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LobsterRollChronicle's Profile

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New England Lobster Rolls

Gabatta, although we've certainly had larger chunks of meat, this role still had pretty good sized chunks... although we do know what you mean. And we've heard several reports of exotic ingredients overpowering the ICOB roll. This was definitely was not the case during our visit. The exotics were "present" but not overpowering. From all the feedback we've gotten, we may well have hit them on a good day.

Nov 20, 2012
LobsterRollChronicle in Greater Boston Area

New England Lobster Rolls

Treb, it's Lobster Gal who brings a scale. We can tell you that this was a good sized roll.

Nov 20, 2012
LobsterRollChronicle in Greater Boston Area

New England Lobster Rolls

CCG, sorry for the typo. We were new to this, and were just trying to add to the community... but message received. Here's the review.
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Profile: “ISLAND CREEK OYSTER BAR” in Boston, MA

We found Island Creek Oyster Bar in a roundabout way, twice over. First, we’d been to their Kenmore Square location back when it was a restaurant called Great Bay (in fact, it was our secret for Red Sox games – have some apps, valet your car, and they’d have it waiting and running as soon as the game got over. 30-minutes from last pitch to driveway!). But we’d also seen Island Creek Oysters featured on Andrew Zimmern‘s television show, Bizarre Foods. We realized neither of these points when we chose to make it the third of a three-roll day hoofing it around Boston. All we knew was two things: first, lots of people like ICOB. Second, they reportedly add all sorts of non-traditional nonsense into their roll. But what the heck… we figured we’d give them a try.

In some ways, ICOB is about as different from places like Red’s Eats and The Clam Shack as you can get. This is a high-end, glitzy restaurant with a mammoth bar and aforementioned valet guys who’ll happily park your car for you. Yet, the great equalizer is this bug from the deep we like to eat in a hot dog roll. So, despite the ambiance, we’re not sure how much of an advantage a fancy place really has over the little guys. The roll is what it is.

We asked about the rolls here, and our bartender Vik (who later turned out to be interested in our blog) said they were great. We told him we’d be splitting our role, which seemed fine with him.We waited the usual 10-15 minutes for our made-to-order order, and were pleased to see they actually took the time to cut our roll in half, and give each of us our own plate complete with our own orders of homemade potato chips and our own servings of coleslaw. NOTE TO FUTURE CHEFS OF AMERICA: this very small, cost-free gesture makes your customers feel like you care about them. It is, at the end of the day, pretty easy to delight your customers if you just think about it. But, we weren’t going to let this feel-good service influence our ratings.

This roll was very good. A beautifully buttered brioche roll contained a subtle complex of flavors which, in the hands of a less experienced chef, could have easily gotten out of hand. So let the controversy begin. If anyone had shared these ingredients with us in advance, we’d have been far less likely to drop by ICOB. But, confronted with this roll and nothing left to do but dig in, we were so happy nobody spilled the beans. The lobster meat was sweet, moist, and very fresh. It was dressed in light mayo (which we assume may have been scratch-made), as well as a touch of crème fraîche. This fancy tweak was so nice, and really rounded out the dressing-driven moistness while avoiding more inevitable greasy mayo twang. Tiny cubes of pickle and onion snuck up on us without being “in our face,” while salt, pepper, and a few other things we can’t remember rounded out the roll.

To repeat this was a very good roll! And, despite the laundry list of ingredients (which we’d never had noticed had we not read about them in advance) we are vary happy to award Island Creek Oyster Bar with a rating of HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Here’s how they stacked up (0-100):

T’s Rating: 92
P’s Rating: 91
AVERAGE: 91.5

Island Creek Oyster Bar is located at 500 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston, MA. WEBSITE: http://islandcreekoysterbar.com. FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Island.... PHONE: 617.532.5300

Nov 19, 2012
LobsterRollChronicle in Greater Boston Area

New England Lobster Rolls

Winner winner, chicken dinner! That's ICOB! Surprisingly good role despite some nontraditional ingredients. We've already received a bit of flak based on our review, but we stand by our findings... very good role!

Nov 19, 2012
LobsterRollChronicle in Greater Boston Area

New England Lobster Rolls

Three more stops on the lobster roll express yesterday: Yankee Lobster Company, B&G Oysters, and Island Creek Oyster Bar. Any guesses on who scored big?

Nov 19, 2012
LobsterRollChronicle in Greater Boston Area

New England Lobster Rolls

Thanks for all the Belle Isle recommendations. We hit them today and have posted a write-up on our blog and Facebook pages. Here's an excerpt.

"The lobster meat itself was truly fresh and delicious – some of the best we’ve had. But we both noticed that, aside from a couple of lettuce leaves, the roll was naked – that is, no salt, no pepper, not nothing. Usually this is no big deal because the butter-grilled roll typically delivers a light dose of salt, as well as a buttery rich bottom. In this case, because the roll was so lightly toasted and seemed to lack any butter, and because the roll was otherwise plain, despite its high-quality lobster meat this role left us wishing for just a bit more taste."

Oct 20, 2012
LobsterRollChronicle in Greater Boston Area

New England Lobster Rolls

We still contend Farnham's has the best fried clams, but the mayo controversy is really starting to make sense! Great data, CM.

Oct 17, 2012
LobsterRollChronicle in Greater Boston Area

New England Lobster Rolls

You know, we skipped Linda Bean's because it's a chain. Not sure how we'd feel about a miracle roll...

Oct 17, 2012
LobsterRollChronicle in Greater Boston Area

New England Lobster Rolls

CM, you know we've been thinking about your Cain's mayo comment. There was definitely something different about the Farnham's roll that we couldn't put our finger on. You may have nailed it! If your report is true, then this might be that "certain something" that prevented Farnham's from scoring higher than 12th on our list. Nice call.

Oct 17, 2012
LobsterRollChronicle in Greater Boston Area

New England Lobster Rolls

CCG, that was EXACTLY our experience.

Oct 17, 2012
LobsterRollChronicle in Greater Boston Area

New England Lobster Rolls

Here's a snap from our visit. Our issue wasn't as much quantity as it was quality, which was really pretty bad.

Oct 16, 2012
LobsterRollChronicle in Greater Boston Area

New England Lobster Rolls

LG, Farnham's actually isn't bad. Slightly over-dressed, and the lobster meat is chopped into relatively small chunks. Overall a pretty good roll. (And if you like fried clams, Farnham's is the favorite of many, including us!). Roy Moore's Lobster Company has two locations in Rockport. His shack on Bear Skin Neck might be closed by now (seasonal business). These rolls a pre-made, kept in a cooler, and are relatively small (see photo, and compare size of the roll to the bag of chips). We've not had the roll from Roy's Fish Shack (which is just about 100 yards away, right in the center of Rockport).

Oct 16, 2012
LobsterRollChronicle in Greater Boston Area

New England Lobster Rolls

L2K, you're making us want to visit Belle Isle ASAP to see what all the fuss is about. Are they seasonal, or open year round?

Oct 16, 2012
LobsterRollChronicle in Greater Boston Area

New England Lobster Rolls

Confirmed, LobsterGal. Hook still has pre-made lobster rolls on ice in the display case, but they will also make you a butter-grilled roll on-demand!

Oct 16, 2012
LobsterRollChronicle in Greater Boston Area

New England Lobster Rolls

LobsterGal has a great site. We've heard mixed reviews of Belle Isle. Louie's Alive & Kicking is really a great take, and one of our favorites. As far as we're concerned, the shape of the bread is secondary... kind of like saying you like penne better than ziti.

Oct 15, 2012
LobsterRollChronicle in Greater Boston Area