Published March 15th, 2012
I always suggest that every bride and groom consider the culinary traditions of the wedding location when creating a menu for their celebration. After all, providing your guests with the best experience often includes giving them a taste of the local cuisine. In our part of the country, it seems a shame to ignore the abundance of local shellfish and seafood. At the top of the local delicacies list? You guessed it: lobster.
At French’s Point, we do an amazing lobster bake based on the tradition native to the Maine coastline. On our property, we have built two eleven-foot long wood-burning pits lined with stone. Inside of the pit, we boil locally harvested lobster in pots filled with saltwater and seaweed in the same way that Mainers have prepared the shellfish for more than 200 years. The lobster, infused with the flavor of the saltwater, is then served in the shell in a large buffet meal. (See the first installment of the Lobster Series for tips on how to eat a lobster in the shell.)
Cleaning your own lobster is plenty of fun but it does get messy, so we usually serve this dish at less formal weddings or rehearsal dinners. For three-day weekend weddings, this lobster bake on the grounds is usually part of the itinerary at some point because it gets people talking and helps from-away folks feel like they’ve really arrived on the Rocky Coast.
If the bake is part of the ceremony, we don’t want to over-lobster people elsewhere since some guests aren’t super keen on shellfish. So we usually compliment the bake with other lighter varieties of lobster fare. We offer hors d’oeuvres like a lemon lobster roll on a mini-brioche that’s light and very summery, or lobster claw shooters, which are little shot glasses with poached lobster claws dipped in lime-infused cocktail sauce. We also offer lobster salad on Belgian endive or lobster bisque for a seated formal menu.
If a lobster entrée is desired at the celebration, a lot of couples opt for a surf and turf selection with what we call lazy man’s lobster tails, or tails that have been taken out of the shell, paired with a cognac crème sauce. Yummy, minus all the mess.
There are also, of course, countless other ways to enjoy Maine’s chosen shellfish. The moral of the story is, there’s more than one way to eat a lobster. The moral to that moral is, pretty much every one of them is as delicious as it is quintessentially Maine.
– Jessika Brooks Brewer, CEO