I remember the first time I ate an entire lobster by myself. I was about 19 years old and visiting relatives on the tiny island of Chebeague, off the coast of Portland, Maine. My Aunt Nicky asked if I wanted lobster for dinner, and I, of course, said “Sure!” After my aunt placed a quick phone call, a fisherman who looked liked he was right out of a scene from the movie “The Perfect Storm” showed up immediately at the front door holding a bucket of water laden with six live lobsters straight from the ocean. My aunt took the blue-green colored lobsters from the fisherman and set them aside while she proceeded to boil some water in a gargantuan stainless-steel pot on the stove.
My dismay at the plight of the poor creatures seemed to fade as soon as she placed them on a silver platter and laid them in the center of her formal dining table that had been clad with a white lace tablecloth and also bedecked with her homemade cole slaw, freshly made biscuits with a side of honey, and plenty of melted butter. Although I wasn’t very adept at the cracking of the lobster placed on the plate before me, my sweet father did the deed for me and I was able to savor the rich meat of the lobster dipped in butter and paired perfectly with the sweetness of the biscuits and honey.
I’ve longed for that dinner many times since through the years, and now I may get my chance to replay it at the seventh-annual Lobsterfest, set for Saturday, Aug. 8, from 3-8 p.m. at the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina. That’s where lobster lovers just like me will be able to partake in Maine lobster (flown in fresh on the morning of the event) prepared onsite alongside a buffet replete with barbecued tri-tip, corn on the cob, red potatoes, salads, rolls, drawn butter and dessert, all enjoyed in a scenic Newport Beach Back Bay setting. And while the star of the show is definitely the lobster, the event also will include dancing to the rock-n-pop band Pinch Me! from 4-8 p.m., special children’s activities, and numerous vendors including Pedego Electric Bikes and Slapfish restaurant.
Advance tickets are $60 per person ($80 at the door) and can be purchased by calling (949) 478-3468 or by visiting lobsterfestatnewportbeach.com. Additional lobster can be purchased for $20 each, and a ‘box’ meal (complete with a turkey sandwich, chips, fruit and cookie) for children ages 12 and younger is available for $20 in advance ($25 at the door).
Special VIP tickets also are available for $150 and include all-you-can-eat lobster, free wine, valet parking and reserved seating (and even the choice of having your lobster cleaned for you!). Best of all … a portion of the proceeds from the annual fundraising event will go to Make-A-Wish Orange County and Inland Empire and Leadership Tomorrow. Happy Cracking!