Just a five-minute walk from the Westport train station, a warm Connecticut-style lobster roll is available, dressed in butter, and not much else. Perhaps a little salt, a hit of lemon.
“Only through travel up and down the New England coast, I’ve found people shamefully putting on mayonnaise,” said Matt Storch, 40, a Westport native. In September, the chef opened Match Burger Lobster, at 580 Riverside Avenue. His kitchen crew shucks more than 500 pounds of lobster weekly, shipped live from Maine and also sourced from the Long Island Sound, kept cold (not frozen) and submerged in tanks until their time is up.
“Lobster tastes better in the winter, definitely gets sweeter in colder water,” Mr. Storch said, contrary to the popular assumption that the crustacean is mostly summer fare.
At the breezy bistro, 45 miles northeast of Midtown Manhattan, hollowed-out brioche buns are griddled with butter and stuffed with 4.25 ounces of lobster tail, claw and knuckle meat ($24). A netted bag of steamers ($12) is another time-honored Connecticut custom. A cup of briny broth is also provided, traditionally for cleaning purposes, but the clams are purged of sand so the step is more for flavor than a necessity.
Also for necessity, Storch has a mayonnaise-based, chilled lobster roll on the menu. It’s for people traveling through, perhaps unaware of how things are done in Connecticut.
Westport is where the Sound meets the Saugatuck River, which can be crossed on foot near the restaurant. The wrought-iron William F. Cribari Memorial Bridge, rechristened for a beloved traffic conductor, was built in 1884 and is the state’s oldest surviving movable bridge. The short span provides vistas of the nautical town and entree to uninterrupted sidewalks through a Gold Coast neighborhood of mansions that are not above running weekend tag sales.