by By Tom Isler | March 01, 2009

sdlobsterThe price of lobster hit record lows in New England and Atlantic Canada last year, and some fish-industry insiders say great deals now abound for crustacean consumers. Is it possible that lobster has become an "affordable" menu item for catered events?

Don't start reaching for plastic bibs. The price of lobster has rebounded in New England and now is only about a dollar below where it was last year, and lobster pounds aren't overstocked. Low prices might enable planners to negotiate, but caterers won't volunteer lower rates in proportion to retail costs, says Courtney MacIsaac of The Maine LobsterBake Co. in Portland, Maine.

Giorgi DiLemis, vice president of food and beverage for Gaylord Hotels, says fresh lobster now is more affordable than filet mignon but more expensive than popular chicken dishes.

In other words, hold the butter sauce. For planners, lobster is still a luxury.