The Lobster Shop, a fixture on Tacoma’s waterfront since 1981, took a five-month hiatus for renovations earlier last year. Reopening mid-summer, it’s more than business as usual, with even more delicious cuisine and stunning views than ever before.
Acquired by E3 Restaurant Group in 2021, the veteran outfit responsible for such well-known Seattle restaurants as the Metropolitan Grill and Elliot’s Oyster House, among others, made a graceful transition.
Although planning to implement several improvements to the menu and overall appearance of the quintessential locale, the group took their time getting to know customers and staff before making the changes.
Lobster Shop’s Reimagined Space on Tacoma’s Waterfront
A number of refreshingly modern touches and aesthetic details were introduced to the space during the closure. Some changes include a new look for the main entryway and removing a former wine wall.
By building wine storage into side rooms with red on one side and white within temperature-controlled refrigeration units on the other, the high quality of the products remains undiminished.
Another addition came in the form of new bar and restaurant equipment. Restrooms also received a hefty facelift with new tile and roomier stalls.
Perhaps one of the best enhancements, though, are changes made in the bar area. The removal of several banquettes from there and throughout the restaurant now optimizes breathtaking views of Commencement Bay, Mount Rainier, and the Olympic Mountains.
“During the bar remodel, we turned all of the tables sideways so that no one’s back is to the view,” says Jennifer Tivald, General Manager. “We also elevated them so that they can look over the top of the other guests that are down below, and everyone can enjoy the view.”
Tacoma’s Lobster Shop Menu
The historic venue has made some tasty updates to its menu, too. From prime dry-aged steaks to locally sourced seafood and made-fresh lobster rolls, the restaurant has upgraded flavors in the spirit of the ‘old’ Lobster Shop by introducing newer versions.
One way they present new ideas and upcoming dishes is by offering ‘fresh sheets’ periodically. With Executive Chef Don Hoots at the helm and backed by an amazing team, well-received items often gain a spot on the core menu.
Choose from starters like steamed clams in white wine, garlic, sea beans, baby carrot, and parsley, or crab cakes in lemon pepper aioli with pear and frisée salad, topped with spiced pear vinaigrette for a zesty mix.
Try a bowl of lobster bisque made with lobster stock, sweet vermouth, sherry cream, and chives, or a bright kale salad made with Lacinato kale, Serrano ham, Castelvetrano olives, crispy quinoa, and lemon herb vinaigrette, topped with shaved Parmesan before the main entrée arrives.
Follow-up with delicious Lobster Ravioli. This core menu item is a remarkable rendition and upgrade to the former Lobster Carbonaro. The popular stand-out consists of lobster claw meat, cream sauce, guanciale, egg yolk, Parmesan, and black pepper.
A newly released fall menu shifts some of the focus on the preparation of certain dishes by adding in the hearty flavors of fall, “Our halibut dish, for example, has moved to a pecan crusted halibut with smashed sweet potato, swiss chard, with rosemary bourbon cream and pickled red onion,” says Tivald.
A particular emphasis on seasonal and sustainable flavors adds to an elevated dining experience. Combined with a new Oyster Happy Hour Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. in the bar area, it’s an experience not soon forgotten.
With fresh-shucked oysters starting at $2 for the first hour and increasing by $1 every hour during the three-hour event, there’s much to be happy about. Sample special Chef’s Choice oysters or a variety of new sharable plates during the first come, first served Happy Hour.
Beverages at Tacoma’s Lobster Shop
If that’s not enough, E3 has prominent beverage director Amanda Reed curating an extensive list of wines. Reed brings in the best of the best from throughout the Washington and Northwest Region, as well as from across the world.
Included in the updated bar line-up is a list of craft cocktails boasting seasonal ingredients and a number of featured brews by some of Tacoma and Seattle’s favorite breweries.
Enjoy stunning views from the outdoor patio when the weather warms up, complimentary valet parking, and limited boat moorage while visiting.
“We’re not just another waterfront restaurant serving something quick and easy,” says Tivald. “We’re giving the full experience, the full package. Our service team is phenomenal. They’re so friendly and happy to be here. They love this area and restaurant, and we’re all really happy you are here.”
Visit here to find out more or to make a reservation at Tacoma’s Lobster Shop.
4015 Ruston Way, Tacoma