Gildshire Magazines newest venture is a tasty one indeed. We are scouring the country in search of the best in local dining. “Fine Dining,” “Local Gems,” and “Cheap Vittles.” We love them all and will celebrate them with you. We start today with a restaurant in the category of “Fine Dining” in one of the cities we call home. Located about 35 miles south of the Emerald City of Seattle, Tacoma, Washington is home to the J.M. Martinac Shipbuilding Company. With the construction of great ocean-going vessels in her midst, it is little wonder Tacoma is home to one of the West’s great seafood restaurants. It is our pleasure to introduce to you, The Lobster Shop South, located at 4015 Ruston Way, Tacoma, WA 98402.
We know that extreme heat makes the sharpest sword, and heat, in the form of competition, is in abundance for The Lobster Shop South. Other fine restaurants line the shores. Anthony’s at Point Defiance is good. Harbor Lights is good. C.I. Shenanigans makes a pulled pork sandwich for the ages. The Lobster Shop South, though, combines culinary excellence with outstanding service. Throw in the unsurpassed splendor of a sunset over the Coast Range and, voila, an evening worthy of celebration is well underway.
We start with a walk around the outside of The Lobster Shop South, breathing deeply the tangy breezes off the water. Watercraft of all types, from Sea-Do Seascooters to container barges, make this water their highway. “Shall we take a seat out here, or go inside?” The briskness of the evening ushers us indoors, but lunch outside sounds like a plan for next time. How’s your appetite, because ours is heightened by the estuarial scents caressing us as we prepare to go inside.
Shall we start our celebration dinner with a cocktail? While one diner chooses the Idle Hour Manhattan (love that brovo chocolate boomerang amaro), others look forward to a Sparkling Pear. It’s Absolut Pear vodka, with pear nectar, St. Germain, and champagne. That’s a good choice because it introduces the food group “fruit” into your cocktail hour. Some people are just too healthy.
Among the appetizer choices offered, the Lobster Dip is a local favorite. It’s Maine lobster (still and always the best), parmesan cheese, shaved onions, artichoke hearts, and crostini bread. Others may choose the lobster stuffed mushrooms or the local oysters on the half shell. The champagne vinaigrette they serve with the oysters is excellent!
The signature salad is a good choice for the next course. The Lobster Shop South uses Granny Smith apples in their salad as a nod to Washington State, The Apple Capital of the World. My soup/salad choice, however, was the lobster bisque. It’s made with a rich lobster stock, sweet vermouth, and cream.
For dinner, the choices are many but the cedar planked seafood trio is calling my name in a deafening manner! It’s a 5 oz Maine lobster tail, wild Alaskan king salmon fillet, jumbo gulf prawns, brown butter mashed potatoes, and broccolini with champagne cream. Maine, Alaska, the Gulf of Mexico, alongside good company and this view. Sweet Lord, you can take me now!
Everyone admired my selection, but not everyone felt like that much food. The maple-glazed wild King salmon drew the attention of those folks. For those who love The Lobster Shop South more than they love seafood, the fettuccine primavera with chicken breast was just the right choice.
“Who saved enough room for dessert?” “I couldn…well let’s see the dessert menu, but I will probably take a pass…ooooh, creme brulee’.”
Others around the table chose something other than rich custard with a caramelized sugar crust. Why I can’t say, but actually, their lemon pudding cake looked delicious. Made from Chef James Beard’s original recipe, it comes topped with Oregon blueberry compote.
The Lobster Shop South is open from 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and they stay open a half-hour later on Friday and Saturday. Sunday hours include brunch offerings beginning at 9:30 a.m., with a 9 p.m. closing time. For reservations, call 253-759-2165, and/or visit OpenTable.