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If you’re a turkey, November and December might not be your favorite months. But what if you are a lobster? You might wanna find a nice hiding place deep below the sea as well. Although lobsters are harvested year-round in Maine and New Hampshire, the majority are harvested between June and December, with a drop-off later in the year. Why am I telling you this National Geographic history lesson? Because my girlfriend and I had the chance to visit Luke’s Lobster for their seasonal change-of-the-menu to taste some of their new offerings.

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Before I tell you about the scrumptious food we ate let me tell you a bit about Luke’s. They are a cozy Maine-bred seafood shack sourced from sustainable fisheries, traceable back to the very harbor where the seafood was caught. How’s that for accountability?

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The vision of Luke Holden, a Maine native and one-time lobsterman, Luke’s Lobster opened its first shack in 2009 in the East Village and now has shacks in eight states across the country. From ocean to plate, Luke’s handles every step of the supply chain to ensure that only exceptionally fresh seafood is served. They hand pick their lobsters directly from the lobstermen at the dock and their sister company, Cape Seafood, immediately cleans and steams them to preserve their freshness and quality.

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Now to our meal. We tried both the Lobster Grilled Cheese and Crab Grilled Cheese. Made with Gruyere cheese and organic white bread they were simply delicious and reasonably priced too.

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Their Tail & Kale Salad (baby kale, warm quinoa, chickpeas, pickled red onions, roasted pumpkin seeds and Luke’s poppyseed vinaigrette) was fantastic!

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We also had their Clam Chowder, New England style of course. This chowder was insanely excellent, on par with the infamous Soup Nazi. To wash it all down we drank sodas from Green Bee and Maine Root, both based out of Maine. These aren’t your average sugared Coca-Colas. Green Bee is sweetened with wildflower honey and a squeeze of real fruit juice and Maine Root is fair trade certified and organically sweetened. The blueberry lemonade was great. If designer soda ain’t your thing, Luke’s has a nice selection of wines and microbrews, and, more importantly, happy hour every day from 4:00 – 7:00 pm.

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– Michael Riegelman

Luke’s Lobster
207 East 43rd Street
between 2nd & 3rd Avenues
New York, NY 10017