You don’t have to wait until summer to have lobster. If you want an unbelievable lobster experience, head on over to Casa Rustica in Smithtown for their signature, extravagant lobster special.
I found out about this hidden gem of a restaurant in October when my friend, who lives in Smithtown, suggested we go. Our meal was excellent, but all around us we saw customers being served giant lobsters table side! As a lobster lover, I had to find out what this was all about, so I called the waiter over. As soon as he told us, my friend and I vowed we would be back post-Christmas to give each other the gift of a three-pound lobster.
For 31 years every night, Casa Rustica has been offering two- and three-pound lobsters, which they steam in the kitchen and bring out de-shelled on a long rolling cart. Once the cart arrives, it is truly a sight. These lobsters are enormous! The waiter adds a lot of butter to the pan on a side burner; as the butter melts, he adds fresh chopped basil and, as he told us, “lots and lots of love.” The lobster goes into the pan and is sautéed briefly before the waiter adds brandy and ignites it. Next, he removes the lobster from the pan and then gently places it over the lobster carcass and serves it with the individual cups of butter. Delicious potatoes and vegetables are served alongside, and the lobster was perfectly cooked.
The two-pound lobster sells for $60 and the three-pound lobster is $75; both come as a complete dinner. You have a choice of any appetizer on the menu, any dessert and coffee or tea. To start, we each got the burrata with pistachios, prosciutto, roasted red peppers and basil in a balsamic glaze. Additionally, the owner served us a mouthwatering plate of oysters Rockefeller, made with spinach, fontina and Pernod. I can’t even remember what we had for dessert. Some kind of Oreo truffle with caramel, if I recall. I was too delirious from eating a three-pound lobster to remember. My friend and I vowed to treat ourselves every year.
And nothing went to waste on my end. I asked to bring the shells home, and the next night I combined it in the crockpot with soup greens and water. By morning I had the most incredible stock, although the smell of my house was something else entirely. Don’t plan on having guests over for a few days if you make lobster stock.
If you plan to head over to Casa Rustica on a weekend, be sure to call in your lobster order ahead of time. They run out quickly. Also, you won’t find the lobster on the menu in the restaurant or online. It is a special served every night. Enjoy!