When Deirdre Mears was ordering lobsters for her restaurant, Abbott's Lobster in the Rough in Noank, Conn., she heard there was a 22-pounder for sale and quickly scooped it up.
“The customers love to see those, and I have a Calico and a Blue. We'll take them all for show and tell,” said Deirdre Mears.
The large crustacean has been quite the attraction at Abbott's, with kids coming to pet it and adults amazed at both its size and its hefty $200 price tag.
“He was for sale at the restaurant. People will come in with groups of six or eight and say, 'Wow, we can have one big lobster.' It looks great on the table and they have a great time," said Mears. "The meat is just as tender as it is as a pound-and-a-quarter when it's steamed."
For those who couldn't bear to eat the huge shellfish, Mears was also offering to sell the lobster so it could be returned to sea. In the end, she decided to take matters into her own hands.
“I've decided that I'm going to release it myself tomorrow with a local fisherman,” said Mears. “We're going to take him out to Race Rock where it's deeper water and colder water and let him go, and hopefully he'll do well.”
The decision is getting mixed reviews from customers at Abbott's, who travel to Noank just to get a bite of the large lobsters the restaurant carries.
“I think if you're going to buy a 22-pound lobster, you should eat the 22-pound lobster, because it's probably a meal for an entire family, so why let it go?” asked Lorraine Esposito, who is finishing up a New England lobster tour.
“I think I disagree with her because I could see it's an older lobster,” said her husband, Greg Esposito.