B+G Oysters’s Lobster Rolls

I realize some of you may have looked at the title of this and scratched your head, wondering what the heck a lobster roll was.  Until recently, I thought everyone knew what they were, but apparently that’s not the case.  However, if you’re from New England, you’re definitely familiar with these wonderfully decadent treats.

Lobster rolls basically take a delicacy and turns it into more casual fare.  The cooked lobster meat is removed from the body, chopped into large chunks, tossed with mayonnaise and a little celery, seasoned… and then stuffed into a buttery grilled hot dog bun.

At once it feels both incredibly trashy and ridiculously extravagant.

Lobster rolls can be found at a number of establishments in Boston, but I have to admit, I haven’t found one that has really blown my mind (and, for the price that you can pay, sometimes it’s a bit of a disappointment).

The few good ones that I’ve had I found on the Cape, but even those seemed overpriced ($16) for something you could probably make at home for half that cost.

There’s a long story to go along with this post, but I’ll try to keep it short.  You see, Eric and I were given a very generous wedding gift from our friends Jacob and Joely for a class at Stir, Barbara Lynch’s cookbook store and demonstration room.  These classes are very difficult to get into.  They announce a date when they’ll open up registration and you have to call in immediately to try to reserve a spot.

Eric and I spent weeks figuring out which of their amazing classes we’d want to take and decided to go with one that would fit our (ok, my) pescatarian diet.  The class focused on the classic recipes of B+G Oysters, Lynch’s highly acclaimed seafood restaurant located in Boston’s South End.

We went into Stir not knowing what to expect.  But as soon as we entered the room, we were made to feel right at home.  And for the next few hours, we were wined and dined (and were given a little education as well).  The highlight of the night were the lobster rolls, one of B&G’s signature dishes.  Eric and I fell in love (with the dish) after our first bite and knew that we had to recreate these at home.

And such an opportunity came when we hosted a winter BBQ at our apartment this past weekend.  Eric went out and purchased the lobsters (twelve of them), came home and removed the meat, while I made the lemon aioli and chopped up some celery and grilled the buns.

There are no words to describe how wonderful these lobster rolls are.  You can pull out every descriptor in the thesaurus, but it won’t capture the beauty of this dish.

B+G Oysters Lobster Rolls

(recipe from Barbara Lynch’s B+G Oysters in Boston, MA)

Makes 4 servings

Brian’s Note: Many of you have written me asking if you could use frozen lobster instead of fresh because you can’t get fresh lobster in your area.  I have never tried frozen lobster, so I can’t say how it would turn out.  I imagine the meat wouldn’t have that rich, sweet flavor that you get from fresh lobster.  With that being said, I’m sure it would still taste very good because the real key here is the aioli.


4 each – whole lobsters, each about 1 ¼ pounds

1 cup – Hellman’s mayonnaise (or Lemon Aiöli, see recipe below)

1 teaspoon – fresh lemon juice (leave out if using the aïoli)

1/2 cup – finely peeled and finely minced celery

4 each – top-split hot dog rolls; we use Pepperidge Farm

4 tablespoons – unsalted butter, softened

1 tablespoon – finely chopped chives

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Bring a large pot of water to a boil and fill a clean sink or very large bowl with ice water. Cook the lobsters, covered, in a large pot of boiling water, about 10 minutes. Plunge them into the ice water to halt the cooking. Remove all of the meat from the tail, knuckle and claw and cut into generous bite size pieces. Gently toss the lobster meat with the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and celery. Season to taste with salt and pepper and refrigerate until ready to serve.

To serve, cut the inside of the hot dog buns on each side at an angle to make a wider roll. Butter the hot dog rolls on the outside and toast them on a griddle or skillet until nicely golden brown. Taste the lobster salad again to see if it needs more seasoning and divide the lobster salad among the four rolls, overstuffing them.

Garnish the lobster with the chives.

Lemon Aïoli

makes about 1 cup


2 each – egg yolks

1 tablespoon – lemon juice

1 teaspoon – lemon zest

1 teaspoon – kosher salt

¾ cup – grapeseed or canola oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Whisk the egg yolks, 1 teaspoon of the lemon juice, lemon zest, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper, until combined. Slowly drizzle in the grapeseed oil while whisking nonstop until the mixture begins to emulsify.

As the mixture thickens, also whisk in the remaining lemon juice and continue to whisk in the oil until mixture has achieved a thick, mayonnaise-like consistency. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

  • February 3, 2011 - 11:34 am

    Jeanne @ CookSister! - OK, it's only like a quarter after breakfast and now you have me rabidly hungry for a lobster roll… !! Trashy and extravagant is always a great combo ;o)ReplyCancel

  • February 3, 2011 - 11:36 am

    Joanne - I love all these pictures of Eric lately! You guys are adorable.

    So actually…I've never had a lobster roll. But I do totally believe that if I'm ever going to eat the best one of my life, it's probably going to be in your kitchen. Especially after seeing these photos!ReplyCancel

  • February 3, 2011 - 11:42 am

    Chef Dennis - hi Brian
    my wife would love you forever with those gorgeous lobster rolls! that has to be her favorite all time sandwich! I can only imagine how delicious yours were!! I'm glad you had the opportunity to take those classes, what a great gift!

  • February 3, 2011 - 11:49 am

    Kimberly(Unrivaledkitch) - Looks simple and delicious. I love fun cooking classes it lets you get to know the mind of a chef you might not be able to speak to. sounds like a lovely present. the pictures are amazing and lobster just yum.

    thanks for sharing!

  • February 3, 2011 - 11:49 am

    Paul Jennette - Love Lobster rolls!! Unfortunately This is something I don't get to eat very often…which is sad:-( I live in the Midwest and it's hard to find great quality Lobsters. The classes sound like a great gift, and how perfect for food bloggers.ReplyCancel

  • February 3, 2011 - 11:52 am

    C Thornton - I'm hoping Karen doesn't see this, as I will have to stop whatever I am doing and make her lobster rolls immediately.ReplyCancel

  • February 3, 2011 - 11:58 am

    Carolyn - I'd never heard of lobster (lobstah) rolls until I moved here. Best ones I've ever had come from a little hot dog stand near Bar Harbor ME. Love this recipe!ReplyCancel

  • February 3, 2011 - 12:20 pm

    Lizzy - Oh, yum. What a fabulous gift…and happy you can recreate this delicious sandwich at home!ReplyCancel

  • February 3, 2011 - 12:32 pm

    Fun and Fearless in Beantown - Confession – I've never boiled my own lobster. It is on my 30 by 30 list and I think I just figured out what to make when I accomplish this task!ReplyCancel

  • February 3, 2011 - 12:41 pm

    Jason Phelps - Brian you are dangerous to other with food. Not time yet for this but wanting it is strong. One of the best memories I have of my mother-in-law is going to Hampton Beach and getting lobster rolls. She loved them, would order them whenever she saw them. Sign of class I guess!


  • February 3, 2011 - 1:06 pm

    Stephanie - Yum! I've had my share of wonderful lobster rolls and this looks like one of them! I could go for one right this minute! With my coffee, even!ReplyCancel

  • February 3, 2011 - 1:26 pm

    Vanessa - I love the lobster rolls at B&G – so exciting to have the recipe! These look great.ReplyCancel

  • February 3, 2011 - 1:31 pm

    Cookette - Those look great!!! I want one now :)ReplyCancel

  • February 3, 2011 - 1:31 pm

    THE Tough Cookie - Brian, Brian, Brian!!!!!!!!

    I'm moving in.ReplyCancel

  • February 3, 2011 - 1:46 pm

    SMITH BITES - salivating Brian, just salivating here; I had never had a Lobster Roll until we were on the East coast about 7yrs ago – I must admit that when I finally tasted one I was kinda like, 'what is all the fuss about?? this isn't anything to write home about – lobster, mayo and a hot dog bun???' but i imagine lemon aoli puts this over the top!ReplyCancel

  • February 3, 2011 - 1:48 pm

    ftwopercent - Beautiful stuff Brian! Love the lobster rolls from B&G and it seems you really made that class at Stir pay off! I'll have to tell you my "Stir/BL" story when we get together, maybe this Sunday?

    Great photos … JIReplyCancel

  • February 3, 2011 - 1:50 pm

    Kathy - OK – everything for these is perfect. but the bun is all wrong! For a good lobster roll you should use one of those ones that's cut on the side (new england style) is the only way to go. Trust the Mainer.ReplyCancel

  • February 3, 2011 - 1:50 pm

    Ken│hungry rabbit - Totally drool worthy. I need a bib.ReplyCancel

  • February 3, 2011 - 2:01 pm

    Daisy - There are no words is right. Unbelievably impressive that you recreated this dish. I would love to try this from B&G. I'm a big fan of the Neptune Oyster's Hot Lobster Roll (have you been?) since it costs $25 I have a feeling that might be the expensive roll you are referring to. 😉

    Also – I never figured people wouldn't know what a Lobster Roll was. We are lucky to be New Englanders that is for sure!ReplyCancel

  • February 3, 2011 - 2:02 pm

    Jackie Gordon Singing Chef - My Boston arrival fantasy: We get in just at the cocktail hour and you're there with a BIG smile on your face, these divine looking lobster rolls (buns warm — salad chilled — hey it's a fantasy…) and a shaker of something equally amazing to wash them down. WELCOME TO BEANTOWN BABY!ReplyCancel

  • February 3, 2011 - 2:26 pm

    Lauren at KeepItSweet - I was just at that restaurant!!! Unfortunately we did not order any lobstor rolls but now I guess I could make it myself:-)ReplyCancel

  • February 3, 2011 - 2:55 pm

    Paula - bell'alimento - It's no where near lunch time and I want that lobstah roll NOW. Swoon ; )ReplyCancel

  • February 3, 2011 - 2:59 pm

    bunkycooks - I'm jumping on the next plane to Boston (if the flights haven't been canceled!)! This is one of my all time favorites!!!ReplyCancel

  • February 3, 2011 - 3:13 pm

    Neo-Homesteading - These look so beyond incredible. Thats a mean lobstah roll!ReplyCancel

  • February 3, 2011 - 3:37 pm

    Lauren - I was lucky enough to enjoy these at your winter BBQ, Brian. There was no mayonnaise flavor, which usually over-powers the lobster in other rolls I've tried. Yours is light and perfectly seasoned to enhance the lobster and turn it into a refreshing meal.ReplyCancel

  • February 3, 2011 - 3:48 pm

    Elle - There is nothing like a good lobster roll! Nicely done.ReplyCancel

  • February 3, 2011 - 4:01 pm

    Liren - I MISS lobster rolls! That would be the perfect lunch for me today!ReplyCancel

  • February 3, 2011 - 4:20 pm

    sara @ CaffeIna - I did not know what they were until I read this post and now I'm sitting here telling my hubby what we are missing out by not living in the East Coast sighReplyCancel

  • February 3, 2011 - 4:25 pm

    Lin Ann - Yum! It's funny you just posted a lobster roll sandwich because Whole Foods was selling frozen cooked lobsters the other day and I bought them with some hot dog rolls (the Rhode Island way!) and was going to write something in my blog. But, then my kids couldn't wait and just ate them up as they were (well, thawed) with butter. C'est la vie! Now, I get to enjoy a lobstor roll vicariously through you!ReplyCancel

  • February 3, 2011 - 4:26 pm

    Nina | salt - Fantastic post…love love love lobsta rolls! So happy to have found your blog, it's fantastic! Great photos. Cheers!ReplyCancel

  • February 3, 2011 - 5:24 pm

    Julie (thelittlekitchen.net) - Oh my goodness! I love lobster rolls. The class looks like it was so fun!ReplyCancel

  • February 3, 2011 - 5:39 pm

    Megan - That lobster roll is gorgeous! I am from CT though and a lobster roll there is hot with lots of melted butter… I've never been able to get behind a cold lobster roll with mayo. Maybe this could be the one to change that for me!

    I have a GC to Stir, and any time I check there's no availability for any of the classes I'd want to take. I guess it is notoriously hard to get into one.ReplyCancel

  • February 3, 2011 - 5:44 pm

    tastesbetterwithfriends - Wow, I thought everyone knew what a Lobster roll was too! I guess it's more of that east coast bias we always hear about.
    Your pictures do it justice:)ReplyCancel

  • February 3, 2011 - 5:47 pm

    Cake Duchess - Hi Bri-Wow! I am craving your lobster roll really badly now. The photo of Eric is so cute! These look just too good. Delicious.ReplyCancel

  • February 3, 2011 - 6:40 pm

    Leila Hamilton - Brilliant!! when local spiny lobsters are in season, I'll give this a try! it looks amazing!ReplyCancel

  • February 3, 2011 - 7:10 pm

    Meeta K. Wolff - I do not care about the descriptors – I just want one. I've already had dinner but am instantly craving one of these now. I'd like to put it on your list of "thngs to cook for Meeta when she finally visits me in Boston!" OK?ReplyCancel

  • February 3, 2011 - 8:32 pm

    Amy - Yes please!!! I must make these this summer…or this winter:)ReplyCancel

  • February 3, 2011 - 8:42 pm

    Irvin - My friend from Maine used to describe lobster rolls to me. They sounded so good, but she would totally roll her eyes and tell me they weren't all that. YOURS, however, sound fantastic. Mmmm…

    Also, I'm kinda in love with that photo of Eric.ReplyCancel

  • February 3, 2011 - 9:26 pm

    Barbara | VinoLuciStyle - When I was in Boston several years ago, I quite literally would have been happy to have had lobster for every meal. That didn't happen but I did my best and if given a choice for lunch; I would always opt for the lobster roll.

    So glad to see you did it right (of course I knew you would), if I had seen pickle relish anywhere I would be on my way now through thick, thin, or blizzard to have a stern word!

    Out of curiosity we even tried one from McDonald's and that's what they had done. Guess that had to ruin a sure thing, huh?

    Lobster requires gold bars to purchase them in Denver but I am sure tempted to again experience this simple pleasure.ReplyCancel

  • February 3, 2011 - 9:31 pm

    Jill Colonna - That looks so decadent in a roll! Way to go.ReplyCancel

  • February 3, 2011 - 9:46 pm

    Nisrine|Dinners and Dreams - Lobster rolls are my favorite food in the entire world!!!ReplyCancel

  • February 3, 2011 - 10:19 pm

    Matt @ FaveDiets - Your lobster roll looks unbelievably good!

    For my money, the best lobster rolls are at the original Kelly's on Revere Beach. I grew up eating those and no lobster roll tastes as good to me as theirs. They're a little on the expensive side (it is lobster we're talking about) but I think they're totally worth it.ReplyCancel

  • February 3, 2011 - 10:41 pm

    Tricia - I've been there!!! I had the lobster BLT and still remember how delicious it was… B & G FTW!ReplyCancel

  • February 4, 2011 - 12:07 am

    My Man's Belly - I'm crying and drooling at the same time going through this post. I so miss good Maine lobster here on the West Coast.

    btw…fantastic pictures!!!ReplyCancel

  • February 4, 2011 - 12:53 am

    Boulder Locavore - Gorgeous pics (saw your tweet about Foodgawker) and love the aoili recipe. Really fabulous post. Congrats!ReplyCancel

  • February 4, 2011 - 1:19 am

    darcyeats - These look amazing!!! What a fantastic place for lobster.ReplyCancel

  • February 4, 2011 - 2:09 am

    Kita - These look so awesome I asked a friend if we could make them soon here. Our only problem is fresh lobster isn't the most inexpensive thing. Is frozen acceptable or will it ruin the overall outcome?ReplyCancel

  • February 4, 2011 - 2:12 am

    Laura - These are just gorgeous. I don't usually cook lobster because I find it overwhelming, but I think these photos have convinced me to make an exception. Thanks :)ReplyCancel

  • February 4, 2011 - 2:31 am

    kitchenmisfit - LOVE Lobster rolls. My husband and I had some fantastic lobster in Rockport and the price was very reasonable!ReplyCancel

  • February 4, 2011 - 2:53 am

    Norm - Does the B&G reference have to do with the restaurant in Key West? I went there 35 years ago.ReplyCancel

  • February 4, 2011 - 3:55 am

    Jun - I don't really like lobster… But these rolls are seriously making me craving lobster… right now!!!ReplyCancel

  • February 4, 2011 - 4:44 am

    Andrew Frishman - Mmmnnn. . . I LOVES me some lobster, especially when it's on a roll!

    Cuidado con las langostas de Boston. . . Ellos son un equipo punny de tenis profesional.ReplyCancel

  • February 4, 2011 - 12:55 pm

    lostpastremembered - Stopped me in my tracks… great photo and what a super lobster roll. The aioli would bring it over the top. Sounds like a very special class too!ReplyCancel

  • February 4, 2011 - 1:00 pm

    Kudos Kitchen - These look so good that I am slso speachless. Great photos too!ReplyCancel

  • February 4, 2011 - 1:22 pm

    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen - You're right, I'd never heard of a lobster roll before now. So this is the arm building aioli you were making the other day. If I make it can I skip my workout?ReplyCancel

  • February 4, 2011 - 4:56 pm

    Andra@FrenchPressMemos - Oh lobster rolls and the poor souls who have not been acquainted to their beauty! Our last trip to NYC included dining at Le Bernadin and a whole bunch of swanky places in Brooklyn but the best 'meal' we had was a lobster roll at the Redhook Lobster Pound :-)ReplyCancel

  • February 4, 2011 - 5:20 pm

    Elizabeth - I shouldn't be surprised, but that lobster roll is absolutely gorgeous. Almost makes me have an interest in lobster. Almost. I think the first time I ever heard of a lobster roll was sometime in high school when a new restaurant serving them opened in the grand central concourse. Up until then, I had no idea what they were.ReplyCancel

  • February 4, 2011 - 7:29 pm

    Eliana - First off – pics are FAB-U-LOUS!

    And second – I want to devour one of the lobster rolls right. this. second.ReplyCancel

  • February 4, 2011 - 7:36 pm

    Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels - That has to be the best looking lobster roll I've ever seen! Everytime I visit your blog, I'm just blown away by your photography.
    Mmmm I would glady eat one of those right now. They look incredible.
    And the photo of Eric is just so funny! :) I love it!ReplyCancel

  • February 4, 2011 - 8:09 pm

    ladymorgiana - Those are so absolutely decadent! Lovely photos! and I bet those were absolutely delicious… now let me think, where in Poland I can find lobster 😉
    Thank you for warm welcome on Chef's Dennis blog :)ReplyCancel

  • February 5, 2011 - 10:22 am

    Jackie - I'm not entirely sure that it's fair of you to post this when I'm still so far away from you, my dear! But it looks wonderful!

    I'm dubious about the celery, to be honest, but only because I'm not a big fan. I reckon the alioli would mask the celery flavour, though, so you just get the crunch? Hope so, anyway! I don't want my lobster ruined by celery!

    Jax xReplyCancel

  • February 6, 2011 - 1:24 am

    foodies at home - I have never been to Boston before…but I think I need to plan a trip if this is what is waiting for me! lolReplyCancel

  • February 6, 2011 - 10:26 pm

    Jamie - Lovely photos! This post is making crave a Lobster Roll for dinner!ReplyCancel

  • February 7, 2011 - 4:08 am

    umommy - These look gorgeous! Is there something wrong with me that I would kill for a lobster roll after reading your post and it's 11pm?!ReplyCancel

  • February 11, 2011 - 1:30 am

    peabody - I’ve tried it with frozen before. Do all that you can to get fresh lobsters…it makes a huge difference!ReplyCancel

  • February 18, 2011 - 6:10 am

    {Recipe: B&G Oyster Coleslaw} - […] I mentioned a few weeks ago, Eric and I held a winter BBQ at our apartment.  We were inspired to make lobster rolls from a class that we took at Barbara Lynch’s Stir… and this coleslaw recipe came from the same course.  When we were first given a taste of it […]ReplyCancel

  • February 21, 2011 - 12:45 am

    Jeannie - Yummy! Love this very much because I love lobsters:DReplyCancel

  • February 25, 2011 - 2:47 pm

    Spotlight: A Thought for Food | Public Radio Kitchen | Blogs | WBUR - […] most recent winter posts featuring summer recipes–e.g., coleslaw, pickled beet salad and lobster rolls. Slaw? Lobster rolls? In February?! Despite the cold weather (well, because of the cold weather) he […]ReplyCancel

  • March 1, 2011 - 3:33 pm

    longsmith - Um, no. You never boil lobster, you steam it. All you need is lobster meat and Hellman’s. No stinkin’ celery or chives. And only JJ Nissen top split hot dog rolls. And, yes, I am from Maine.ReplyCancel

    • March 1, 2011 - 4:22 pm

      admin - I’m sure your version of a lobster roll is just delightful. A good point that you don’t want to overdo it with too many ingredients. With that being said, I think the light, yet rich flavor that comes from the lemon aioli really makes this something special.

      I’ll have to try the rolls you suggested next time.ReplyCancel

  • July 12, 2011 - 4:32 pm

    Mari - Brian, this looks awesome. You brought me back memories of the delicious Lobster rolls in Boston and Maine. I miss them so much.. This recipe looks divinely delicious!

    Thanks for sharing,

  • August 16, 2011 - 8:13 pm

    Homemade Hot Lobster Roll » Chez Us - […] Lobster Roll – A Thought For Food Posted in Fish and Seafood […]ReplyCancel

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