Lakeshore Lobster Feast: Portland, Maine Recipes

A lobster-centric menu was the only option for our version of a Maine feast. Rich, readily available and accompanied by more than a little fanfare, there’s an earthy festivity to lobster that sums up Portland’s trademark decadent ease. The fact that most of our favorite restaurants offered their own riffs on the kingly crustacean further cements the interconnectedness in our memories.

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We were continually delighted by Portland’s penchant for reinventing the classics, and we tended to find them in the most unexpected places. Eventide Oyster Co. took a mid-century appetizer staple to new heights, topping light-as-air deviled eggs with salty smoked salmon. Served alongside bowlfuls of a favorite New England snack, this is a crowd-pleasing (and easygoing) welcome. 

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 Deviled Eggs a la Eventide Oyster Co.

  • 8 hardboiled eggs
  • 3-4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 pound smoked salmon, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chives, chopped

Slice hardboiled eggs in half lengthwise, carefully remove the yolks, and transfer to a bowl.

Using a fork or pastry blender, mash the yolks. Add mayonnaise, mustard, cayenne pepper, celery, onion, salt, and black pepper to taste. Fold in smoked salmon, stirring until just combined.

Spoon filling into a zip-top bag, cut off a corner tip, then pipe into the egg white halves. Garnish with the chives.

Chill and serve.

May We Suggest…


From roadside stand to white tablecloth dining room, every menu we encountered seemed to offer an even more novel idea when it came to serving the local delicacy. Several restaurants indulge a smidgeon of customization, allowing you to decide whether a mayo mixture, lemon-celery twist or buttery drizzle strikes your fancy, and to order accordingly. Then there are the purists who know that the best way to enjoy a fresh, hot lobster is by the hand of your own two claws – an interactive feast for the senses (and of course, the belly). Serve alongside an in-season salad (we tossed heirloom cherry tomatoes with feta, basil and a simple vinaigrette) and ears of steamed corn, and relish these golden hour flavors. 

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Lobster Roll a la The Clam Shack

Gather Note: You can buy live lobsters or purchase them pre-steamed. We prefer to buy them steamed (and shelled!) but if you are buying live lobsters, see our “Classic Steamed Lobster” recipe below for our tips. 

  • 2 pounds cooked Maine lobster meat, chopped (mixture of knuckle, claw and tail)
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 New England-style split top hotdog buns

In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Pour 6 tablespoons of melted butter over the lobster meat and mix until butter is distributed evenly. 

Brush inside of buns with the remaining melted butter. On a grill or in a pan, toast buns buttered side down until golden, about 1 minute.

Fill with lobster. Serve with side of melted butter.

Lobster Roll a la Portland

  • 2 pounds cooked Maine lobster meat, chopped (mixture of knuckle, claw and tail)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped peeled celery
  • 1/4 cup celery leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 6 hot dog buns, preferably top-split
  • Accompaniment: lemon wedges

Whisk together lemon juice, oil, and 1/2 tsp salt in a large bowl. Whisk in scallions, celery, celery leaves, and parsley, then add lobster and gently toss. Season with salt.

Brush inside of buns with melted butter. Grill, buttered side down, until golden, about 1 minute.

Fill buns with lobster.

Classic Steamed Lobster

  • 6 (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pound) live lobsters

Cooking 2 at a time, plunge lobsters headfirst into a large pot of salted boiling water and cook, partially covered, over medium-high heat 8 minutes (for 1 1/4 pound lobsters) to 9 minutes (for 1 1/2 pound lobsters) from time they enter water. Transfer with tongs to a baking sheet to cool slightly before serving.


May We Suggest…


The Whoopie Pie is the definitive dessert of Maine and no one does it better than the bakery whizzes at Two Fat Cats. Inspired by their attention to seasonality, we whipped up these blueberry versions, to wicked-good reviews. Don’t expect much post-dinner conversation when served alongside The Maine Mix truffles from local chocolatier Dean’s Sweets – your companions will likely be lost in a state of maple-Needhams-sea salt euphoria.

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Wild Maine Blueberry Whoopie Pies a la Two Fat Cats Bakery

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons light-brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter, 1 cup brown sugar, and lemon zest until light and creamy. Add vanilla and egg and beat to combine, scraping down bowl as needed. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With mixer on low, beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with milk and ending with flour mixture (scrape bowl as needed). Beat well to combine.

Drop batter in 2-tablespoon mounds, about 2 inches apart, onto two parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until puffed and pale golden around edges, 17 to 19 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let cakes cool completely on sheets on wire racks.

In a large bowl, whip cream and 3 tablespoons brown sugar to soft peaks. In a small bowl, mash blueberries with a fork, then fold into whipped cream. Divide blueberry cream evenly among bottoms of half the cakes, then sandwich with remaining cakes.


May We Suggest…