A self-described “New England fanatic,” Matt Storch has long loved the roadside lobster shacks and burger stands that dot the coast from Connecticut to Maine.
This passion shines in his new restaurant Match Burger Lobster. Located next door to Fleishers Craft Butchery in Westport, in the space formerly occupied by Fleishers Craft Kitchen, the new restaurant seeks to capture roadside cuisine in a more upscale — but still relaxed and family-friendly — setting with best-in-class ingredients.
“A lot of places with this style of menu, they try to buy the cheapest meat, get frozen lobster, make it as easy as possible,” Storch says. “And that’s not what we’re doing. Our lobsters and oysters come twice a day from Norm Bloom [owner of Norwalk’s Copps Island Oysters]. We shuck them fresh; they essentially never see a refrigerator. They go right into the butter and then onto a bun, and that’s how fresh of a lobster roll you’re getting.”
Match Burger Lobster
580 Riverside Ave., Westport
Hours: Sun.-Thu. 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Fri. & Sat. 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.
He adds, it’s the “same with the burger meat — locally raised cows, pasture raised, straight into Fleishers Craft Butchery, ground for us on a daily basis, sometimes twice a day if we need it, and then lightly formed and they go on the grill.”
Storch owns the original Match Restaurant in Norwalk and Nom-eez in Bridgeport, along with Susan McConnell and Jason Wojnarowski. He teamed with the partners for Match Burger Lobster and also brought on Bloom.
In addition to the burgers and lobster rolls featured in the restaurant’s name, there are whole lobsters, fried oysters made with the famous Bloom family oysters, house-made onion rings and french fries, large fresh salads, steamed clams, veggie burgers and foot-long hot dogs.
The star of a recent trip to the restaurant, which included some complimentary tasting items from Storch, was the hot Connecticut lobster roll ($24). A monster heaping of 4¼ ounces of lobster is served on a hollowed-out brioche bun (this keeps the lobster meat in, Storch says), with both the bread and lobster coated in warm butter. The lobster bursts with the fresh seafood and sunshine flavors of summer, and was among the best lobster rolls I’ve had. But as Storch points out, contrary to popular belief, New England lobsters remain in season all winter as the lobsters get sweeter in colder water.
The Match Burger ($15) is topped with bacon and cheddar dip. For those who can’t decide between the burger and lobster roll (one of life’s great dilemmas) there is the slider combo ($20), a mini Match Burger served alongside a mini lobster roll and chips.
There are also several tongue-in-cheek items on the menu. The intentionally over-the-top Indulgence Burger ($59) is a beef burger with lobster, foie and truffles. Storch says it’s “gimmicky,” but also “really good, [and] super rich.” The matzo ball soup ($5 for a cup and $8 for a bowl) is a funny, and tasty, inside joke. When Storch was opening the restaurant, friends teased him about how extremely un-kosher the primarily meat-with-dairy-products-and-shellfish offerings would be. “I figured just as a goof I would put matzo ball soup on, and it is my mom’s matzo ball soup recipe,” Storch says. “I tend to call it the second best, because obviously it’s never as good as anyone’s mother makes.”
As at Storch’s other restaurants, dessert is a strength. Pastry chef Susanne Berne’s Key lime pie ($8) is a must-try.
No hard liquor is offered, but the restaurant has a small but good selection of beer and wine with frosé wine slushies available as well as the Aspetuck Brew Lab’s beer, The Perfect Match, brewed exclusively for the restaurant.
The high-quality ingredients come with an added price tag, so while Match Burger Lobster is more expensive than what you might pay elsewhere for this style of food, you are getting extra quality for the extra price.
Storch says he hopes the restaurant will fill a nice niche in the area, which has lots of fancy restaurants but fewer casual spots. “I think Westport needed a casual, everyday, family-friendly [restaurant]. You can come out and have a good time with a date Friday or Saturday night, or you can come and just grab a hot dog or hamburger or lobster roll.”
This article appeared in the January 2018 issue of Connecticut Magazine.
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