Lobster Roll, Oyster House
The only thing that lobster fanatics like more than lobster rolls is complaining about the price of lobster rolls. Because, really, they insist—it’s just a sandwich, right? And who would pay $26 for a sandwich? You will, if you know what’s good for you, because the lobster roll at the Oyster House isn’t just a sandwich—it’s a near-perfect re-creation of those classic New England rolls of yesteryear, with big hunks of beautiful lobster meat tossed with mayo and chopped celery and piled high on a toasted bun. Every sandwich delivers nearly as much meat as eating a small tail, so if you want the good stuff, just shut up, pay the price, and be glad someone in this town knows how a proper lobster roll is made. 1516 Sansom Street, 215-567-7683, oysterhousephilly.com.
Lobster Mac-and-Cheese, Village Whiskey
Lobster mac-and-cheese has become one of those high-tone/lowbrow classics served by almost every restaurant trying to capture a sense of elegant rusticity. The problem is, nearly everywhere it’s served, lobster mac-and-cheese just sucks. Village Whiskey is the exception, offering a creamy, filling, scratch-made and crumb-topped version elevated (rather than overshadowed) by big chunks of perfectly cooked lobster. 118 South 20th Street, 215-665-1088, villagewhiskey.com.
Lobster Cappuccino, JG Domestic
There are no pieces of lobster in this simple bowl of soup, disguised as a cup of cappuccino and bobbing with tiny butternut squash dumplings, that made such a splash on JG’s menu last fall. There are no bits of claw, no shreds of tail. What there is is a gorgeous, silky cream soup heavy with the flavors of brown butter and vanilla emulsion, and a luxurious wash of fatty richness that carries on its back an essence of lobster more pure and powerful than jamming an entire tail in your mouth at once. Those of you who want a taste should start praying now that JG includes it on the new menu this fall. 2929 Arch Street, 215-222-2363, jgdomestic.com.