night, the perspective on Bristol Harbor from the high-ceiling-ed dining room of this East Bay establishment is breathtaking. And you needn’t be seated right near a window to appreciate it. In short, there’s not a bad seat in the house.
The Lobster Pot has been at this prime waterfront, Hope Street location since 1929 and has undergone a number of ownerships. Its menu, which is almost as expansive as its view, contains few surprises. This is your classic ‘fifties version of a seafood/red meat restaurant with no pretensions at being anything but a great place to enjoy fresh lobster, cod fish, scrod, shell fish, or steak.
For my appetizer, I chose the "Oyster Sampler", ($12), expecting an array of different crustaceans. But what they served (this night anyway) was simply a plate of six Maine oysters, medium size, ice cold and very fresh tasting.
My wife had the lobster bisque, a cup of lovely, and not too heavy, pink broth with small chunks of lobster.
From a long list of main course seafood specialties like Filet of Sole Meuniere; crab cakes; broiled, grilled, or blackened Norwegian salmon; baked stuffed shrimp with crabmeat dressing; broiled scallops, etc., etc. My wife ordered the roasted cod with "seafood bread pudding and lobster sauce butter" ($19.95). The portion was big enough for two and consisted of a large dollop of moist breadcrumb "pudding" topped with several pieces of lobster meat out-of-the-shell and several more pieces of delicious, flaky cod. This was a classic seafood dish any fish-lover would be quite pleased with.
The rest of the entrée menu consisted of chicken and veal combos and surf and turf variations. I confess that I have never been a big surf and turf fancier, but since good seafood was almost a given here, I thought I should see how they did pairing fish with flesh. And so I ordered the veal Oscar with lobster ($23.95). The veal was thin and quite tender and the lobster meat predictably flavorful and chewy. It was the sauce that I felt fell short. Thick and somewhat sweet tasting, it seemed to have little to do with complementing the meat and fish flavors. I was disappointed and wished I had ordered their Bouillabaisse ($23.95), or maybe their tempura shrimp Foster in a coconut sauce ($23.95).
The Lobster Pot also features a number of what they call "Lite Bites" like Lobster stew with a salad ($18.95); chicken pot pie ($10.75); and Welsh rarebit with bacon ($10.50). There truly is something for just about everyone here.
For dessert my wife had their ice cream puff, a wine glass filled with creamy vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce over a thin crust. As for me, I was delighted with their Indian pudding (made on the premises), a smooth, custard-like pudding with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
The Lobster Pot is open for indoor and outdoor dining in the summer. Year round, they serve lunch and dinner every day but Monday-- but regardless of when you go or what you order, the view remains the spectacle and the highlight of any meal. 253-9100.
Bob Mariani is a Southeastern New England freelance author. Besides his "Table for Two" restaurant reviews found here, he also writes jazz articles on allaboutjazz.com.