Nobody who spends anytime between Memorial Day and Labor Day on the East End is in it for bargain hunting, save perhaps for the savvy few who know about Nick & Toni's midweek $30 menu. We face a summer tax and that's just the deal. But even within this paradigm, there are limits and there is optionality--and there must be accountability. Let's us, then, look at the price of a lobster roll at ten of the places that make them best (from West to East).
Silver's, Southampton ...... $38.00
Banzai Burger, Napeague ...... $25.00
Driver's Seat, Southampton ...... $25.00
[LRPI] ...... $22.82
Nichol's, East Hampton ...... $21.95
Duryea's, Montauk ...... $21.00
Bostwick's, East Hampton ...... $21.00
Lunch, Napeague ...... $19.95
Clambar, Napeague ...... $19.50
Gossman's, Montauk ...... $19.00
Bobby Van's, Bridgehampton ...... $18.00
The average price here, the LOBSTER ROLL PRICE INDEX [LRPI], at the start of the 2012 season is $22.84. So, then, we'll do some scanning for you: the highest priced roll is at Southampton old money joint Silver's, clearly, and that's not a surprise (however, that it's more expensive than the spectacular Dave's Grill buttered lobster claw roll ($37) is criminal); the cheapest of this group is at Bobby Van's, the steakhouse in Bridgehampton, which is a surprise. Personal taste and geography are what they are, though there is absolutely no correlation here between quality and price. So, at least know the LRPI. Rolls priced to the LRPI or lower, you're good. Higher, you should be getting your lobster roll somewhere else. All prices are as of this afternoon, obtained either by phone or from printed menus. We'll check back on the LRPI mid-season. And do feel free to leave additional roll prices in the comments.