How to

Host a Lobster Bake

How to Host a Lobster Bake

Capture the flavors of a New England summer by hosting a lobster bake for your friends and family. Turn to Pottery Barn for ideas about how to create a festive event with delicious food and fantastic fun. With careful designing of a comfortable party space, your lobster bake is sure to be a stress-free success that gives you plenty of time to enjoy both yourself and a delicious meal spent with loved ones. Head over to your local fishmonger, seafood specialty store, or supermarket (hey, a lobster is a lobster) to stock up on everythign you need before getting busy in the kitchen.

Set Your Menu

Choose between a one-pot lobster bake and lobster bakes that occurs in several courses. If you’re throwing a large dinner party, a one-pot meal streamlines the process to let you feed a crowd relatively easily. Skip soup and salad in favor of simple finger foods and small bites that you can serve in batches and enjoy while mingling with your guests over cocktails. If you are having a smaller gathering, start with clam or fish chowder, followed by a crisp, fresh salad before the main course of steamed lobster and clams with steamed corn on the cob and potatoes.

Set the Table

You want to set your dinner guests up in a comfortable chair at the table, so make sure you have plenty of seating before setting a festive table complete with a traditional red-and-white checked tablecloth or a contemporary, coastal-inspired spread. From eating corn on the cob to cracking whole lobsters, this meal typically lets your guests eat with their hands for an experience that requires a little extra finesse to keep everyone comfortable while making sure everyone has everything they need within arm’s reach. Include drawn butter, lobster crackers, and utensils at every place setting, along with extra napkins or rolls of paper towels for easy cleanup at the table.

Light Up the Night

Lobster bakes are meant to be enjoyed outside and unless you are hosting a daytime lobster bake, you are going to need to add some ambient lighting to set the stage for a fun outdoor dinner party. Use string lights to add a warm and festive glow over your table and near casual seating nooks. Tabletop lanterns and candles provide accent lighting and classic style.

Set Up a Beverage Station

A great lobster bake shoudl feel like a fun, relaxed, casual party. In that easygoing spirit, feel free to set up a designated area for beverages ahead of time so guests can help themselves. Keep the drink menu simple with favorites like fresh-made lemonade, tea or infused water as nonalcoholic options. Include some crisp summery beers and white wines to pair with the lobster or create a signature cocktail that you can make ahead and place in a large drink dispenser.

Stay Bug Free

Create a bug-free zone by removing any nearby vessels with standing water – kiddie pools for example – and add some citronella torches, candles and bug-repelling devices. Adding a fan or two can also work wonders because the increased air flow keeps bugs away.

Top Things Off

Add some simple balloons to the seating area and place some large shells on the table to create a festive, but clean look. Make space on the table for small galvanized buckets or large bowls that can hold empty shells and corn cobs. Mix well-placed accessories such as rolls of paper towels, flatware caddies and lazy Susans to keep the table organized.