KAYLA NOGUCHI FOR THE HOYA ROCKIN’ LOBSTER Georgetown alum serves up traditional Maine-style lobster rolls.
ROCKIN’ LOBSTER Georgetown alum serves up traditional Maine-style lobster rolls.

4/5 stars


Nestled on Potomac Street lies Luke’s Lobster, a cozy restaurant founded by Georgetown grad and former lobsterman Luke Holden (MSB ’07), serving up fresh seafood directly from Maine’s coast. Earlier this semester, the guide covered this new location’s opening (“Waves of Success,” August 31, G4), but now we finally got a chance to try his New England flavor.  And he really does bring New England’s best: The food is delicious.

The sunny yellow walls and buttery aroma wafting through the air invite you to the counter to place an order, where an oversized chalkboard displays the menu: a choice of lobster, shrimp or crab rolls, as well as soups, drinks and extras.  Mason jars and lobster claws containing Luke’s special spices adorn the tables, which provide limited seating downstairs and additional seating on the second-story nook. This petite restaurant also offers takeout options.

The Noah’s Ark provides a comprehensive taste of Maine for two people. Our plates were filled with a half-order of all three rolls: lobster, crab and shrimp, as well as chips and drinks.  Luke’s rolls are filled with a quarter-pound of meat (equating to 5 or 6 poor lobsters) with just a pat of butter and a touch of mayonnaise, topped off with a dusting of their special spices on a toasted, buttered roll.  No fillers, heavy sauces, goopy mayonnaise globs or other hidden, heavy ingredients — just pure, fresh seafood.  The portions are just right and leave you satisfied.

To accompany your meal, Luke’s provides specialty sodas from Maine Root — a family-based soda company in Maine — as well as juice, lemonade, water and Diet Coke for the more health conscious.  Fizzy flavors like blueberry, ginger and mandarin orange provide a sweet pop to your meal and are made with organic, fair-trade ingredients to boot. The ginger soda had a spicy punch that complemented the light seafood and provided a more robust flavor than regular, store-bought soda brands.

In keeping with the New England theme, Luke’s Lobster offers a variety of Cape Cod chips to go with your meal, as well as Blue Monsters: scoops of Maine blueberry ice cream sandwiched between two chocolate chip cookies for those with a sweet tooth.  A sweet taste reminiscent of late summer days and tangy, fresh berries are just the right ending to a great meal.

While $15 is a bit steep for a sandwich, you definitely get your money’s worth in quality.  The lobster is shipped directly from Maine to the restaurant — no middleman is involved —  from sustainable suppliers.  In fact, all of the lobster harbors are within 600 miles of the restaurant, and ingredients can be traced directly back to the source.  The fresh, tasty food combined with the pleasant, homely environment provide an experience that immediately transports you to the New England coast, even in the midst of a rainy D.C. night.

With locations throughout New York City, Bethesda and Penn Quarter, Luke has finally returned home to his fellow Hoyas in the newest location.  Luke’s Lobster is certainly worth the walk over whenever you long for those carefree, sunny summer days.

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