On Monday, I found myself back at Luke’s Lobster to sample some of their new menu items, and I couldn’t have been happier. I got to meet co-owner Ben Conniff, who has opened 19 locations and is personally involved in overseeing his restaurants. It was nice to have the company of my friend & Editor at Chicago Food Magazine, Lauren Knight, who fully understands the nuances of a food tasting.
We walked into a small shack type restaurant- the décor was somewhere in-between a barn and old Maine, keeping the theme rustic yet marine. After personally greeting us, Ben spent some time educating us about this small seafood chain he has so passionately launched, with the most recent one being in Las Vegas.
We began our tasting with a trio of the Crab Bisque, Shrimp Bisque and the New England Clam Chowder; each a full flavored stew with zesty seasonings that created magic in every bite. The weather outside that evening was also the perfect calling for a cup (or cups) of warm delicious soup! ☺
Following that, we tried their famous Lobster Roll, which was served with a side of what they call, ’Mayoless’ Coleslaw. Now if you’re a true pescetarian, you will appreciate good coleslaw, as it can often be a nice accompaniment to your seafood. When I tried it, I was actually confused as to how they were able preserve its traditional taste and texture without dunking it into a bucket of mayonnaise. Refreshing nevertheless!
The final and favorite item of the tasting, for me, was without doubt, the Lobster Grilled Cheese. While the name should suffice in conveying the deliciousness of this sandwich, it doesn’t do justice to this genius creation. One bite in, and I wanted to write a thesis about it! This lobster sandwich, I was told, is a seasonal item & only on the menu for a limited time. Luckily for us, winter in Chicago lasts long enough for me to go back for more.
The grilled cheese sandwich is prepared with Maine-made organic white bread, fresh, succulent pieces of pure lobster and melted Gruyere cheese. Need I say more? The bread was crispy and lightly salted, the Gruyere worked wonderfully with the lobster without overpowering it, and the lobster itself was flawlessly seasoned. Given our intrigue, we started inquiring about what the secret spices were as indicated on the menu. Upon probing, the only one revealed to us was celery salt. We’ll take it! I spent a good amount of time after dinner guessing what the other spices could be! I guess some secrets do make friends ☺
The thing about Luke’s Lobster is that everything there is organic. - the seafood is freshly sourced from Maine or Quebec, the bread is organic and the salads are fresh. You leave feeling very content about the quality of your meal. Not all dining experiences can do that.
With a liquor license in hand now, the restaurant is able to offer fun Happy Hour specials such as $3 microbrews & $4 cider (Monday through Friday). Desserts such as the pumpkin pie, which we gobbled, are catered from the famous Bang Bang Pie Shop. And Luke’s Lobster is also partnered with meal delivery services such as GrubHub or Doordash, so you can have all of this deliciousness delivered to your doorstep if you want! There really is no reason to miss out on Luke’s Lobster. I can assure you, it will have you running back for more!
Neighborhood: The Loop
Address: 134 N LaSalle St, Chicago, IL 60602
Phone: (312) 982-2977
Hours: M-Th: 11AM-9PM, Fri-Sat: 12PM-8PM, Sun: 12PM-8PM
Price: $15 - $50