East Coast lobster rolls at Da Lobsta on Chicago's Gold Coast


February 27, 2013 9:39:04 AM PST
On the East Coast, lobster rolls are as prevalent as hot dogs are in Chicago.

ABC7's Hungry Hound says a new restaurant in the Gold Coast is hoping to take this one-of-a-kind sandwich mainstream in the Midwest.

Despite the "roll" in its name, this sandwich is more of a split-top, two-handed affair. It was born on the east coast, where lobsters are plentiful. But a new operation in the city is hoping to make it a Chicago thing, too.

They hail from the East Coast, and have nothing to do with sushi. Lobster rolls are the name of the game at Da Lobsta in the Gold Coast - site of the old Ashkenaz Deli - and they're served in very casual surroundings.

"What makes us different is that we have a lower price point, and you don't have to go through the whole fine dining experience," said J Wolf, the owner of Da Lobsta.

The classic lobster roll is pretty simple. It begins with a New England-style bun, split lengthwise, brushed with butter and griddled on the sides.

"A little bit of mayo at the bottom - it's not mixed in - then we have the claw and knuckle meat, which is served cold, and then on top we drizzle butter," Wolf said.

But beyond the classic version, Da Lobsta also offers ethnic versions. Feeling Greek? Add tzatziki, feta, cukes and tomatoes. How about a little bit Indian?

"The Indian roll will not only have the lobster meat, but we have a potato paneer salad and a mango chutney on top," said Wolf. "We've also done a really good job to try to not overshadow the actual seafood itself."

Crab and shrimp are other options, if you don't feel like a lobster roll; they also have chopped salads topped with lobster, plus two soups each day: one is always a standard clam chowder; the other one rotates with the seasons. They even have homemade whoopie pies for dessert. It's all part of a plan to bring a taste of the East Coast to the Gold Coast.

"I was trying to bring our own little version of a lobster shack here into Chicago," said Wolf.

In addition to lobster and shrimp rolls, they also offer crab rolls. Plus, they're bringing in Cape Cod potato chips for a true taste of the East Coast.

Da Lobsta
12 E. Cedar St.
(312) 929-2423