"OHH such a good question! I always joke that I could live off of beef jerky and mangoes (I know, I'm weird). Probably a lobster roll from The Lobster Place in Chelsea Market. Or my mom's homemade pasta."
Victoria - reddit
ChowFu loves Victoria. She's the one that helps us connect to our celebrities so we can pick their brain about inane hypothetical last meal questions. Moreover, she's a passionate, quintessential New Yorker who picked one of our favorite foodie destinations in Manhattan for her final feast. As soon as she told us her choice, we couldn't wait to "research" the crap out of this place.
It's a hard life over at ChowFu headquarters. Fresh oysters one day, lobster rolls the next. We've sacrificed countless inches in our waistline to show you the best way to make everyone's favorite last eats. In this episode, we get a little cozy at home with a local favorite.
When the Fulton Fish Market finally moved to it's current, all-business-and-no-one-else location in the Bronx in 2005, lower Manhattan lost one of the last vestiges of a once bustling seafood empire. From the oyster cellars beloved by Charles Dickens to the Lobster Newberg that solidified Delmonico's fame, New Yorkers have continued their love affair of seafood by flocking to smaller, neighborhood establishments. Created in 1974, The Lobster Place at Chelsea Market now serve over 60,000 pounds of live lobster each week, along with some of the finest and most unique seafood available to the retail consumer. Come by any day of the week, and you'll no doubt find a line of hungry foodies sharing a standing-room-only table filled to the brim with buttery lobster carcasses.
With the impending closure of Reddit's New York City office (to move everyone back to homebase in SF), we felt that it was important to at least give Victoria a way to bring a bit of New York back to the West Coast. We'll omit (at least for now) Victoria's longing for mangoes and beef jerky, not to mention her mom's homemade pasta.
Before getting into the nitty gritty of lobsters, one should note the diversity of seafood available at the Chelsea Market. In fact, sitting directly next to the Lobster Place at Chelsea Market is their own full service restaurant, Cull & Pistol. As the name of the sign suggests, raw bar is the specialty here. These guys have $1 Happy Hour Oysters and you get the good stuff, not just your typically Bluepoint/Wellfleet choices. If you want to check out more oyster love (after drooling over succulent steamed lobsters...of course), check out Ken Follett's last meal HERE.
Like the beloved oyster, New Yorkers have had a long and at times depressing history with lobster. Once considered food for the poor, the lobster gain popularity with people inland who had never heard of its ill-gotten reputation. Technological advances allowed for the transportation of lobsters live, and popularity exploded around the US. Along the coast, lobstering was big business. It used to be that 4 - 5 pound lobsters were too small to pick by the lobstermen, but those days have long gone and now people are more familiar with the 1 to 2 pound lobsters that are found at our local markets.
While it's very possible that Victoria's mom makes some killer pasta, we don't get to share in her glee since we have no additional information on what goes in this pasta. What we're really eager to make, however, is our own Lobster Roll. In our recipe section, we take a live lobster (from the Lobster Place, of course) weighing 2.88 pounds, and with a simple dash of mayo, cumcumber, and tarragon; make it into 4 mouth watering decadent sandwiches. This is an easy recipe that is going to taste much fancier than the effort involved in cooking it. The hardest part is picking out the lobster meat and we'll give you a detailed step by step guide on how to do it with just a towel and a pair of kitchen shears. Live lobsters too adventurous? You can buy a pre-steamed crustacean at the Lobster Place (and even eat it at the counter!) to make this dish even more accessible.