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Review: Rock Lobster’s delightfully chaotic Queen West outpost

Review: Rock Lobster’s delightfully chaotic Queen West outpost
(Image: Rock Lobster/Facebook)

Rock Lobster ★½ 538 Queen St. W., 416-203-6623

We’ve updated our star ratings system since this article was first published. Read more about the change here, and find the up-to-date rating in our restaurant listings.

The first location of Rock Lobster, which opened on Ossington last winter, was so successful that the owners added another on Queen West just a few months later. The new restaurant is delightfully chaotic—the kind of place where tables are so cluttered with oversized Caesars, seafood platters and shell bowls that you may end up balancing a tray of oysters on your lap (as we did). The raw bar is the best reason to visit. Chef Matt Pettit flies in fresh seafood from Nova Scotia each morning and dresses it very simply: tangy house cocktail sauce, freshly grated horseradish and lemon complement the sweet Coleville Bay oysters and beautifully briny cold crab legs. The creamy lobster roll is full of Old Bay flavour, but outdone by a fantastically buttery jerk shrimp roll on a toasted Dempster’s bun. Fried dishes, like the lobster poutine and fish and chips, are good but a bit too greasy. An aggressive Canadiana theme pervades, from a giant wood beaver painting on the patio to the dessert menu, which includes ice on a stick with maple syrup. At $8, it’s the most over-priced dessert in the city.

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