We just got back from a trip to Boston and that means lots and lots of lobster. Research started weeks out from our departure. Brioche or bun? Butter or mayo? Order 2 or 3? I mean, I was up all night asking myself these questions. In the end, it's all about preference. Me? I like mine on brioche, cold and tossed in my beloved mayo. Once I came up with my requirements, I only had one question left to ask...where?
This question required multiple tweets, Facebook posts, Chowhound searches and text messages. Because God Forbid anyone from my generation would call on the telephone! The response was overwhelming and the #1 recommendation was Neptune Oyster in the North End. Neptune reminded me of Jax, my beloved fish house in Boulder where we went to college. It was small, focused on fresh ingredients served simply and the wine list had the perfect amount of variety to pair with seafood. Here is a recipe comparable to the one we had at Neptune.
- Four 1- to 1 1/4-pound lobsters
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup finely diced celery
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 4 top-split hot dog buns
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup shredded Boston lettuce
- Prepare a large ice-water bath. In a very large pot of boiling salted water, cook the lobsters until they turn bright red, about 10 minutes. Using tongs, plunge the lobsters into the ice-water bath for 2 minutes, then drain.
- Twist off the lobster tails and claws and remove the meat. Remove and discard the intestinal vein that runs the length of each lobster tail. Cut the lobster meat into 1/2-inch pieces and pat dry, then transfer to a strainer set over a bowl and refrigerate until very cold, at least 1 hour.
- In a large bowl, mix the lobster meat with the mayonnaise and season with salt and pepper. Fold in the diced celery, lemon juice and cayenne pepper until well blended.
- Heat a large skillet. Brush the sides of the hot dog buns with the melted butter and toast over moderate heat until golden brown on both sides. Transfer the hot dog buns to plates, fill them with the shredded lettuce and the lobster salad and serve immediately.