So much lobster, so little time

If you love lobster— and really, you absolutely should love lobster, unless you’re my boyfriend or a similar unfortunate soul who can’t delight in the wonders of shellfish due to allergies— get thee to New England. Everywhere you go, it’s lobster, lobster, LOBSTER!

During a recent weekend spent in Rhode Island and Cape Cod, I saw it incorporated into everything short of dessert, and even that, I’m sure was out there somewhere. Lobster ravioli, lobster rolls, lobster bisque, plain ol’ lobster— you name it, it was on the menu. I ate more lobster in two days than I have in the last two months, and even though I kind of felt like a selfish bastard for not being able to share it with Flaneur, let me tell you, I got over that fast.

Brenton Reef Benedict, a damn fine way to start a day off in New England

Of all the lobster indulging I took part in though, the most stand-out lobster inclusive thing I ate was the Brenton Reef Benedict at Franklin Spa, a homey, classic style American diner. Two soft, doughy Bolo rolls, grilled just slightly enough to make them warm and a tiny bit crispy, were topped with steamed spinach, tender, sweet hunks of native lobster meat, poached eggs and then coated in a creamy, buttery hollandaise sauce to make for one of the most indulgent, ridiculously good breakfast/anytime eats.

For me, a winning dish is one that combines different flavors and textures without becoming a hodgepodge, and Franklin Spa’s lobster take on eggs benedict was just right. The slight bitter taste of spinach, the sweet meatiness of the lobster, the velvety rich smoothness of the hollandaise, and then of course, the rich, salty kick of the runny yolk— the bf’s french toast was good too, but sweet lobster-loving Jesus, it could never compete with this.

Oh New England, I hope you know how good you have it.

Reconnecting over a bowl of clam chowder

No sooner had the sun set on Labor Day, than the world itself seemed to mourn summer’s end. At least in New York, the week following the holiday to celebrate the last hurrah of summer (and labor?) was grey, rainy and dreary.

But you know who wasn’t sad about summer being on the way out?

This girl RIGHT HERE.

It’s been a long, tiresome summer and I, for one, am glad to see it go. Not only did I start a new job, have a traumatic run-in with a roach in my apartment, go through an earthquake aaand a hurricane in the same week (albeit, neither one serious but STILL) and cope with the insufferable heat of summer in the city, but I went through it all on my own while that ol’ Euro boyfriend of mine sunned his buns in the Mediterranean and lived the good life without me.

I may sound whiney, but all joking aside, it’s been rough. (Living alone is not for me, I’ve learned.) The beau’s return last week coincided with the end of summer, and made for just another reason for me to say, “So long, summer! Don’t let the proverbial door hit ya on the way out!”

Now that he’s back and the weather’s cooler, I feel like things are back to how I like having them. (It’s not so much to ask for, is it, cool weather and a decent boyfriend to keep you company?) To celebrate his being back, or more accurately, to escape the massive security crackdowns in the city over the 9-11 weekend, the two of us hopped in a rented car and drove to Rhode Island.

New England Clam Chowder on a chilly late summer night in Rhode Island

The weather in New England was crisp and cool (which made me think fall, fall, fall…yes, yes, YES) and the change of scenery was a literal and figurative breath of fresh air. Obviously catching up and spending some QT with the BF was great, but the kicker on our first night in Newport? The moment that made me feel warm and fuzzy and like everything was right and good in the world again? Sharing a bowl of New England clam chowder at the Brick Alley Pub & Restaurant.

If ever there was a food that felt like the edible equivalent of a hug, or a good cuddle, this was it. Creamy and thick, with a delicious flavor that was simultaneously buttery, sweet and warming, I thought, is there anything more comforting in the world than this bowl of soup right now? I could do this for the rest of autumn and probably clear through winter.

Summer, it’s been real, but you really should be on your way.  My loves are back and I’ve missed them.