Red Hook Lobster Pound
284 Van Brunt Street, Red Hook
Rating: 3 out of 5 L's
The lobster rolls need not be a summertime-only snack. Sure, the classic version, served in a soft bun with a glaze of mayo, crunch of celery and kick of spice is an ideal beach eat, and the Red Hook Lobster Pound serves a fine version of that Maine-style roll year-round ($15). But as the cold rolls in, their Connecticut-style roll, with generous chunks of lobster served warm and drizzled with melted butter (also $15), makes an even better option. Both versions are served with a pickle spear and a bag of chips, and pair well with a sarsaparilla Maine Root soda ($2.50). Just be careful not to eat too fast – these lobster rolls are very scarf-able, and if you throw in a couple of beverages, you're dropping almost 40 bucks on a lunch for two. Pause between bites and reflect on the fact that the shop owner fetches just-caught crustaceans from Maine, carts them down to Brooklyn in salt-water tanks, and then stores the live lobsters in the tanks that take up a good portion of the small shop. These lobsters have come a long way. Try to make the moment last.
Until recently, Red Hook Lobster Pound was nothing but a small storefront, decorated with a mural of a giant lobster and a pirate ship, a mosaic of seashells and faux fish encrusted on the base of its lunch counter. Now, you can carry your food to the dining area, one door over. Despite the presence of picnic tables and some buoys for décor, the space feels like an abandoned conference room in a low-budget office building. The doors around the perimeter lead to supply closets and fuse boxes. I opened them so you don't have to; there isn't a public restroom here. If you find that one roll isn't filling enough, you might head back to the counter and round out your meal with a cheaper shrimp roll ($8), a homemade whoopee pie ($3), or a cup of lobster bisque ($8), which is also served by the pint ($14) and quart ($25). The lobster dinner ($25) comes with a whole steamed lobster, sides and a bib. They've even got hot dogs for kids and other tagalongs who are adverse to shellfish.