Meet the Chefs Behind Maine’s Best Lobster Roll || Eat Seeker: Eventide
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Meet the Chefs Behind Maine’s Best Lobster Roll || Eat Seeker: Eventide

– [Andrew] All my food memories
are built around getting blue crabs in little
tide pools on the Cape. Picking mussels, digging clams, bringing them home and making chowder: that’s why this concept, this food, really resonated with me. – [Mike] We decided on an
opportunity to bring a little bit of technique to the New
England coastal fare. It’s already just so codified. You know what a lobster roll looks like. You know what clam chowder looks like. And if we could just kind of tweak things just a little bit, then we can stand out or, you know, be a different
voice in the conversation. – I was in Seattle for a
while and just fell in love with Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese cuisine. I find that the ingredients
are like sharp and bright and just really complement
seafood extremely well. – I absolutely love Japanese food and particularly the Japanese
approach to handling fish. I think it’s really
admirable, and if you look across the globe, we see
the same kind of stuff that they see in Japan
coming out of the ocean. We’re taking such a
traditionalist cuisine, like New England coastal fare. Our goal is to try to turn it on its head, doing riffs on different
cuisines’ approach to seafood. In that respect, we really
need every bite to kind of fire on all cylinders, just
like good izakaya food should. Stuff that’s just totally savory. And is it a little spicy? Does it have acid? Is it pretty salty? Is there a fry-down? And yes, yes, yes. And I think that, you know,
where that cuisine’s successful I think that maybe we’ve
taken a couple pointers and we’re sort of trying
to think along those lines. – We knew we needed to have a lobster roll if we were going to open an oyster bar. It’s just one of those things, like, you don’t mess with, really. So our approach was
actually to like take it so far out of the box that it like almost wouldn’t even be
considered a lobster roll. Very, very few clam shacks
or lobster roll places either pick their own meat
or make their own buns. We do all of that in-house. We do a sort of Chinese-style steam bun. It’s been both a blessing and a curse as we’ve gotten busier. It’s like, “Oh my God, do we
really have to hand roll, you know, 600 buns a day?” Yes, we do, because nobody
makes a split-top steam bun. In Maine, there’s a big debate as to warm lobster rolls versus cold. Cold is like lobster
salad with mayonnaise. But there is there this
tradition of tossing lobster meat in warm just-melted butter, and that’s your classic warm lobster roll. – [Mike] And we were playing
around that and then– – We decided to toss lobster meat in that warm brown butter vinaigrette
over warm lobster. And it is sort of ironic
now, but people say we have the best lobster roll
in Maine, and I’m like, “Well, it’s barely a
lobster roll, but it works.” – [Mike] Sure, we’ll take it. – [Andrew] We’ll take it. (laughs) I grew up in the Boston
area going to Cape Cod and going down the coast to Maine and the smell of fried scallops — that was like those iconic
Cape Cod clam shacks. It like, I mean, really
resonates deeply with me. I’ve always been fascinated by scallops. There’s this great tradition
in Japanese izakaya restaurants to do these sort of pancakes
or like batter-based custards, like takoyaki or okonomiyaki, and we thought we would
basically try to do caramelized scallop in a waffle takoyaki. So I pureed it, turned it
into sort of a waffle batter, and we put it in a waffle iron, and you get just tons of
caramelized scallop flavor, which is pretty awesome. And it’s got almost a custardy interior, like a scallop mousse. And then we take that and we put all those wonderful savory ingredients like tare and make this umami emulsion, onido, nori, pickled sea vegetables, tempura crispies, and it just makes this really kind of like crushable, delicious waffle. Oyster bars and clam
shacks are always something that we’ve just really
adored, a big part of sort of New England and New England culture. There is something so
nostalgic about sitting on a picnic table on the
ocean with some fried clams. – [Mike] And also oysters. – I would say 90% of the
oysters we serve are from Maine. We do offer usually four to
five varieties from away. Everybody always believes that oysters from where they’re from are the best. They’ve gotta be the
freshest where you are, and that is certainly true here. These oysters have never been on a plane. They’re usually never out of the water for more than three or four
days before they get here, so they’re impeccably fresh. – I didn’t eat a ton
of seafood growing up, but I ate the hell out of fried clams. That was one thing that my
mom and I kind of bonded over: fried clam rolls, and
just piles of fried fish with nothing but like
a single lemon wedge. It was just, like, absolutely dynamite. – I think people have a
lot of associative memories of, you know, being on
the beach in the summer. And I think when you’re
that close to the ocean, it’s kind of what you want to eat. Memorial Day, it’s like, even
though it was 50 degrees, this place was jumping, because I think everybody wants to get their seafood in. – It’s like white pants and seafood: Memorial Day.

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8 thoughts on “Meet the Chefs Behind Maine’s Best Lobster Roll || Eat Seeker: Eventide

  1. Dang. So many great looking dishes. Another excellent Eat Seeker but kind of wished this were a Fork Yeah to hear comments on the food. That waffle looked interesting. 👍

  2. The combo of the backstory of the dish then showing the preparation of the dish was great. Definitely added to my "go-to" list for Maine. Thanks for posting

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