Restaurants Are Ripping You off with Fake Lobster

Like a nice bottle of bourbon or fine wine, lobster is a great way to treat yourself -- at least, when you're willing to pay. But if you order the lobster bisque, lobster ravioli, and other dishes that aren't the whole animal, there's a chance restaurants are serving you fake junk, according to a new investigation conducted by "Inside Edition."

The report, which airs Monday night on CBS, found that more than a third (35%) of lobster dishes from 28 local and national restaurants contained cheap fish substitutes like whiting and pollock, and not the actual costly crustacean. Investigators carried out DNA tests on samples from the restaurants, ranging from local eateries to the nation's largest seafood restaurant chain, Red Lobster. Alleged lobster violators included establishments like Sofia's in NYC's Little Italy, where investigators found lobster ravioli that was filled with just cheese, according to a report by Eater. Even lobster rolls from some restaurants -- yes, lobster rolls -- were found to contain other fish.

Additionally, three samples of lobster bisque from Red Lobster revealed varying amounts of real lobster and mostly langostino, an inexpensive meat similar to crab. One of the samples included only langostino and zero lobster, but a spokesperson for the seafood chain said the bisque often includes of combination of meat from Maine lobster and langostino, as "[b]oth types provide the bisque with a rich, sweet taste that our guests love." On the other hand, samples of the lobster bisque from the Soupman in NYC (made famous by "Seinfeld") turned up plentiful pieces of lobster. 

Obviously, the threat of receiving phony lobster is not the best news. Of course, you can always just go all out and order a whole lobster, you know, just to be safe.

h/t Eater

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Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and has always considered lobster ravioli a scam. Send news tips to and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.