Da Lobsta Brings Northeastern Summer Feasts To Chicago

Summery shellfish in the Gold Coast

When in need of a break from the simmered, braised and slow-roasted dishes of winter, head to the Gold Coast.

At Da Lobsta, you'll find the makings of a Northeastern summertime feast: lobster, blue crab and shrimp piled high on buttery, toasted buns.

Quality is high and prices are reasonable at this new, brightly lit counter-service seafood shack. Its traditional lobster roll ($13) draws inspiration from both the butter and mayonnaise-dressed camps, with a modest swath of tarragon mayonnaise, a drizzle of garlic butter and a shake of celery salt adorning chilled knuckle and claw meat. Its fluffy, lightly sweet top-loading bun is a fine example of the form.

The menu's other sandwich options, seven in all, are globally inspired. We chose crab ($11) as the centerpiece of an Asian roll dressed with with soy-sauce-spiked mayonnaise, chile sauce, cabbage-cilantro slaw and scallions.

Plump poached shrimp ($9) performed excellently in a Greek roll brushed with thick tzatziki and lined with feta cheese, cucumber and tomato.

The New England clam chowder ($6) is thick, warming and potato-packed, but our ideal meal includes more summery accompaniments: a bag of Cape Cod potato chips ($1.25) and a local Sprecher root beer ($3).

Da Lobsta, 12 E. Cedar St.; 312-929-2423 or dalobsta.com