By Ling-Mei Wong
Lobster represents quintessential New England. One of the best-kept secrets for perfect lobster is right at Summer Shack.
Pan-roasted lobster bathes a succulent female lobster in a decadent sauce featuring bourbon and beurre blanc — butter and white wine. The sauce includes the live lobster’s roe in the same skillet, heightening the lobster’s juices.
Founder Jasper White was inspired by Asian-style lobster and launched the dish at his high-end establishment Jasper’s Restaurant, which closed in 1995 due to the Big Dig. The signature lobster developed a cult following and was included in Summer Shack’s offerings in 2000 when it opened in Cambridge.
The rich butter sauce with chervil and chives complements the lobster without overwhelming its flavor.
The tower of power ($52) is a raw bar lover’s dream come true.
Littleneck clams, South Bay oysters, lobster claws and shrimp sourced from Summer Shack’s own seafood wholesaler are fresh and sweet. The clams and oysters are expertly shucked and sand-free, perfect with a squeeze of lemon juice. The lobster claws are best with creamy remoulade, while the shrimp go well with horseradish sauce.
Another raw bar standout was the South Bay blonde oysters with tuna sashimi ($4.50 each). Juicy oysters are topped with seaweed and toasted sesame seeds, along with a slice of tuna, then drizzled with soy ginger sauce. The briny flavor of the seafood stands out, while the seaweed provides a slight crunch.
Service is attentive and friendly. Wet wipes are immediately provided and our server Seamus in Dedham kindly checked on us regularly for water and napkins.
All this food can be had for $100, well under prices for the same quality at high-end establishments. It has four locations in Cambridge, Dedham, Boston and the Mohegan Sun casino.
Summer Shack is top-notch seafood at a reasonable price, in an unpretentious setting.
Please note this was an arranged tasting.
- 149 Alewife Brook Parkway
- Cambridge, MA 02140
- (617) 520-9500
- 850 Providence Highway
- Dedham, MA 02026
- (781) 407-9955
- 50 Dalton Street
- Boston, MA 02115
- (617) 867.9955
- Mohegan Sun Resort & Casino
- Exit 79A off of Interstate 395 in Connecticut
- Uncasville, Connecticut
- (860) 862-9500
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