Some local restaurants report high demand and low supply of shellfish, especially lobster, resulting in higher prices.
For many in New England, summer is the time for lobster rolls and other lobster dishes. In the past, high demand and increased supply in the summer has resulted in lower prices as restaurants try to avoid ending up with excess inventory.
Lisa Onofri, owner of Close Harbor Seafood in Southington, said her customers have definitely noticed the higher seafood prices.
“Usually during the summer (the prices) go down,” she said. “They would become a bit more affordable because there is usually an abundance, but this year we are not seeing any reduction in prices. ”
Onofri said she believed the recent rainy weather was partly to blame.
“This week the seashells are going to be ridiculously expensive because of the rain,” she said. “We are going to see extremely rare and exorbitantly priced seashells over the next few weeks.”
She said the rainy weather interferes with ecosystems and the seashell beds become soiled. Onofri said the Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island beds have all been closed. As everyone turns to Maine and Canada for supplies, prices have skyrocketed.
NielsonIQ, a database website, reported that average unit prices for seafood rose 18.7% in April 2021 from the previous year. It is more than any other food group or item.
Westbrook Lobster in Wallingford is known for its hot, buttered lobster rolls, but owner Michael Lariviere said prices were higher.
“This past year is the highest we have ever seen,” said Larivière. “The cost to us is about $ 50 a pound for fresh lobster.
“Lobster rolls are our top selling item on our menu,” he added. “It had a dramatic effect …”
Despite the increase, that hasn’t stopped diners from returning to their favorite restaurants for seafood, especially lobster rolls.
“I feel bad for all of us,” Onofri said. “We are all just paying these exorbitant prices to try to get back to our usual business. Hope it won’t last long, but it looks like it will last for a while.
Other places to enjoy lobster rolls this season:
Captain Seas, 905 N. Colony Road, Wallingford
Lobster Tail Food Truck, 995 N. Colony Road, Wallingford
Sam The Clam Pub and Grub, 1303 Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike, Southington
Dino’s, 323 Washington Ave. North Haven
[email protected]: @ faith_williams2