Francisco’s Central Vasco Restaurant, located in Chelsea, is perhaps one of the most interesting restaurants I have ever been to. Dubbed “the best lobster in the city’, this Spanish restaurant specializes in lobster and seafood. Upon entering the lobster house, you’d notice the intriguing decor. Right above the bar hung lobster claws from lobsters ranging from 50 pounds to 25 pounds. Their largest lobster claw is from a lobster weighing around 70 pounds. Talk about serious lobster eating!
Once you are seated, you are given a menu with all sorts of seafood – seafood paella, crabmeat stew, lobster bisque, and much more. Then you are given a separate sheet of paper for just plain lobsters – steamed or boiled. The smallest lobster, around one and a quarter pound will cost you around $21.
After ordering, your waiter will bring over a lobster bib and put it on for you. The bib is plastic and has a cute lobster design over it. After the bibs, come the appetizers. Each house special comes with side dishes so when the entire table orders, the side dishes come out family style. A large plate of fresh garden salad is brought out, followed by a large plate of Spanish rice, fried plantains, and boiled green beans. Fresh bread is also presented along with the side dishes. Majority of the time, no appetizers are needed since the lobster and the side dishes are enough to fill you up.
As someone who could not decide between a steak or lobster, I chose the Surf and Turf, which consisted of one and quarter pound of Maine lobster along with a sirloin steak. The steak is cooked to your choice while the lobster is steamed to redness. The order is quite large but with time, it is possible to finish the entire meal. I always eat the lobster first because it does not taste as good cold. Melted butter is offered on the side for dipping the lobster meat and a shell cracker is also offered on the plate. A1 steak sauce is given when asked. Running at $39, the Surf and Turf isn’t exactly budget eating but your portion will be large enough for two people to share.
Eating the lobster at Francisco’s Central Vasco is always a joy to me because it tastes superb. The lobster is cooked just right so that it’s not overcooked and stringy. When you crack open the lobster, the juices are flowing out because it hasn’t been overcooked and remains juicy. The best part of the Surf and Turf is that the lobster is steamed. The steamed lobster retains all of its original flavors without being overwhelmed by another other added in ingredients. You can taste the freshness and the sweetness of the lobster meat. After the lobster, my favorite would be the side dishes. No matter how full I am from the lobster and the steak, it seems like I always have extra room for the Spanish rice. Most of the time I even doggy-bag the rice because I can’t get enough of it.
Francisco’s Central Vasco isn’t cheap, but the quality of the food is well worth it. If you’re ever in the mood for good quality lobster and are willing to splurge, pay Francisco’s a visit. You won’t be disappointed.