The Lobster House in Cape May, NJ is one of those old seashore throwbacks: expansive (how many dining rooms does this place have?), nautical theming, a two hour wait on weekends, and no reservations.
Over the years, however, they have developed a wonderful dining and waterside bar area for their equally busy takeout business. We started our two hour wait in the Raw Bar, a dockside offshoot of the Lobster House that has a casual menu and a bar that carries birch beer on tap. Any bar that carries birch beer on tap will get high marks from me.
After the wait we were taken to our tables in a well air conditioned dining room, drink orders promptly taken and homemade bread placed in front of us quickly. The bread was good, not great. But they did include whipped butter, which is nice. There were a lot of big families (like mine) in the dining room, but service was attentive throughout the night.
I started out with an order of Cape May Salts, my favorite oyster. These were super fresh (go figure, we were in Cape May) and tasty. The Lobster House had a good sweet and tangy cocktail sauce with them. My sister in law got the Lobster Bisque which looked really good (and she reported it was).
Salads were substantive and had lots of dressing (usually a plus for me, but here it was a bit much). But the veggies were crisp, cold and fresh. We all enjoyed our salads.
On to the meals…I got the crab au gratin. The cheese sauce was a little too floury for me, not enough flavor, but it was hot and well prepared. A sauteed crab meat entree was too cold, the surf and turf platter was very good, a swordfish special was also reported to be very good.
My brother had the new orleans herb crusted red fish, a staple on the menu, and it looked great. He said it was delicious.
Veggies with dinner were good, though my brother didn’t like that his green bean medley was served in butter.
I normally don’t name servers, but Lea was our server and she was especially attentive and bubbly. Her enthusiasm for dessert convinced half the table to indulge. I got the Strawberry Shortcake which was ok, except the pound cake tasted like Entenmanns – not what I was expecting.
My sister in law got the chocolate cake which was also reported to be good. A chocolate mousse was also enjoyed.
This old standby is a survivor and dinner was an example of why. While the Crab Trap in Somers Point is probably the nearest competitor and Zaberer’s has long since perished, the Lobster House survives because of a large menu, reasonable prices and a reputation that was not tarnished on my visit.
My only suggestion: head there in the offseason or go for lunch to avoid the crowds.
Fisherman’s Wharf, Cape May Harbor,
Cape May, New Jersey