Rock Lobster East: A First Look Inside Their Leslieville Location

Four restaurants, a seafood line at Sobeys, a new cookbook with Random House, and a TV show.

All in TWO years.  

To say Matt Dean Pettit is busy is like saying fish swim in water. Or perhaps, more appropriately, that lobsters do.

Last night we headed over to Rock Lobster East, located in Leslieville at 1192 Queen E. While we told you less than a month ago that this place was coming, we couldn’t believe the job Pettit and his team have done since then. 

Inside is all Canadiana. Wood on wood. A real cottage feel – if your cottage happens to be effortlessly stylish. Large windows allow light to pour in from Queen Street and there seems to be a great feeling of space inside Rock Lobster East. Room to move; the kind of place you’ll never feel cramped. 

It’s Rock Lobster’s three patios, however, that will no doubt have people heading east in droves this summer. The large rectangular corner patio seats more than 50, while the side alley patio offers a quaint urban retreat for 20 or so more (and a retreat that’s licensed until 2am is the best kind). The third and final outdoor space, a back patio, isn’t quite ready yet but Pettit says he expects it to be open in the next week or so. 

The food is the same consistent quality that you’ve come to expect from Rock Lobster Food Co., only with some fun and approachable additions, not the least of which is the oysters – ‘Rock Lobster Caesar’ – style. Think oysters, vodka, Clamato, lobster, and imagine treating everything the way you treat doing a shot at the bar.

Rock Lobster East is also the only one of the three locations to offer a kids menu that includes popcorn shrimp and mac n’ cheese. And yes, there’s stroller parking on the patio. This is Leslieville, after all. 

For adults, it’s also the first location to provide wine on tap so you can decide by the ounce exactly how much pinot your night will entail. But be sure that the entire cocktail menu, including the Rock Lobster Caesar, is easily capable of getting you into the best kind of trouble.

Speaking of trouble, Pettit’s yet-to-be-named Food Network show coming out this fall sounds like exactly that. It’s an experiential travel series that sees him team up with F*cked Up frontman Damian Abraham. Picture a pop culture buddy show based around food and you’ll get the idea. If it’s even half as successful as everything else Pettit has touched, we’ll all be PVRing it soon enough. 

And while brunch officially starts this weekend at Rock Lobster East, that seems far too long to wait for one of those aforementioned Caesars. 

Luckily, they’re available right now. 

#LYNL | (Live Your Notable Life)

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