To create a specialty menu without lobster would be just plain wrong at a restaurant called The Lobster Shop.
That's why both of the Tacoma mainstay's locations, on Commencement Bay and Dash Point, have not one, but two lobster offerings on its three-course menu for Tacoma Restaurant Week.
Between Oct. 14-18 and 21-25, dinner guests can choose between three starters, three entrees and three desserts for $25.
"We're representing The Lobster Shop," said corporate chef Tom Small. "We have to have lobster featured in a couple places."
The meal starts with the restaurant's signature lobster bisque; a salad of pears poached in pinot noir with lavender vinaigrette and toasted almond granola; or a grilled shrimp cocktail with chipotle sauce.
The entrees are equally varied: 48-hour Angus beef short ribs braised in a Washington Malbec with horseradish potatoes and sautéed rapini, a winter green; Miso marinated Alaskan ling cod with ginger rice, oyster mushrooms and pickled radishes; and Maine lobster pot pie, featuring autumn vegetables, lobster gravy and puffed pastry.
Wait. Lobster ... pot pie?
"I've done a million kinds of pot pie," Small says. "I think there's a movement of casual American dining finding its way back into fine-dining environments. It's fun to take our key ingredients and casual American style and put them together."
Additionally, The Lobster Shop's special menu highlights ingredients available in fall: Washington pears, Oregon blackberries, root vegetables and braised greens.
"We are trying to reflect the seasonal change," he says.
Dinner ends on a sweet note, with a Greek yogurt panna cotta with pistachios and raspberries; a wild Oregon blackberry crisp with oatmeal-cookie crumble and vanilla ice cream; or the restaurant's famed flourless chocolate cake - with a twist.
"I love the texture," Small says. "It's super rich and dense, but I've always been thinking about how to lighten it."
In this case, that means a drizzle of salted caramel and crispy walnut phylo on top.
"It's like a shredded baklava," he says. "It will add crunch and some different flavors to go with it. This cake is going to be pretty great."
The Lobster Shop at Commencement Bay, 4015 Ruston Way, Tacoma, 253.759.2165
The Lobster Shop at Dash Point, 6912 Soundview Drive N.E., Tacoma, 253.927.1513
For more information on Tacoma Restaurant Week click here.
A virtual menu guide of participating restaurants can be found here.