Murphy’s Lobster & Grill

I must preface this post with an admission: I resisted going to Murphy’s Lobster & Grill for many months. In fact, when visiting with some friends, MDP declared he’d like to try it, for their oysters and other seafood fare, and my friend said he would go with him. Well, the friends moved away and MDP was left with no one to accompany him to Murphy’s. I finally gave in.

murphy's lobster and grill snow crab platter

snow crab platter

And I’m glad I did! Situated on a quiet corner on Skillman Avenue (about 10 steps away from where I once lived) in Sunnyside, Murphy’s used to just be a bar, but, in recent years, they renovated the space adjacent to the beloved bar and turned it into a lobster house. And what a lobster house it is: the walls are covered with nautical-inspired decorations, such as giant fish and torn and tattered photos from yore. The ambiance is warm and quiet, and the lighting is just right.

The menu is filled with seafood delectables, including baked clams, calamari and items from the raw bar for appetizers. We opted for the steamed mussels, which are cooked in a delicious white wine sauce. They were served with two pieces of garlic bread drenched in butter. I saved my bread for when we got to the bottom of the bucket–it was perfect for soaking up the fantastic broth. The mussels were on the large side, with giant meaty bits within. They were quite good.

murphy's lobster and grill lobster macaroni and cheese

lobster macaroni and cheese

For entrees, Murphy’s offers a range of seafood dishes, with a lobster platter prominently placed at the top of the menu. They also serve surf and turf, and a steak frites dish that I nearly ordered. Instead, I got the lobster macaroni and cheese that was wonderful. Succulent bits of lobster that were sauteed in garlic dotted the creamy macaroni and cheese. Finely shredded cheddar coated the top of the macaroni, adding a layer of deliciousness to the very rich dish.

Prior to traveling to Murphy’s, we watched a few videos on how to eat crab legs, something neither of us had ever done. So, MDP accordingly ordered the snow crab platter, which came with two crabs’ worth of legs (eight in total), boiled potatoes and corn. Over the course of about 30 minutes, I watched him patiently crack each leg, at every joint, pulling out bite-size pieces of meat and drowning them in the melted butter that came in a tiny cup. I tried a bit of crab meat, and it was quite good, but I honestly prefer lobster. (Shoot me for having a refined palate.) Everything on his plate was fabulous, with the exception of the corn that seemed to be somewhat firm–I owe this to corn no longer being in season.

murphy's lobster and grill chocolate mousse cake

chocolate mousse cake

Per the recommendation of the jolly waiter, we ordered the chocolate mousse cake for dessert. It was delightful. The mousse was smooth and creamy, and the chocolate cookie crust was firm and flavorful.

Murphy’s is one of the few seafood restaurants in the neighborhood, and it deserves the kind of acclaim some of the Queens Boulevard places have received. I hope it continues to attract a good crowd.

Murphy’s Lobster & Grill (and Bar)

48-20 Skillman Avenue (at 48th Street)

Sunnyside, NY

Take the 7 train to 46th-Bliss Street. Walk north two avenues to Skillman and turn right; walk two blocks.


Luke’s Lobster: Crab Roll

You may recall that I’ve already reviewed Luke’s Lobster (twice, to be exact). However, I didn’t try the crab roll last time around. It is, in a word, outstanding.

luke's lobster pound crab roll

crab roll

Succulent chunks of crab are piled high atop a generously buttered split-top roll. Luke’s lightly dresses its seafood salads; so lightly that the dressing is barely perceptible. (Is it really there at all? If not, what holds the salad together? Magic?)

My dining partner asked, “Which do you like better: lobster roll or crab roll?” “They’re equally good,” I replied. Next time you intend to go to Luke’s, bring a friend and split a crab roll in addition to your lobster Schooner.

Luke’s Lobster Pound: Lobster Roll & Bisque

For the most affordable lobster roll in this city, Luke’s Lobster Pound steps up to the plate and hits a home run. I’m not convinced its anywhere near the epitome of lobster rolls, but it’s darn good!

shi’s eating has already covered our visit to Luke’s, but here’s my take on it.

First, you should know that Luke’s UES locale is not a typical sit-down restaurant. It’s more of a counter-top and high-table joint. Might meet your fancy. I won’t judge. When I went, it wasn’t too crowded. The will I get a table oh no how will I eat my dinner anxiety had no place at Luke’s.

So, the lobster roll. Gobs of lobster pieces are loaded onto a toasted simple top-split bun. The lobster salad is lubricated to my taste and the bun didn’t taste anything like Wonder bread. I hope you know that’s a good thing.

I also ordered lobster bisque and attached high expectations to the small white soup container. Could it be as good as the Tavern at Dan’l Webster Inn? No, not nearly. In fact, I wouldn’t recommend the bisque. Sure, there were bits of lobster, but the liquid was too thin and boring. I was looking for excitement! Flavor!

A few hours following our dinner, I felt hungry again. Was the lobster roll not big enough? I couldn’t tell. When you order two to fill your gut, the deal may not be as convincing. Check out their menus for interesting combination platters if you’re bottomless.

I look forward to trying Luke’s other location. Where’d you find your favorite lobster roll? Can a girl get a hint?

Tavern at the Dan’l Webster Inn: Lobster Grilled Cheese

You think you know grilled cheese, but I’m certain you don’t.

Remember the hole-in-the-wall Grilled Cheese restaurant down on the Lower East Side? I thought their fare was the ultimate representation of grilled cheese. I was wrong. (So wrong, in fact–they’ve closed shop.)

The Tavern at Dan’l Webster Inn, located in Sandwich, MA (Cape Cod), features a lobster grilled cheese. Set apart on the menu–centered, near the bottom as though the other dishes are its modest preamble–and proudly noted, “Voted Best Sandwich in Sandwich” you can’t miss it.

When I first heard about the lobster grilled cheese, I imagined cheddar or American cheese, sorely underestimating the culinary aspirations of the rustic Tavern. Two perfectly toasted pieces of white bread cradle melted brie and a dash of dill with a layer of pesto lining the upper slice. Fresh lobster, chopped into soft geometric pieces, fills the middle portion of the sandwich.

If you think that’s heavenly, you’ll find their lobster chowder and lobster roll absolutely transcendent.

Prior to my visit to Cape Cod, I hadn’t ever eaten lobster. To put it mildly, I went lobster-wild at the Tavern. The grilled cheese was an obvious choice, but we needed another dish. We chose half a lobster roll with lobster chowder.

First, the lobster roll. It was exactly what a lobster roll should be. A crusty, lightly poppy-seeded bun was dwarfed by a portion of lobster salad meant for a larger or second roll. The salad itself had big chunks of chowder lubricated with just-enough mayonnaise. When I look at pictures of lobster rolls, I either see too much white or too much red.

Check out this lobster salad. To New York lobster pounds: THIS is the right color.

Next, the lobster chowder. Thick and creamy, with sizable, succulent pieces of lobster. Still tongue-tied, I’m not sure what more I can say. I’ve never had anything like it. I doubt I ever will.

Next time you go to Cape Cod (or even Boston–seriously), take a detour to Sandwich for the best sandwiches and chowder you’ll ever have. One more recommendation? Don’t bother with Ice Cream Sandwich. Like you, I wanted an ice cream sandwich from Sandwich. All I got was a coffee ice cream Chipwich wannabe.

Overall, I found that the best thing to eat on Cape Cod is lobster. And Portuguese Soup.