Post by Pam Wamback.
I can remember the first time I heard someone say they cooked a turkey for their Christmas dinner and I thought “now that’s different.”
In our family, Christmas dinners consisted of one main ingredient – lobster. Steamed lobster, creamed lobster, lobster chowder, lobster sandwiches… it didn’t matter the format as long as it included lobster. And you don’t have to look very far to understand why.
While a traditional steamed lobster dinner or a fresh lobster roll can be found in numerous restaurants around the province, my favourite crustacean is more frequently being paired with a variety of other ingredients to become a signature dish on many Nova Scotia menus. Here are a few I recommend as you claw your way around Nova Scotia!
- Lobster eggs benny (Pictou Lodge Beach Resort, Pictou): Two poached eggs topped with lobster meat and chives on a toasted muffin with house-made hollandaise sauce and served with potato wedges.
- Lobster frittata (The Quarterdeck Grill, Summerville): This egg-based dish is tossed with fresh chunks of lobster meat and cheese, then served with potatoes and a green salad.
- Lobster scrambled eggs (The Red Cap Motel & Restaurant, Pubnico): It’s as simple as it sounds, lightly seasoned with salt and pepper and served up with a side of hashbrowns and toast.
- Lobster crab potato cakes (Sou’Wester Restaurant, Peggy’s Cove): These delicate homemade potato cakes include spices and generous amounts of lobster and crab meat with red pepper mayo.
- Lobster poutine (The Argyler Lodge, Argyle): While there are many lobster poutines available across the province, I have a particular affinity for this one as it’s made with creamed lobster, a traditional dish of Southwest Nova Scotia. Fresh local lobster is sautéed in butter and finished with cream which is then poured over fries and cheese curds.
- Lobster grilled cheese sandwich (Hall’s Harbour Lobster Pound & Restaurant): Pieces of soft white bread bookend a creamy Havarti cheese-based filling and fresh lobster before being grilled in buttery goodness.
- Lobster club sandwich (Harbour City Bar & Grill, Delta Halifax by Marriott): Why have an ordinary club sandwich when you can have theirs made with their own baked brioche and stuffed with lobster, bacon, tomato, lettuce, and mayo.
- Lobster tempura bibb wraps (Salty’s, Halifax): This is as simple and succulent as it sounds, served with sriracha mayo for a little added kick.
- Lobster fries (Stubborn Goat Gastropub, Halifax): Lobster, hollandaise sauce, a poached egg with dill, and cream over onion frites
- Lobster croquettes (Lot Six Bar & Restaurant, Halifax): Golden potatoes and lobster sealed in by panko breading and then grilled to golden perfection before being topped with housemade Béchamel.
- Lobster arancini (Fox Harb’r Resort, Wallace): These lobster-stuffed rice balls are coated with bread crumbs then deep fried and served with Chef Shane’s own zucchini and fennel sauce.
- Lobster cobb salad (Cabot Bar, Inverness): Healthy goodness in a bowl! Fresh chilled lobster, cherry tomatoes, blue cheese, bacon, boiled egg, and avocado, all topped with ranch dressing.
- Lobster sliders (Seagrape Café @ Jost Vineyards, Malagash): Fresh chunks of Northumberland Shore lobster mixed with lemon and tarragon aioli.
- Lobster risotto (Oak Island Resort & Conference Centre, Western Shore): Lobster, butter, parmesan, and pea shoots.
- The Lunenburger (Grand Banker Bar & Grill, Lunenburg): I dare you to take on this signature dish - six ounces of hand formed, fresh local ground beef, smoked mozzarella, smoked bacon, and baby spinach, generously topped with lobster knuckles and claws and tarragon butter sauce. Served on a local artisan bun with a bacon wrapped scallop!
- Lobster tacos (Old Fish Factory, Lunenburg): Kudos to The Old Fish Factory who have a dedicated “lobster & seafood festival” menu available daily with lobster treats such as lobster and crab flatbread or lobster-stuffed haddock. But most locals converge for their lobster tacos – lobster and chipotle lime mayo mixed with homemade slaw, wild blueberry pickled onions, and cilantro served on two warm tortillas with a side of house chips.
- Lobster and scallops brandy gratin (Charlotte Lane, Shelburne): Tender lobster and scallops simmered in decadent brandy cream, then baked with Monterey and cheddar cheese.
- Creamed lobster (La Cuisine Robicheau, Saulnierville): Creamed lobster is a unique dish found mostly in the southwestern part of the province. The key to good creamed lobster is butter and whipping cream… and when it’s served with mashed potatoes, peas & carrots, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better dinner plate!
- Lobster linguine (The Blomidon Inn, Wolfville): Lobster pieces served with housemade linguine pasta, tomato, and scallions in horseradish cream.
- Lobster cakes (DesBarres Manor Inn, Guysborough): Paired with a salsa made of local rhubarb and Asian flavours to create a memorable lobster cake.
- Lobster duo (Kiju’s Restaurant, Membertou): Two for one! Sweet lobster cake and broiled lobster mac 'n cheese with Gouda and herbed panko all on one plate.
- Lobster mac n’ cheese (The Rusty Anchor, Pleasant Bay): The all-time favourite mac n’ cheese enhanced with lobster and Havarti cheese.
A.k.a. I’d have these for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
- Lobster roll (Capt. Kat’s Lobster Shack, Barrington Passage): Yes, there are many lobster rolls found around the province. But this is the best – seriously, they have the award to prove it! Their award-winning, mouth-watering version of this dish has a meat-to-bun ratio that is beyond impressive with large, visible chunks of fresh lobster meat tossed with crisp celery, green onion, spinach, and mayo all piled on a fresh-baked, buttery bun. But the decision to choose this over other lobster dishes on their menu won’t be easy – other local favourites include Fisherman's Delight (fresh deep-fried haddock topped with creamed lobster, galley-made onion rings, and cheese curds, served on a soft grilled bun) and lobster-topped fishcakes (two hefty fishcakes topped with creamed lobster and served with a side salad).
- The Crobster Roll (The Canteen, Dartmouth): You can’t go wrong when your toasted roll is stuffed (and I mean stuffed) with fresh lobster AND snow crab meat!
Lobster beer! Yes, I said beer.
- Crustacean Elation (Saltbox Brewery, Mahone Bay): This microbrewery created their beer by using lobsters and the lobster shells twice during the brewing process: once when whole lobster is added directly to the mash, and later when the roasted shells are added back into the boil.
- South Shorer Lobster Beer (Hell Bay Brewing Company, Liverpool): This beer was named after the boat that caught the lobster and brought it to the brewery to be developed into a lobster ale that has characteristics of biscuit malts and citrusy hops.