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The Claw opened last month on 23rd Street, dishing up a menu of seafood rolls and other treats from the ocean, including lobster mac and cheese and chowder. Wanting to know how its signature lobster roll stacked up, we popped in for a quick bite.
The small storefront is decked out in a coral-and-white color scheme that’s more Florida retirement home than L.L. Bean capital, but it’s bright and cheery, with several tall tables and a large banquette. The ordering counter overlooks the kitchen, and service is friendly and efficient. The classic lobster roll goes for $18, putting it in direct comparison with Luke’s Lobster, which sells its roll for $15 or $17 if you want chips and a soda. No chips here, but a small side of cornichons.
The lobster roll is served on a toasted potato bun, which isn’t bad, but for Pepperidge Farm split-top hot-dog-bun lovers (guilty as charged), a potato bun is still sacrilege. The lobster meat was claw-heavy, although a tad overcooked, with a bit of a rubbery chew. The meat itself is served slightly warm, with very little dressing and sprinkled with chives. For those who prefer a more mayonnaise-y lobster roll (again, guilty as charged), this might not be the one for you. Although buttery, it just seemed like it was missing something. For the price, we probably would go for Luke’s over this one, since we like their addition of celery salt and chilled meat, or we’d save our money and splurge at the Pearl Oyster Bar. Nevertheless, even an OK lobster roll is better than no lobster roll at all.