The Station House/Lantana

By John Tanasychuk

Important: This article was last updated on October 7, 2005. Please call ahead to confirm hours, prices, dates and other information.


The Station House will take you back. You drop your car with the valet. You make your way up a wooden ramp and you think back to every cottage vacation you're ever taken. I mean a real cottage. Not these monsters people now call cottages, but one of those spots where the beds hang from cedar-paneled walls and air conditioning means the breeze that comes in through screen windows.


Cuisine: Seafood
233 Lantana Road, Lantana
Cost: moderate-expensive
Credit cards: all major
Hours: dinner daily
Reservations: recommended
Sound level: moderate to noisy
Bar: full service
Smoking: prohibited
Wheelchair accessible: yes
Children's facilities: boosters, high chairs

You are a few miles from the beach and the "cottages" of Manalapan and Palm Beach, but there's something deliciously old-fashioned about The Station House.

The rambling interior reminded me of summer on Lake Erie and Lake Michigan. You'll want to get out of your bathing suit, but shorts are fine. The menu has something to appeal to everyone, so there are families and older folks, young couples and everyone in between.

The Station House is first and foremost a lobster house. One where you really can't beat the prices. While the prices vary, I'll quote some prices from the restaurant's Web site, which were consistent with the prices we paid on our visit.

If you arrived between 4:30 and 5:15 p.m., a pair of twin Maine lobsters (average weight 1.15 to 1.25 pounds) was $21.95. That went to $25.95 from 5:15 to 6 p.m. and $34.95 after 6 p.m.

After 6 p.m., a two-pounder was $35.95 and a four-pounder was $68.95. I'm giving you all of these prices because the next night I was at a fancy steakhouse in South Beach, where a two-pound lobster stuffed with crabmeat was $107.

Lobster isn't cheap. But at The Station House, you don't mind paying when the staff is so eager to please. The wait staff works in teams, so someone is always nearby should you need a drink refill or want plates cleared. They appear to be paired in a good cop/bad cop team: one serious veteran who didn't need to write anything down, one smiling and friendly.

Dinners come with a very fresh (and very cold) tossed salad, served in a bowl with tongs. The house dressing is crowd-pleasing raspberry peppercorn ranch.

Lobster bisque ($6.95) is not of the light variety, but a hearty bowlful of thickness with lots of lobster. Mussels posillipo ($8.95) can be prepared in a white or red wine broth. We ordered the white, and a bowlful of meaty mussels came in an herb-filled bowl. Like much of the presentation here, there's nothing elegant about the crabmeat-stuffed mushrooms ($7.95). They're just good eating.

Whole lobsters -- no matter the size -- are never under- or overcooked. I did, however, think a special of two lobster tails broiled with scampi sauce ($35.95) saw a bit too much heat.

A section of the menu is devoted to simple fresh fish prepared to your liking. It might include salmon, sea bass and tuna.

If you're not a lobster eater, pay attention to The Station House seafood pasta entrees, fresh fish tossed with seafood and sauce. A winner was grouper sauteed in white wine, lemon and butter served with linguine ($21.95). There are also ribs, steaks and chicken on the menu.

Desserts aren't made in-house, but baked for the restaurant. If you've got room, go for the Kentucky Derby Pie ($5.50), pecan pie in a shortbread crust with a layer of chocolate. The apple pie ($5.75) was also very good with sliced apples folded into a delicate pastry.

Like those cottage country restaurants I remember, The Station House can seem a bit hectic at times, with servers carrying oversized lobsters to wide-eyed patrons. It only adds to the nostalgia of the place. Bustling. Big. And a bargain.