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“Monument Lane”

  Occasion: Cuisine: Area: Cost: Rating:
  Night Out New American West Village Moderate Good

It’s not easy to serve a lobster roll in this town without earning (often harsh) comparisons to greats like Pearl Oyster Bar and Mary’s Fish Camp, and more recently shops like Ed’s Lobster Bar and the Red Hook Lobster Pound. It’s a sandwich that can create tension in relationships. Say I like Pearl and you like Mary’s. We may be friends, but we’ll never be soul mates, you know what I mean? Well, I may be losing some soul mates here when I announce that my new favorite lobster roll comes from none of these likely contenders. Nope. You’ll find it at a newish American tavern owned by Josh Früm (formerly of Blue Water Grill) and chef’d by Brian Murphy of Picholine in NYC and The Blue Plate in San Francisco.

It’s a lovely little restaurant and tavern called Monument Lane, and while it’s got some other wonderful food happening on its menu—including luscious pork belly with stone fruit, a nice fat juicy burger with skin-on fries, and some seriously good homemade pretzels that sort of resemble Combos (in shape only) served warm with a bowl of smoky gouda fondue—its most prized possession is its lobster roll. I’d pit this one against any of the greats and see it topple them all. The lobster roll at Monument Lane could have Jasper White sending his regulars at Summer Shack down to Greenwich Avenue in the dog days of August. It’s that good. But don’t take my word for it. Better yet, go try it for yourselves.

The Lobster Roll at Monument Lane

The sandwich ($25) is given its distinction by a number of things. First, is the quantity and quality of lobster meat. Containment inside the boundaries of the bun is not possible. You could easily make two sandwiches of the one, with a little extra for your toddler in tow. And while the meat is so sweet you don't really need to add much seasoning, the chef adds just the right amount of mayonnaise as a nice, slick vehicle for tarragon, salt, pepper, lemon, and little more. Finally, and perhaps critically, there’s the matter of the bun. It’s not served on a soft split top like you’d expect. The lobster in this case is contained (again, barely) by a griddled split top ciabatta bun, once that’s crisped up so that you get this great contrast in temperature and texture when you b ... [more, click below]

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