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Lobster Tales: A guide to great lobster in Halifax 

People come from far and wide to enjoy the tasty crustaceans so plentiful here in Halifax restaurants. Here are a few of the key lobster dishes in fine local eateries to impress any summer visitor.

click to enlarge KRISTA COMEAU

Even if lobsters have 10 walking legs, they can never get too far in Halifax. Everyone wants to consume them. The Stanfield International Airport is one of the few airports where passengers board with lobsters as a carry-on.

Around the city, chefs go nuts for the hard-shelled sea creatures. From lobster poutine to a traditional boiled dinner, there is a dish for all tastes and pocketbooks. It's even available at the big arches: McDonald's advertises 100 percent lobster rolls, available seasonally only in Nova Scotia.

But you'll want to get the good stuff: Nestled in a turn-of-the-century fire hall, McKelvie's Restaurant (1680 Lower Water Street, 421-6161) doesn't just offer lobster, it dresses it up. Even the lobster roll is done with toasted bun, dill mayonnaise and a side seafood chowder ($16.95). If it's traditional you're after, try their Nova Scotia lobster straight outta the salt-water tank (starts at $34.95).

Or you can hit Salty's (1869 Upper Water Street , 423-6818), known for their excellent steamed lobster with potato salad and coleslaw, or give The Waterfront Warehouse (1549 Lower Water Street, 425-7610) a try to enjoy a fresh, 1.5 lb lobster (along with potato salad, house baked molasses bread, coleslaw and melted butter) for only $19.99.

CUT Steakhouse & Urban Grill (5120 Salter Street, 429-5120) changes up the usual gravy and cheese curd routine with its lobster poutine: chunks of lobster meat, fresh chives chopped in hollandaise with halloumi cheese ($10). It makes Montreal poutine-lovers blush.

MIX Fresh Kitchen (5171 Salter Street, 429-9571) serves a lobster item at all meals of the day. For lunch try a lobster roll with fresh brioche, pear, organic greens and chilled lemon dressing ($14).

If it's a weekend craving, stop in for brunch and try chef Ray Bear's signature lobster bacon mac and cheese---lobster, Oulton's bacon and aged cheddar sauce ($13).  If you lust for lobster later in the day the same item can be found on the dinner menu ($14).

Home to one of Argyle Street's best patios, the Economy Shoe Shop (1663 Argyle Street, 423-7463) has a lobster flambe that tastes better served on the street. Think lobster sauteed with garlic, mushrooms, onions, roasted red peppers, topped with sherry, cream and toasted triangles ($15).

Looking for something to snack on? Scoop up Murphy's Cable Wharf Restaurant (1751 Lower Water Street, 420-1015) warm creamy lobster dip---cheese, fresh dill and lobster meat, with their homemade kettle chips ($14.99). If you're needing something more sensational, try a lobster sensation wrap---celery and chef's mayo rolled in a tortilla with fries ($17.99).

Or there's a Mexican rendition: a lobster quesadilla---lobster meat, diced tomato, Bermuda onion, fresh dill and mozzarella cheese baked in a flour tortilla with salsa and sour cream ($15.99).

Maybe it's a date? There's always the taste of Nova Scotia seafood platter for two---lobster, salmon, mussels, haddock, shrimp, Digby scallops served with a vegetable medley and baby potatoes ($69.99). Murphy's also offers a standard boiled lobster with potato salad and coleslaw (market price).

Lap in luxury at The Five Fishermen's (1740 Argyle Street, 422-4421) downstairs grill. Brunch boasts an east coast seafood omelette---three eggs, lobster, salmon, scallops, halibut and Old Growler gouda, plus a side of yellow tomato chow chow, home style hash browns and toast ($11). Their traditional boiled lobster dinner is served with warm bacon and fingerling potato salad, Savoy cabbage slaw and fennel vinaigrette ($39).

If it's a sandwich you're salivating over, try the butter poached lobster ALT---lobster, avocado, lettuce, tomato and lemon tartar sauce ($18). The dinner menu offers appetizers worthy of a second round. A nice light start, the lobster empanadas are filled with lobster ragout, wrapped in pastry with a Spanish tomato sofrito sauce ($11). Give the cornmeal crusted lobster claws a taste with delicious green salsa ($11).

And some say the home of Maritime lobster is The Shore Club (250 Shore Club Road, Hubbards, 857-9555). If you show up between 4pm and 5pm, in recognition of 75 years of serving lobster at the establishment, you get the small lobster fresh boiled in ocean water, served pre-cracked with hot melted butter, complete with salad bar, unlimited mussels, homemade rolls, choice of dessert and coffee or tea for just $19.36.

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