Home Food + Drink Jack’s Seafood Shack: Serving Up Famous Lobster Rolls in Montclair

Jack’s Seafood Shack: Serving Up Famous Lobster Rolls in Montclair

by Yiwei Gu
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At Jack’s Seafood Shack, lobsters run the show. An entire corner of a dining room, cheerfully decorated with buoys and fish traps on the wall, is occupied with a huge custom-made saltwater tank full of lazily moving lobsters that are delivered multiple times a week from Maine. For the steamers, the staff scoops them right out of the tank. When it comes to the table, pre-cracked and cheerfully served with corn on the cob and homemade coleslaw, the plump and juicy meat is great even without being dunked in melted butter. It is subtly sweet, with a hint of seawater, which evokes New England summer. That’s the experience of eating at Jack’s. Read on to learn more about Jack’s Seafood Shack in Montclair, located at 718 Bloomfield Avenue.

Jack's Seafood Shack

(Photo credit: @jacksseafoodshack)

The Food

Jack’s Seafood Shack

(Photo credit: @jacksseafoodshack)

There are countless ways to enjoy these Maine delicacies. Many people come for the restaurant’s famous lobster rolls, which, as fans love to recount, can be made in two ways. There’s the familiar “Maine style” — mayo, celery, and jumbo chunks of lobster meat (quarter-pound or half-pound), and the “Connecticut style” that’s served warm with lobster meat and warm butter.

Jack’s Seafood Shack

(Photo credit: @jacksseafoodshack)

And the list goes on. Lobster comes in salads, tacos, and even grilled cheese, all of which goes great with silky lobster bisque. They are tossed with pasta, baked in mac & cheese, and simmered in stews.

Read More: Le Salbuen: A European Inspired Eatery in Montclair

Of course, there’s the hugely popular “lobster bomb” — an overflowing sourdough bowl filled with lobster meat and lobster bisque. And the menu offers more than just lobster. Shrimp, fish, and all sorts of shellfish can be steamed or made into a variety of dishes. 

Jack’s Seafood Shack

(Photo credit: @jacksseafoodshack)

The lightly seared crab cake is laden with juicy crab meat. And reviewers have vouched for its steak frites despite this being a seafood restaurant.

National Acclaim

Jack’s Seafood Shack

(Photo credit: @jacksseafoodshack)

“We have supplies delivered six days a week when we are open,” Greg, co-owner and manager of the Montclair restaurant, said of the ingredients. “Because it’s seafood, you can really taste it.” 

He has been with Jack’s since day one, when the founders, Jack and Aline Tabibian, opened its first location in Edgewater in 2015, named Jack’s Lobster Shack. “We had a chef from Maine develop the recipes. The tank is fully custom-made,” he recounted.

Jack’s Seafood Shack

(Photo credit: @jacksseafoodshack)

The Tabibians, according to a 2016 New York Times review —  the writer started as a frequent customer. “She liked it so much that she wrote about us,” Greg said —  came up with the business idea while vacationing in Maine. Growing up Jack had often caught lobster on the Long Island Sound. When the Long Island Sound water became too warm for lobsters, he “rediscovered” them in Maine, and thought it would be nice to bring the whole concept to New Jersey, where he lives. 

Expanding to Montclair

Jack’s Seafood Shack

(Photo credit: @jacksseafoodshack)

The business has since expanded to Montclair and Cresskill, all favorite local hangouts. A fourth Short Hills location is coming soon. 

See More: Iberia Tavern + Restaurant: Authentic Portuguese + Spanish Food in Newark

“I posted about it on my Facebook page and at least 10 of my friends said that they love the place,” a Yelp reviewer said. Many others have raved about the restaurants’ service. For this, Greg has his own take. During the pandemic, even with reduced sit-down capacity, he wants service to be perfect. The clock starts ticking as soon as the orders are received. Food has to be sent out as soon as possible. They must arrive hot. “I realized, in the pandemic, this is our identity,” he said. 

Jack’s Seafood Shack

(Photo credit: @jacksseafoodshack)

The restaurant is great for celebratory occasions and friend meetups. The beach-like vibe is fun and the service seamless. The centerpiece of a seafood steamer is always a crowd-pleaser. A huge plus, as Montclair Girl recently found out, is that the lobster rolls and steamers travel easily and are great for home dinners or even summer picnic. A great deal for some New English fun without traveling to Maine.

Stay in the know with the latest happenings by following Jack’s Seafood Shack on Instagram at @jacksseafoodshack.

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