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Ben Sargent may have gone through some rather dramatic transformations over the past few months, but his talent for self-promotion has remained a constant. This was made hilariously apparent last night when the founder of Greenpoint’s Underground Lobster Pound crashed Tasting Table’s invite-only Lobster Roll Claw-Off.
Dressed in his Ali G. finest, Sargent — or rather, Dr. Claw — showed up two hours after the event started, as partygoers were trying to grapple with the effects of already having consumed far too much lobster, mayonnaise, and butter. Without much in the way of fanfare, he circulated throughout the vast penthouse overlooking the Hudson, pulling foil-wrapped rolls from an enormous black duffle bag and pressing them into the hands of whoever stood in his path.
Until, that is, the event’s organizers cornered him and asked him to leave. And he did, but then re-appeared a few minutes later to hand out more rolls that, despite (presumably) having traveled all the way from Greenpoint to the West Side Highway, were still warm.
Whether Sargent really did crash the party or its organizers were in on the joke all along, his unexpected appearance was inarguably one of the better publicity stunts we’ve seen in quite a while. And more importantly, the lobster rolls — which came with Dr. Claw’s business card, drenched in butter — were inarguably some of the best we’ve tasted in quite a while, thanks to their toasted, buttery bun, generous helping of fresh, pliant meat, and just the right amount of seasoning. Sargent may protest a bit too much about not wanting the publicity, but his lobster rolls are definitely deserving of it.
Some more lobster roll money shots after the jump.
Ditch Plains’ exemplary roll came with sweet potato chips.
The Red Hook Lobster Pound’s entry was a thing of unsurpassable beauty.
David Burke’s Fishtail chose to show the crowds where exactly their lobster roll came from.