Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough

Review by: Michael Stern

Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough is a long-running shoreline picnic. Hugely crowded on nice summer evenings, it specializes in shore dinners built around lobsters.

Start with bracing, steel-gray chowder, then littlenecks on the half shell and/or steamers or mussels by the bucket with broth and butter for dipping. If you arrive with a big appetite, you will need to eat many hors d’oeuvre because the lobsters, cooked to order, can take a while. They are beauties, available whatever size you need.

Those lacking the energy to crack, pick, suck, and pluck their way through a whole lobster can get a hot lobster roll. It’s nothing but hunks of pink sweet meat bathed in butter, sandwiched inside a warm bun. (Cold lobster salad rolls are also available, as are hot and cold crab rolls.)

Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough is one of the prettiest places in Connecticut to dine al fresco. Seating is at bare wooden tables, either in the open or under tents. Some civilized sorts actually bring their own tablecloths as well as their own wine. The air is filled with the salty smack of shore breezes, and background music is provided by gulls screeching in the sky (but kept away from the tables by invisible netting).

Abbott’s generally opens early in May, but at first only on weekends. It is open every day through Labor day, then weekends-only again into October.

What To Eat

Lobster Dinner

Hot Lobster Roll

Clam Chowder

Steamed Clams

Shrimp & Roasted Corn Chowder


Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough Recipes


What do you think of Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough?

3 Responses to “Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough”


July 17th, 2012

The biggest ripoff since Bernie Madoff! I was taken to this place about five years ago and treated to a lobster roll by a friend of mine. I remember it as being great and, since then, I’ve wanted to go back. I finally went last week with my two sons and was I let down.

One four-ounce lobster roll, one order of crab cakes, two regular drinks, and a milkshake came to $34 and change! I was a little leary from the get-go when I saw the menu and prices but we made the trip. So… the lobster roll was $15.95 and, at the counter, the girl asked if I would like the four-ounce or seven-ounce. I asked about the size of the one for $15.95. She said that’s the four-ounce. The seven-ounce is $10 more (that’s $53 per pound if you do the math). I opted to cut my losses and go for the four-ounce.

While it tasted good, it was about the size of a McDonald’s regular hamburger. The crab cakes for $10+ were barely two inches across and about four ounces combined. But we got a bag of chips and a quarter-cup of coleslaw; woo hoo!

The view and ambiance were nice, but hardly worth $44 for a snack. Skip the hype. There are lots of other places out there.


Margaret Bernstein

August 12th, 2009

We recently took a road trip across New England, and stopped at Abbott’s after a long day in the air and the car. It was a beautiful summer night and these weary travellers couldn’t have been happier with our decision to leave the highway and enjoy a delicious waterfront dinner.

Two of us had the highly recommended hot lobster roll, one had the cold lobster salad, and our landlubber had the roasted chicken. All were delicious! The line was not too long, and it gave us a chance to stretch our legs while waiting for the food. There was a group of about 12 celebrating a birthday at a nearby table, complete with candles, wine, and birthday cake. The place was a little hard to find, but well worth the effort.


Tracy Dumont

March 12th, 2008

Everyone in the state talks about going to Abbott’s for a seafood feast. I thought I would give it a try. Parking is tough, but doable. The wait to order is long, but there are entertaining signs, and there’s the menu to ponder while waiting. The waitstaff is efficient, and friendly enough.

But the prices and the setting are ridiculous. There is never a clean table, and while there are some sort of wires overhead to keep the seagulls from dive-bombing your food, the birds manage to leave their “remnants” everywhere. It looked like we were dining on an abandoned seashore of a country under attack!

While the food is good… it isn’t great, not at these prices! I much prefer dining at Capt. Scott’s in New London for the same effect that Abbott’s was trying for, only it is cleaner, and the prices are more affordable.


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