Lobstah Feast Friday at Rocky Sullivan’s in Red Hook
One thing that offers solace to hungry, rain-dampened people is a dry, friendly pub serving damn fine bar pizza and fresh Maine lobster. We forgave Rocky Sullivan’s for setting their TVs on another Mets loss instead of the Yanks’ extra inning, walk-off homerun victory because of its new affiliation with Susan Povich and Ralph Gorman of the Red Hook Lobster Pound. Rocky’s will host the Pound’s Lobstah Feast every Friday through the end of the year. Starting at 6pm, $23 gets you corn, coleslaw or potato salad, a 1½-lb lobster and dessert, first come first serve.
Last Friday was the inaugural feast. The Pound teamed up with Rocky’s for several reasons, “Our business is in Red Hook, we live and work in Red Hook. Rocky’s has always been a great pub and their deck is unbelievable.” She added that the owners “are real great people, honest, full of integrity.”
We grabbed the only open table at 8pm. There was a twenty-minute wait for everyone who followed. Jonah Crab claws with homemade cocktail sauce ($14) kicked off the meal. The meat was cold, sweet and fresh. You couldn’t ask for more.
Rocky Sullivan’s brick oven bar pizza is made by Rachel Fitzgerald. She has only been making pies for a year, but this Dublin native has her technique down. Pies have a super thin crust, on point seasoning and great cheese to sauce ratio— there’s enough sauce to appreciate its flavor and mouthfeel in each bite. It harkens to the New York pizza memories of your youth.
Currently, the Pound gets corn from the greenmarkets at Union Square and Borough Hall— it was a tad mushy. They’re looking for a Maine source. Both potato salad and coleslaw had good texture, seasoning and weren’t too creamy. But the main event was the lobster. It did not disappoint. The tail meat was gorgeous. Tender, juicy and sweet. It comes with claw crackers, bibs, and handwipes— good thing, the meat is so good you want to wear it. There’s also melted butter, but the sweet to salt flavor of the succulent meat is such that butter is unnecessary.
The Pound claims they season their boiling water with mirepoix and spices, “nothing fancy.” What juice doesn’t end up all over your hands and running down your arms pools with the tomalley at the bottom of your container. The lobster’s freshness must account for the flavor because that liquor is drink-worthy.
Jonah Crab claw meat and lobster tail were combined with the pizza for a perfect bite. Dessert was a fudgey brownie from Baked. At night’s end, the Pound had served 135 fresh lobsters, all of which had left Maine just the afternoon before. “We are a mobile lobster machine,” said Susan. “We do all the cooking ourselves, outside in the courtyard, like a real lobster boil.”
There will be more reasons to attend Friday feasts during the months ahead. “We’re working on Fall recipes, bisques, pot pies, meatloaf,” Susan said. “Honestly the best lobster is in October, November, and December. It’s the peak catch for sweetness and meat per lobster. We want to keep New Yorkers eating lobster through the fishing season.”
We’ll be back.