Montclair’s mini Restaurant Row just a stone’s throw from the Montclair Art Museum is shaping up nicely now that the new Jack’s Seafood Shack & Oyster Bar has opened. With its decorative lobster traps and centerpiece massive lobster tanks (able to hold more than 300 lobsters, ranging in size from 1.5 -4 lbs.), Jack’s brings a Cape Cod vibe to the corner of Bloomfield Ave. and St. Lukes Place.
How do you choose between a Maine style lobster roll (served cold with a touch of mayo and celery on a grilled split top bun) or a Connecticut style lobster roll (pictured above, served warm with butter and lemon on a grilled split top bun)?
Owner Jack Tabibian, who also owns Jack’s Lobster Shack in Edgewater, gets asked that question a lot. He likes both rolls and says it’s just a matter of taste and preference. Sometimes he lets the seasons act as his guide, ordering Maine in summer months and Connecticut when the weather is cooler.
Of course, it’s a Seafood Shack, so there’s more than just lobster. Fried favorites, like clam strips, fried oysters, clam bellies and shrimp are all on the menu, as well as a big, meaty crabcake, served with tomato salad and a basil aioli.
Want something healthier? Try the pan seared scallops ($26), served with a charred corn salsa, roasted yellow pepper and corn puree with a lemon and olive oil vinaigrette. Or get New England favorites — a steam pot with a fresh Maine lobster, clams, mussels, shrimp, smoked sausage, sweet corn and potatoes seasoned with old bay — or a seafood stew featuring clams, mussels, shrimp, lobster claws and cod in a vegetable and seafood broth. Both are market price.
Be sure to save room for the giant Whoopie Pies ($6) big enough to share.
Jack’s Seafood Shack & Oyster Bar, 718 Bloomfield Ave., Montclair. (973) 893-5283.
Now open seven days a week.