Cracking Open a Mystery
Every year around this time, Lucile’s Stateside Bistro (4700 Camp Bowie Blvd.) celebrates the fanciest member of the crustacean family with a month-long event it calls Lobsterama. The occasion holds special significance for a friend of mine. Over the years, he’s popped into the place four times during the ‘Rama, and on each of his visits the kitchen has been sold out of lobster.
The first time it happened, the manager offered my friend a gift certificate and assured him they would reserve a lobster for him his next time in. When he came back, predictably, the kitchen had run out, again.
“I’m convinced they don’t serve lobster,” he told me a few days ago, laughing. A few of the creatures sit in a tank near the hostess stand, but he figures they’re just for decoration or perhaps have become staff pets.
After hearing his ‘Rama drama, how could I not go and try my hand? I felt like someone on an obscure cable channel planning a search for the Yeti. Instead of an arctic coat, I brought a plastic bib.
I’m back from my arduous weekend expedition now, and I can happily report that the place was stocked with plenty of lobster, all of it delicious.
There’s a long list of dishes available only this month, but I started with one that’s on the menu year-round: a cup of the creamy lobster bisque ($5.95). Though the soup featured a decent amount of lobster bits floating in a rich pool, the heavy-handed portion of cream obscured the lobster taste. It wasn’t bad, but I’d been hoping for more of a shellfish and brandy flavor.
I’ve never been a huge fan of donning a bib and wielding a shell cracker, and lobster has always seemed like a lot of work to me compared to what you get. But the whole Maine lobster ($16.95), served on a plate like it was taking a nap, was worth the effort. The meat was tender, delicate, and delicious, and the accompanying drawn butter was a lovely, traditional touch.
All that twisting and cracking built up my appetite. The lobster roll ($15.95) was also unflinchingly traditional. Served on a toasted split-top bun, the meat was tossed in a mayonnaise dressing with a subtle hint of lemon — a classic, elegant, and light sandwich. The dressing complimented the sweet taste of the lobster.
As I ate, I couldn’t help but notice the flaming pans nearby emitting the familiar fragrance of bananas Foster ($8.25). I fell in love with the dessert of liquor-soaked fruit served in a bowl of ice cream during my tenure as a server at a long-gone Fort Worth eatery. The Lucile’s version was every bit as good as the ones I remembered. The servers stuck to the classic recipe, to great effect.
I guess that’s settled once and for all: Lucile’s does serve lobster during Lobsterama, and it’s very good. Now I’ll move on to more pressing issues, like tracking down sausage at Wurstfest. It’s a greasy job, but someone has to do it.
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