Submitted by Don Doman
If I could afford it, I would eat lobster dinner virtually every day at the Lobster Shop on Ruston Way. Fortunately, my body can’t afford the rich food, and my wallet can’t afford the cost; however, I can scrape up enough for an occasional “Happy Hour” dinner with my wife every now and then. Wednesday was one of the those days. We couldn’t have picked a more favorable time.
The late afternoon sun highlighted the green beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Standing guard over the port area was Mount Rainier with a halo of silver gray clouds. We could see Vashon and Maury Island as well as Brown’s Point.
Peggy usually has a glass of wine, which is not on the happy hour menu and I have a Shirley Temple “with lots of cherries” – “your tip depends on the number of cherries!”
We both normally have a Lobster Shop Signature Salad, which has candied pecans, bleu cheese, slices of pear and a tangy citrus dressing. Peg asks for ground pepper once around the plate, while I was different for this beautiful September afternoon and ordered two plates of the salad, an extra container of the dressing and twice around the plate with ground pepper. I even had a little left-over from Peg’s plate. Their salad is wonderful.
Peg ordered the steamed clams and bread, while I had the crispy calamari. When we ask for bread, I always ask for the butter balls in addition to the olive oil and pesto. The chewy bread takes a while to soak up the clam and wine broth, but it’s worth the wait. Many of the clam shells were empty, but Peg found the little devils at the bottom of the bowl. Little bits of garlic added just the right touch to the spoonfuls that I silently slurped hidden from any scorn by my closed eyes.
The calamari is extraordinary. I don’t know how they tenderize it, but I hope they never lose their touch. The long strips of calamari steaks are pleasantly chewy, not rubbery chewy. The sweet and spicy aïoli is a nice addition. We decided on no dessert, but opted for a pleasant walk along the waterfront park. The service was excellent and the food was perfect, so the price was almost irrelevant . . . almost.