Updated July 8, 2015 11:24 AM
By PETER M. GIANOTTI, ERICA MARCUS AND JOAN REMINICK
The lobster is Long Island’s king of crustaceans and year-round marine mascot. Come summer, Homarus americanus takes on a still greater role: the centerpiece of numerous specials at restaurants in Nassau and Suffolk. You’ll find lobsters pristinely steamed or broiled, butter-poached or stuffed, starring in a clambake or atop a plate of pasta or in a sushi roll, and doubtless in whatever the chef’s next burst of imagination will allow.
Here are several spots where you may, to borrow a familiar phrase, get crackin’.
Randee Daddona photo
Jedediah Hawkins Inn, Jamesport: The handsome grounds of this meticulously restored, Italianate-Victorian landmark inn are the perfect setting for a lazy, lobster-filled afternoon. Enjoy the house’s traditional clambake, which stars lobster, clams and mussels all steamed in lobster broth with local corn on the cob and new potatoes. Available Sunday nights, starting at 4 p.m. Price: $35.
Eric’s Italian Bistro, Mineola: The lunch or dinner lobster specials at Eric’s Italian Bistro include steamed twin lobsters with marinara sauce, a 1 1/2-pound lobster fra diavolo, stuffed lobster accented with garlic and Cognac, lobster ravioli and broiled Brazilian lobster tails. A salad, soup or shrimp-and-shiitake mushroom risotto are the appetizer selections. Available daily through the summer, depending on supply. Price: $32.95
Nautilus Cafe, Freeport: Many lobster specials involve a “chicken” lobster (1 to 1 1/4 pounds) surrounded by a lot of other shellfish and vegetables. But according to Brian Crofton, chef-owner of Nautilus Cafe, “a chix is an appetizer.” Nautilus’ special consists of a 2- to 2 1/4-pound bruiser. The lobsters come from Jordan Lobster Farms in Island Park, and Crofton orders mostly females, which have wider tails and contain roe. Each lobster comes with a choice of Caesar or a mixed-green salad or soup. Available Mondays for lunch and dinner. Price: $37
Jewel, Melville: The lobster special at Tom Schaudel’s opulent eatery is all about choices: You can tackle a steamed 2-pounder, or eschew the lobster crackers in favor of a fork to enjoy fettuccine with lobster or butter-poached lobster with mushroom risotto. Chopsticks (or your fingers) are the right tools for an option from Jewel’s sushi bar, the Be-Ju lobster roll with lobster, crab, avocado, cucumber and soy paper. Precede the lobster with a choice of Long Island fish chowder or Caesar salad; follow it with caramel-Nutella cake or strawberry cheesecake. Available Fridays for dinner. Price: $45
Fatfish Wine Bar and Bistro, Bay Shore: With its serene, canal-side location, Fatfish is one of Long Island’s prettiest summer dining spots. On Mondays, you can also enjoy the beautiful sight of a 1 1/2-pound steamed Maine lobster. The meal starts with a grilled vegetable salad, and the lobster is accompanied by mussels in red or white sauce, roasted potatoes and seasonal vegetables (usually corn on the cob). Price: $32
The Patio, Freeport: True to its name, much of this restaurant sprawls over a patio overlooking the marina’s bobbing boats. On Wednesday nights, chef Alex Algieri offers two lobster specials. The first includes soup, salad and unlimited pots containing a 1 1/4-pound lobster, clams, mussels, potatoes and corn. The second includes soup and salad and a 1 3/4-pound lobster stuffed with shrimp and crab, accompanied by grilled corn and house frites. To go with everything: live music. Price: $29.95
Peter’s Clam Bar, Island Park: Now celebrating its 75th anniversary, this recently refurbished seafood restaurant offers its Tuesday lobster special at dinner only. You may get cracking in the dining room or dining patio, overlooking the water. Included in the deal are a 1 1/2-pound lobster with two sides, usually potato and asparagus. Price: $19.95
Harbor Mist, Cold Spring Harbor: Harbor Mist’s gracious second-story dining room has a stunning water view, especially in the evenings when the sun sets over the bobbing boats in Cold Spring Harbor. The restaurant offers its lobster special every day except Friday and Saturday: a large (at least 1 3/4 pounds) steamed lobster preceded by soup or salad and followed by dessert. Price: $45
Louie’s Oyster Bar and Grille, Port Washington: Two 1 1/4-pound lobsters are preceded by either Louie’s excellent New England clam chowder or a house salad accompanied by mussels, clams, corn on the cob and a baked potato. Follow up with Key lime pie or ice cream. Enjoy it all in one of Louie’s classic oyster bar dining rooms or on the outdoor deck overlooking Manhasset Bay. Available Mondays and Tuesdays for dinner, and sometimes lunch. Price: $39