Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Day in the Rough

There are things that epitomize areas, cuisines, cultures, etc. These are the things that I seek out. While speaking to a colleague from Philly the other day, I asked him about Philly cheese steaks. While in Ireland, I ate lamb whenever possible. While in Scotland, you would be remiss if you did not have some haggis. While in Italy…you get the picture.

My final day of my recent trip to New England was capped off by a visit to Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough. This renowned seafood shack at the mouth of the Mystic River is open from April to Columbus Day. The menu, as the name suggests, is very lobster-centric but also includes other items such as clams, oysters, chowders, plus options for the seafood adverse. I overheard a conversation between a woman and her elderly mother as the woman scolded her mother for even thinking about getting a hot dog. I agree. This is like to going to Italy and having Chinese food (OK, I did that once, but I had a bad stretch of crappy tourist food, not to mention how cool and weird it was to have a conversation in Italian with a Chinese lady in Rome, Italy).

Columbus Day was sunny and about seventy degrees and quite breezy. The view couldn’t be beat; lots and lots of boats resting where the river met the sound. Frustrated seagulls flew overhead, their usual pesky behavior thwarted by the wires run over our heads forming a “net”. Unfortunately, I did not have as much time as I would have liked. I would have ordered a lobster dinner and brought my own wine, purchased the day before on the North Fork of Long Island AKA Long Island Wine Country. I ordered a hot lobster roll, lobster bisque and corn on the cob. The others in my party ordered shrimp chowder, clam chowder, stuffed clams, and of course more lobster rolls. The corn was kind of flavorless, but everything else was fabulous. The clam chowder was a light broth, no cream, not rich, just briny and full of clam flavor, clams, and potatoes. The shrimp chowder had corn, potatoes, and shrimp and was also very good. The lobster bisque was good, but very heavy for my taste. Too much fat deadens the taste buds, not to mention makes it even harder for my clothes to button and snap. The lobster rolls were served with slaw that had a nice little bite to it, individual bags of chips and a pickle.

This destination if a definite the next time I am in that neck of the woods. Next time I will make sure I have more time and bring a bottle of wine.

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