Out and About: Apopka’s The Nauti Lobstah Serves up a Great Menu of Seafood and More

The Nauti Lobstah

Our travels around Central Florida’s culinary scene recently brought us to The Nauti Lobstah in downtown Apopka, which specializes in seafood – in fact it was recently named Orlando Sentinel’s 2024 Foodie Awards – Critic’s Choice Best Seafood. It also has a wide variety of offerings to satisfy both carnivores and vegetarians.

The restaurant is situated in a historic turn-of-the-century railroad depot building that formerly housed The Catfish Place, a popular local seafood place.

When Nauti Lobstah’s owners Chef Mike Rumplik, his wife Cara Rumplik, and their best friend Christine Gonzalez, bought The Catfish Place in 2020, they created their own menu, but made the decision to leave a lot of the previous restaurant’s dishes on the menu, too (with the blessing of the owner who gave them the recipes).

The Nauti Lobstah opened in late September of 2021, and foodies have enjoyed Chef Mike’s
New England specialties ever since.

The Nauti Lobstah in Apopka

We arrived around 1pm on a weekday, at the tail end of lunch, to a moderately packed restaurant. Always a good sign.

Our server Noel got us situated with the menus, highlighted a few dishes, noted my allergies (seafood…I know, I know), and went to get our drink orders.

The Nauti Lobstah in Apopka

I went with the Shark Bite cocktail, a tropical mixture of Malibu Coconut Rum, Blue Curacao, Pineapple Juice, and a splash of Grenadine, topped with a Shark Gummy, and my guest went with an Espresso martini, a favorite of hers.

Since it was lunch, I started with the House Salad, featuring Fresh Organic Greens, Tomato, Onion, Gorgonzola, Strawberries, Blueberries, Seasoned Croutons and a Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing. It was light and fresh, and the berries added a subtle sweetness. A smaller version is available sans berries as a side choice with entrees, too.

The Nauti Lobstah in Apopka

My guest chose the Fried Pickle Chips appetizer, served with ranch and a horseradish-y sauce for dipping. Our server rightly suggested I not try those or any other fried foods on the menu as they fry the seafood in the same fryer. But my guest loved them, and there is definitely enough to share.

The Nauti Lobstah in Apopka

For her entree, my guest went with one of the restaurant’s namesakes, the Connecticut Lobstah Roll. It features warm Main lobster chunks piled on crisp Bibb lettuce, on a toasted New England brioche roll, and served with warm drawn butter, and choice of two sides (she went with housemade chips and hush puppies).

The Nauti Lobstah in Apopka

It was a hearty sandwich that she devoured and proclaimed it one of the best she’d had. I mean, if you’re gonna name your restaurant after the crustacean, you should do it really well…and apparently, they do.

The Nauti Lobstah in Apopka

I went with the Grilled Chicken sandwich and it was a good sandwich with a lot of flavor. The chicken was topped with bacon, grilled onions, lettuce, and tomato on a sesame bun. It came with one side, and I went with coleslaw which was one of the best I’ve tasted. It reminded me of the slaw my gramma used to make. I added it to the grilled chicken sandwich, and they paired well together.

The Nauti Lobstah in Apopka

After a conversation with co-owner Cara, we decided to try the 12oz. Creekstone New York Sirloin as well, as she said the steak was another specialty.

It arrived topped with ribbons of Hollandaise, and fried onions, and cooked to order with just the right amount of char. It was simply seasoned and very flavorful, but do yourself a favor and ask for a little extra Hollandaise.

The Nauti Lobstah in Apopka

For dessert, we shared the Homemade Bread Pudding which is served with Warm Bourbon Sauce and Homemade Whipped Cream, since it was highly recommended by the staff, as well as by the table of diners next to us. So. Good! Just the right amount of sweet, and the sauce had a nice caramel taste to it.

The Nauti Lobstah in Apopka

We also tried Aunt Peggy’s Wicked Whoopie Pies, featuring Chocolate Round Cakes sandwiched with lightly sweet Vanilla Buttercream. Another treat that took us back to our childhood. They also tasted delicious dipped in the leftover bourbon sauce from the other dessert.

The Nauti Lobstah in Apopka

Chef Mike has a lengthy pedigree that includes 15 years as Executive Chef of the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, and he still makes great dishes that are delicious. We couldn’t find any fault with anything we ordered. The worst I could find to say were some cheesy grits were a bit dry, but still yummy.

The restaurant offers seating indoors in several rooms, as well as outdoor seating, and the front door is accessible via both stairs and a ramp out front. I really appreciated that ramp with my MS.

The Nauti Lobstah in Apopka

Another thing I enjoyed about the restaurant were the little whimsical touches like a train that runs along the walls in one of the rooms, a nod to the original use for the building, and the “mulch” for the outside landscaping was actually oyster shells, a nod to the restaurant’s seafood-forward menu.

I grew up in small town America with restaurants that have been passed from family to family. With a real history and time-proven dishes that keep the restaurant flooded with returning locals. You know you’re going to get good food there.

That was my overall impression of Nauti Lobstah. A nice family restaurant with an extensive menu of both classic favorites and new recipes that you want to return to because the food is great and so is the service, plus the pricing is fair and wallet-friendly.

They do run a monthly midweek special called the Nauti 3-course Menu for $35, which is listed at their Facebook page. and they usually participate in Orlando Weekly‘s Bite30 and Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining.

Plus, if you’re really hungry, you can take on “THE BIGGEST LOBSTER ROLL IN ORLANDO,” which features 2 pounds of Maine lobster stuffed into a 2 foot long buttered and griddled roll, supplied specially from a local bakery.

THE BIGGEST LOBSTER ROLL IN ORLANDO at The Nauti Lobstah in Orlando
THE BIGGEST LOBSTER ROLL IN ORLANDO – photo: Lisa Wilk, Taste Cook Sip

We will be returning to try other menu items like the Creekstone burger, and the British-style New England fish and chips, and I highly recommend you visit them for your own great meal.

The Nauti Lobstah is located at 311 S Forest Avenue in Apopka, and is closed Sundays and Mondays. Street parking and a small lot are available for free. Visit TheNautiLobstah.com for the full menu, and more.

The Nauti Lobstah owners Chef Mike Rumplik,Cara Rumplik, and Christine Gonzalez
The Nauti Lobstah owners Christine Gonzalez, Chef Mike Rumplik, Cara Rumplik, – photo: Lisa Wilk, Taste Cook Sip

Disclaimer: CSO was hosted for this visit. As always, my opinion is honest, and my own.


 

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