WALLINGFORD – Customers at Westbrook Lobster aren’t afraid to voice their opinions on which lobster roll is the best – the Connecticut-style roll or the New England roll, according to Owner Michael Lariviere.
“The Connecticut Lobster Roll is the most popular item year round,” Lariviere said. “There’s a big debate whether the Connecticut Lobster Roll or the classic New England Roll, which is the mayonnaise-based roll, is the most popular one or what everyone likes the most.”
The restaurant serves both along with several other lobster-themed dishes, including lobster macaroni and cheese and even lobster flat bread.
“On a Friday night we can go through over 20 pounds of lobster easy,” said Jeff Gorski, chef at Westbrook Lobster.
The shoreline-inspired restaurant got its start in 1963 in Westbrook as a seafood market and wholesaler.
In 1989, Lariviere’s family purchased the business. In 1995, it was expanded to a full seafood restaurant in Clinton.
In 2004, the restaurant opened its location in Wallingford.
The rustic look is a contrast to the seaside-style of the original location.
“There weren’t a lot of seafood restaurants in the area so we thought it was a good opportunity to expand our name inland a little bit,” Lariviere said.
He said the menu reflects the old seafood market from more than 50 years ago.
“It’s like an ocean to plate concept,” Lariviere said. “We only use fresh seafood, we only use fresh lobster meat.”
The restaurant serves between 60 and 100 pounds of fresh lobster meat a week.
While the lobster rolls are fan favorites, the restaurant also offers a bar bites menu, including chowder fries.
“It’s our homemade clam chowder that we make everyday,” Gorski said as he ladled out steaming hot chowder. “This goes right over the top.”
The Westbrook Brussel Sprouts, flash fried and tossed in a parmesan garlic sauce, are often paired with the lobster specials like the classic steamed lobster or the Westbrook style lobster sautéed in savory butter, bourbon, white wine, shallots and herbs.
“We constantly update,” Lariviere said of the bar bites and appetizer menus. “Our chef does a really great job with specials.”
In the past few years, the restaurant has added a craft beer menu featuring several breweries in the area and around the state.
Lariviere said though seafood is not usually associated with craft beer, the addition at Westbrook Lobster has been well-received.
Customers can eat their meals and sip beer outside on the covered deck, or inside in the dining room where they are greeted by a larger than life lobster figurine.
“Really the Connecticut Lobster Roll is really what makes us, I think, unique,” he said. “As much as you can get in Boston and Maine you can get right here in Connecticut.”
More information can be found at http://www.westbrooklobster.com/