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Must-eat lobster rolls on Long Island

In its natural state, lobster is the least inviting food on earth, requiring the diner to penetrate a hard carapace, dig through narrow channels and sharp chambers to free the meat. So give a posthumous Nobel Prize to whoever made the first lobster roll. And be grateful to the cook who has done all the dirty work in advance, leaving you free to consume unfettered succulence without even the encumbrance of fork and knife.

Whichever way you like your lobster dressed — cold with mayonnaise or warm with melted butter — there's a roll to satisfy you on Long Island. Here are some of our favorites.

Bostwick's Chowder House

Bostwick's Chowder House (277 Pantigo Rd., East Hampton):
Photo Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

Bostwick's Chowder House (277 Pantigo Rd., East Hampton): This casual seafood spot serves a lobster salad roll, a traditional, mildly seasoned production with plenty of lobster meat. More info: 631-324-1111, bostwickschowderhouse.com

The Lake House

The Lake House (135 Maple Ave., Bay Shore):
Photo Credit: Jessica Rotkiewicz

The Lake House (135 Maple Ave., Bay Shore): This venerable establishment's version, available at the bar, proves that all you need is a little butter, and no mayo, to achieve lobster roll near-perfection. More info: 631-666-0995, thelakehouserest.com

Claudio's

Claudio's (111 Main St., Greenport): Among the best
Photo Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Claudio's (111 Main St., Greenport): Among the best things to order at the town's best-known restaurant -- which this season boasts a newly renovated dining room and bar -- is its lobster roll, which comes in both hot and cold versions. More info: 631-477-0627, claudios.com

Reel

Reel (1 Main St., East Rockaway): This waterside
Photo Credit: Nicole Horton

Reel (1 Main St., East Rockaway): This waterside seafood spot offers two kinds of lobster rolls. One, featuring a classic lobster salad made with mayo and celery, is served on a toasted brioche bun. The other comes warm, its bun heaped with lobster meat and drizzled with drawn butter. More info: 516-341-7222, thereelli.com

The Lobster Roll

The Lobster Roll (1980 Montauk Hwy., Amagansett): Look
Photo Credit: Ellen Watson

The Lobster Roll (1980 Montauk Hwy., Amagansett): Look for the big sign that says LUNCH at what's become an Amagansett landmark. Here, and at the North Fork eatery with the same menu, the lobster roll comes in a salad that combines lobster meat, celery and mayonnaise on a toasted hot dog bun. More info: 631-267-3740, lobsterroll.com

D.J.'s Clam Shack

D.J.'s Clam Shack (3255 Sunrise Hwy., Wantagh): Made
Photo Credit: Jeff Gagnon

D.J.'s Clam Shack (3255 Sunrise Hwy., Wantagh): Made with big hunks of knuckle and claw meat and butter-griddled top-split buns, they are available either warm (dressed only with butter) or cold (blended with celery and tarragon-scented mayonnaise). Both contain a full quarter pound of meat, but for sheer crustacean decadence, you can get an overstuffed lobster roll (pictured) with twice the filling. More info: 516-900-1400, djsclamshack.com 

Southold Fish Market

Southold Fish Market (64755 Route 25, Southold): Half
Photo Credit: Doug Young

Southold Fish Market (64755 Route 25, Southold): Half of this exemplary fish market is occupied by a counter-serve eatery (there are also tables out on the lawn). A highlight is the lobster roll containing big hunks of freshly picked meat of a 1¼-pound lobster mixed with mayonnaise and celery, accompanied by skinny, salty, hand-cut French fries. More info: 631-765-3200

Port

Port (104 Third St., Greenport): This lively waterfront
Photo Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Port (104 Third St., Greenport): This lively waterfront bar and restaurant serves two types of lobster rolls, both on toasted, top-split buns. The Connecticut features warm, butter-poached lobster and Old Bay seasoning; the Maine, cold, lemon-aioli-dressed chunks with bibb lettuce. More info: 631-333-2501, portbarandgrill.com

Commander Cody’s Seafood

Commander Cody's Seafood (41 Smith St., Shelter Island):
Photo Credit: Raychel Brightman

Commander Cody's Seafood (41 Smith St., Shelter Island): Among the specialties at this modest South Carolina Lowcountry-meets-Peconic Bay establishment is the lobster roll, chunky and succulent and creamy with mayonnaise. More info: 631-749-1851

Claws Seafood Market

Claws Seafood Market (20 Main St., West Sayville):
Photo Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Claws Seafood Market (20 Main St., West Sayville): One of Long Island's best fish markets maintains an umbrella-ed, creek-side patio where patrons can enjoy a menu of fish-shack favorites, including the overstuffed lobster roll on a lettuce-lined toasted bun. More info: 631-256-5900, clawsseafoodmarket.com

Flo's

Flo's (302 Middle Rd., Blue Point): Florence Kimball
Photo Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara

Flo's (302 Middle Rd., Blue Point): Florence Kimball founded Flo's in 1923 just steps from Blue Point's Corey Beach. Since they it's become a local landmark, due, in no small measure, to favorites like the chunky lobster roll, served with leaf lettuce on a hot-dog bun. More info: 888-356-7864, flosfamous.com 

1221 at MFP

1221 at MFP (1221 Old Northern Blvd., Roslyn):
Photo Credit: Daniel Brennan

1221 at MFP (1221 Old Northern Blvd., Roslyn): Find summer in a terrific lobster roll, generous, bound with tarragon aioli, set on a brioche bun alongside housemade chips. More info: 516-583-9803, 1221li.com

Ed’s Lobster Bar

Ed's Lobster Bar (1742 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Tpke., Sag
Photo Credit: Ed's Lobster Bar

Ed's Lobster Bar (1742 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Tpke., Sag Harbor): Newly installed in the former home of Bay Burger, this Sag Habor outpost of the SoHo original serves a menu of New England fish shack classics. That includes, of course, a meaty lobster roll on a toasted bun. More info: 631-725-1131, lobsterbarnyc.com

The Rex Burger & Lobster

The Rex Burger & Lobster (524 Jericho Tpke.,
Photo Credit: Alejandra Villa Loarca

The Rex Burger & Lobster (524 Jericho Tpke., Mineola): They take second billing to burgers at this chic, counter-serve spot, but the lobster rolls are even better. Have yours either bathed in warm butter or chilled with mayonnaise. More info: 516-739-2747, therexburgerandlobster.com

Jordan Lobster Farms

Jordan Lobster Farms (1 Pettit Place, Island Park):
Photo Credit: Timothy Fadek

Jordan Lobster Farms (1 Pettit Place, Island Park): Jordan's, one of Long Island's largest lobster wholesalers, also does brisk business with takeout, dine in and casual outdoor eating. The lobster roll is made with a coral-hued salad of lobster meat, mayonnaise, lemon juice, celery and scallions. More info: 516-889-3314, jordanlobsterfarms.com

Kerber’s Farm

Kerber's Farm (309 W. Pulaski Rd., Huntington): At
Photo Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus

Kerber's Farm (309 W. Pulaski Rd., Huntington): At this farmhouse-chic takeout spot, lobster is mixed with chopped celery and a minimum of mayonnaise, piled into a toasted hot-dog bun and served with potato chips. Or eat in the gravel-paved backyard, while the chickens cluck contentedly in their coop. More info: 631-423-4400, kerbersfarm.com

Silver's

Silver's (15 Main St., Southampton): Founded in 1923,
Photo Credit: Eric Striffler

Silver's (15 Main St., Southampton): Founded in 1923, Silver's retains the Jazz Age fixtures of the tobacconist-newsstand it originally was but the food has more than kept pace with the trends -- and inflation. The lobster roll is a winner, made with just a hint of mayonnaise and served on a crusty mini-baguette. More info: 631-283-6443

Louie's Grill & Liquors

Louie's Grill & Liquors (395 Main St., Port
Photo Credit: Daniel Brennan

Louie's Grill & Liquors (395 Main St., Port Washington): At this seafood stalwart, the lobster rolls are served warm, seasoned with tarragon mayonnaise and Old Bay, and dressed with housemade potato chips. Here, it's served on bibb lettuce instead of a toasted potato roll. More info: 516-883-4242, louiessince1905.com 

Duryea's

Duryea's (65 Tuthill Rd., Montauk): Watch the sun
Photo Credit: Doug Young

Duryea's (65 Tuthill Rd., Montauk): Watch the sun set over Montauk's Fort Pond Bay from the vantage point of Duryea's serene dock. The lobster roll, on a brioche bun and served with sweet-potato chips and slaw, is a perfect accompaniment. More info: 631-668-2410, duryealobsters.com

Salt & Barrel

Salt & Barrel (61 West Main St., Bay
Photo Credit: Daniel Brennan

Salt & Barrel (61 West Main St., Bay Shore): This seafood spot offers a warm lobster roll with butter poached lobster and celery. It's served with a side of salt and vinegar potato chips. ($30) A cold, tarragon mayo-based lobster roll is also available to-go only. More info: 631-647-8818, saltandbarrel.com

The Clam Bar at Bridge Marine

The Clam Bar At Bridge Marine (40 Ludlam
Photo Credit: Newsday / Joan Reminick

The Clam Bar At Bridge Marine (40 Ludlam Ave., Bayville): At the entryway to Bridge Marine, a small sign reading "Clam Bar" is the only indication of this outdoor spot where you eat under a canopy equipped with overhead fans. Here, the excellent lobster roll is made with lots of shellfish, some mayo, plus a little celery and chopped onion heaped onto a bun. More info: 516-628-8688

North Fork Food Truck

North Fork Food Truck (57225 Main Rd., Southold):
Photo Credit: Daniel Brennan

North Fork Food Truck (57225 Main Rd., Southold): In the parking lot of one of Long Island's top restaurants you'll find a lobster roll heaped with meat, mixed with a little lemon-tarragon aioli, and served on a toasted buttered bun. It hardly gets better. Check for hours, which change seasonally. More info: 631-765-0177, northforktableandinn.com/foodtruck

Clam Bar

Clam Bar (2025 Montauk Hwy., Amagansett): The roadside
Photo Credit: Gordon M. Grant

Clam Bar (2025 Montauk Hwy., Amagansett): The roadside shack's excellent cold lobster roll is made with lots of meat, some mayo, plus a little celery and chopped onion heaped onto a bun. ($26) A fine hot lobster roll is also available. More info: 631-267-6348, clambarhamptons.com

Smuggler Jack's

Smuggler Jack's (157 Forest Ave., Massapequa): Secreted away
Photo Credit: Smuggler Jack's

Smuggler Jack's (157 Forest Ave., Massapequa): Secreted away in a residential area is a classic of the genre, a lobster roll made with big chunks of lobster meat, Old Bay, salt, pepper, a little celery and just enough mayo heaped over some greens on a buttery, toasted brioche bun. More info: 516-798-6000

Kingston’s Clam Bar

Kingston's Clam Bar (130 Atlantic Ave., West Sayville):
Photo Credit: Linda Rosier

Kingston's Clam Bar (130 Atlantic Ave., West Sayville): Kingston's chunky, barely mayonnaised lobster roll tastes all the better when you are overlooking a flotilla of moored boats with the Great South Bay beyond. More info: 631-589-0888, kingstonsclam.com

Shipwreck Tavern

Shipwreck Tavern (10 Bayville Ave., Bayville): The lobster
Photo Credit: Shipwreck Tavern

Shipwreck Tavern (10 Bayville Ave., Bayville): The lobster roll at this kitschy, lively waterside eatery is made with lobster meat, diced celery and chili-spiked mayo heaped onto a grilled potato bun drizzled with melted butter. More info: 516-628-2628, shipwreckpub.com 

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