The Shellfish Pasta You Should Avoid Ordering At Red Lobster

You might frequent the seafood restaurant chain known as Red Lobster for its popular cheddar bay biscuits that are made in-house or to take part in its all-you-can-eat shrimp promotional deals. With over 700 locations across the globe, there's a chance it's the closest eatery to grab seafood fare in your town. But whether you're a tried-and-true fan or you're about to sit down at the restaurant for the first time, the best way to make the most of your meal is to know the Red Lobster menu items you should skip. One such item? The Bar Harbor Lobster Bake. Take our advice and avoid this dish in favor of one of other offerings on the expansive menu.

The combination of fresh shellfish and pasta is delectable in theory, but Red Lobster misses the mark with the Bar Harbor lobster bake. In fact, the shellfish might come out of the kitchen under-seasoned and overcooked so it lacks flavor and has a chewy texture that will leave you underwhelmed. Even the pasta, which most home cooks can get right, seems like it is microwaved. 

Red Lobster's Bar Harbor lobster bake lacks authenticity

According to Red Lobster's online menu, its Bar Harbor lobster bake consists of Maine lobster tails, shrimp, scallops, mussels, and fresh tomatoes served over linguini in a garlic and white wine broth. In comparison, an authentic Maine lobster bake is usually made of whole lobsters (not just the tails) with corn on the cob, potatoes, and loads of butter. Some variations will include other shellfish like clams or mussels and sometimes sausage. But there's typically no pasta involved — especially poorly cooked noodles.

Tasting Table isn't the only one with this opinion on the dish. A Reddit user called the dish "the most expensive bland meal I've ever had" in a February 2024 thread. Meanwhile, one diner said they "couldn't get the lobster out of the very small shell" while another said "two of my Mussels did not even open up" in a March 2018 Facebook post — so things don't seem to have improved in recent years.

Red Lobster's Bar Harbor lobster bake also costs a whopping $45.99 at its Times Square location in New York City. But of course, taste tests are subjective so give it a try if you don't mind spending the cash.