National Lobster Day is Wednesday, June 15th
The Secret to The Best Lobster Roll in Maine
Poached Lobster Knuckle? Read on…..
Portland, Maine, March , 2011 – It’s no secret that the best lobster in the world is harvested off the rugged coast of Maine. Every summer, locals and tourists alike seek out the perfect lobster at lobster shacks and fine dining restaurants all along the coast. As National Lobster Day approaches this year on Wednesday, June 15 , finding that perfect lobster in Maine is almost a given. The more intriguing question is what a highly creative chef can do with a freshly caught crustacean.
No one can answer that better than Chef Mitchell Kaldrovich of Sea Glass restaurant at Inn By the Sea on scenic Cape Elizabeth, Maine, just 7 miles from downtown Portland.
This stylish boutique hotel overlooking Crescent Beach lies just outside of Portland and it’s where Chef Kaldrovich is achieving new culinary heights with his lobster preparation.
Chef Mitchell at the James Beard House New York, 2010 .
“It’s really very simple,” he says. “I take the best Maine lobster and prepare it using Mediterranean techniques. The result is light and healthy, ideal summer fare.” He’s guaranteed the best quality because of his strong relationships with his local lobstermen, who can be seen from the restaurant tending their traps just offshore.
“I work with the Jordan family at Alewive’s Brook Farmed Vegetables & Lobsters, which is nearby,” he says. “They come to me with their catch straight from the boat and I usually take everything they have.” The Argentine-raised Chef elevates lobster in a variety of preparations. His Maine Lobster Bisque contains no cream, for example. Instead, he uses a basil-infused oil to surround a centerpiece of a poached lobster knuckle, one of the most flavorful and often overlooked parts of the crustacean.
His Butter Poached Lobster is served it with baby vegetables and homemade gnocchi, an Argentine staple, as an appetizer. On the dinner menu, Chef Kaldrovich’s Sweet Butter Braised Lobster is paired with an herb citrus and lobster risotto along with ginger glazed baby carrots. The Maine attraction appears again in his Maine Seafood & Grilled Lobster Paella, where it is lightly grilled and served with Spanish saffron rice, peas and chorizo. It’s accompanied by clams, mussels, shrimp and calamari that have been cooked individually to keep them and the dish as moist and fresh as possible.
As for the ubiquitous classic, the Maine Lobster Roll, Chef Kaldrovich’s approach is, not surprisingly, classic and straightforward with a creative twist. He loads up the day’s lobster meat fresh off the boat, drizzles it with lemon juice, and adds a small dollop of light, homemade mayonnaise. That’s it. His only riff is to serve it on a soft brioche roll made daily by Karen Voter, the restaurant’s Pastry Chef. It comes with a side of handmade potato chips – using Maine-grown potatoes of course.
Getting Here Most major carriers fly into Portland International Jetport (PWM). JetBlue has non-stops service and great low fares from JFK, only 45 minutes flying time from New York. Amtrak offers rail service into Portland from Boston, New York and Washington.
Gayle Conran, gconran@conranpr