No. 7: Lobster Mango Salad at Smith & Wollensky
At Smith & Wollensky, lobster-loving patrons often gravitate toward the more traditional preparations of the crustaceans (stuffed, boiled, broiled, etc.). In so doing, they'll no doubt enjoy their meal but nevertheless miss out on one of the restaurant's more innovative shellfish dishes: the lobster mango salad.
Don't be fooled by the "salad" part of the title; the chefs at Smith & Wollensky haven't wasted fine lobster meat by mixing it with a load of boring greens and roughage. Tender slices of lobster are interspersed with diced tomatoes, applewood-smoked bacon, and chunks of creamy avocado and sweet mango to form a botanical seafood tower. You'll hardly want to demolish this lovely, layered cylinder, but alas -- it's the only way to properly adorn its striated components with the generous side of aioli.
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Unlike heavier, more buttery lobster dishes, the juicy, refreshing lobster mango salad leaves you invigorated rather than primed for a nap on the beach. And with no shells to crack and mine for extra meat, you'll emerge from dinner a little neater and cleaner, having eaten your meal entirely with a fork and sans bib.