Lobster shaped cookies, creamed lobster on haddock, lobster bruschetta, lobster slaw, lobster linguine, lobster pizza.... just how many ways ARE there to serve up lobster anyways? You're invited to find out each December during the annual two-week Lobster Splash celebration when chefs in South West Nova Scotia are challenged to dream up new ways of preparing this luscious crustacean.
The event follows the launch of the annual lobster-fishing season in the region, when hundreds of boats set out to sea to fill their traps with this lucrative fish. The fishery is particularly challenging, as fishermen often cope with frigid temperatures and rough seas.
The season in LFA 34 is from the last Monday in November until May 31. The area, between Goose Point in Shelburne County and Burns Point in Digby County, has the highest landings and the most participants of any lobster fishing area in Canada.
Lobster is traditionally cooked by steaming, a process that turns their olive-green bodies a cheery red. Crack them to extract the plump, tender white meat and either dunk morsels in warm butter or sauté them in lots of rich cream and serve over toast to soak up the juices.
Another delicious way to eat them is in seafood chowder. Thick, rich, butter-laced and bobbing with scallops, baby clams, potatoes, shrimp, haddock, onions and chunks of lobster meat, this dish is divine. Seafood chowder is available as part of the Lobster Splash (the Rodd Grand Hotel serves it up) but be prepared to sample even more lobster dish creativity at its best.
Here's a list of restaurants participating in the 4th annual Lobster Splash, Dec. 5-20, 2014. Some of these businesses offer these lobster dishes throughout the year or may be able to prepare them for you if given advance notice at other times.
• Bailey's Bakery, Seafood & Grill, 5821 Hwy 1, Hebron; Hot Lobster Roll $9.95; Daily: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
• Bread & Olives Café, 11 Parade St., Yarmouth; Lava of Spinach & Lobster (take out) $14.95; Mon-Fri: 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat: Noon-3 p.m.
• Café Brioche d'Or, 4 Nicholas Rd., Wedgeport; Home baked lobster cookie free when you mention "Lobster Splash" when ordering a specialty coffee.
• Carino Confections, Yarmouth Farmers' Market; Chocolate Lobsters $1.50 - $12; Sat: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Additional holiday hours: Thurs, Dec 4 &11: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. & Thurs, Dec 18: 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
• Chef Michael at the MacKinnon-Cann Inn, 27 Willow St, Yarmouth; 3 Course Dinner/Baked Lobster Phyllo Pocket with Brie Cheese & Lemon Beurre Blanc, seasonal vegetables with roast garlic potatoes. $39.95. Tel: 902-742-9900 Wed - Sat: 6 p.m. on. Reservations recommended.
• Jake's Diner & Pizzeria, 375 Main St., Yarmouth (Best of YAS Winner: Best Donair). 9" Lobster Pizza $12.99
• La Cuisine Robicheau, 9651 Hwy. 1, Saulnierville. Creamed Lobster on Haddock, mashed potatoes, peas & carrots $24.95 Tel: 902-769-2121 Tues - Sun: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Reservations recommended.
• Lobster Shack, 3723 Hwy 3, Barrington Passage (Taste of NS Awards winner: Essence of Nova Scotia). Lobster Tacos $22. Tel: 902-637-1788 Thurs - Sun: 11 a.m.-8: p.m. Reservations recommended.
• Marco's Grill & Pasta House, 624 Main St., Yarmouth. Chef Jon's Lobster Linguini $16.99. Tel: 902-742-7716 Daily 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Reservations recommended.
• Mern's Family Diner, 82 Main St., Yarmouth. Lobster Poutine $10.95 (seniors' plate: $7.95). Mon - Sat: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
• Old World Bakery, 232 Main St., Yarmouth. Lobster Slaw $4.50 (small: $2.25). Tues - Sat: 7 a.m. - 6 p.m.
• Rodd Grand Hotel, Gales Eatery, 417 Main St., Yarmouth. Lobster Chowder $8.99. Mon-Fri: 6:30 a.m.-2 p.m. & 4 p.m.-9 p.m.. Sat: 7 a.m.-2 p.m. & 4 p.m.-9 p.m. Sun: 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
• Rudder's Seafood Restaurant & Brew Pub, 96 Water St., Yarmouth (Best of YAS: Best Lobster Poutine). Boiled Lobster Dinner $14.99. Daily from 11 a.m.
• Sip Café, 1 Collins St., Yarmouth (Best of YAS winner: Best Place to have coffee). Lobster Sushi Roll $8.50. Wed & Fri 11 a.m. while quantities last.
• The Hatfield House, 8132 Hwy 3 Tusket. Creamy Hot Lobster Sandwich on homemade bread & Hatfield House Fries $19. Wed: 4:30 p.m.-9 p.m. Thurs: 4:40 p.m.-9 p.m. Fri: 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Sat: 4:30 p.m.-9 p.m. Sun: 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Tel: 902-648-1888 Reservations required.
• The Snack Place, 222 Main St., Yarmouth. Hot Lobster Sandwich $15.50. Sun-Wed: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Thurs-Sat: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
• Windlass Restaurant, Chebogue Rd., Kelly's Cove. Lobster Egg Roll w/ dipping sauce $3.95. Mon-Thurs: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Fri-Sun: 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
• Yarmouth Pub, 1 Jenkins, Yarmouth. Deep Fried Lobster Fingers (5) in Puff Pastry $5.99. Tues-Wed: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Thur-Fri: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sat: 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Sun: 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
• Ye Olde Argyler Lodge, 52 Ye Olde Argyler Rd, Lower Argyle. Lobster Ravioli w/ White Wine Cream sauce & side salad $21.95/ 902-643-2500 Wed-Sat: 4 p.m.-8 p.m. Reservations required.
• Vincent (Dressings) at the Market, Yarmouth Farmers' Market. Lobster Bruschetta $5 Bacon & Egg Croissant with Lobster Bruschetta $8.50 Sat: 9 a.m.-1 p.m.