Get the latest from TODAY

Sign up for our newsletter

In this special weekly feature, TODAY food editor Phil Lempert brings you recipes “stolen” (with permission) from notable restaurants across America. See how much fun you can have (and money you can save) by cooking these dishes at home.

THIS WEEK: Old-Fashioned Maine Lobster Roll from chef Michael Dunn of  Yankee Pier at Santana Row in San Jose, Calif.

Going out to eat should be a break from the ordinary! We love restaurants that evoke the feeling of taking a quick trip to a distant city, and Yankee Pier at Santana Row in San Jose, Calif., does just that. The restaurant maintains an East Coast essence, but has been customized to accommodate its surroundings and the community’s needs with a sleeker, more cosmopolitan feel. One of the menu highlights is this week’s featured Maine Lobster Roll. This recipe uses only a few ingredients and is practically fail-proof. Serve it chilled for an escape from the summer heat!

left/msnbc/Components/Photos/070807/Yankee Pier - Michael Dunn.jpg2717100000left#000000

John Benson

1PfalsefalseAbout the chef: As chef and partner at Yankee Pier Santana Row, Michael Dunn feels very much at home. Having grown up in California with frequent visits to family in Boston, he feels a sense of pride and heritage in cooking the restaurant’s New England-style items as well as the local catch.

Dunn’s career in the culinary arts began on a rather humble route. His very first job was as a dishwasher at a restaurant in Dublin, Calif. Not yet aware of his true passion, the California native continued at the restaurant while he secured a zoology degree at U.C. Davis with the intention of becoming a veterinarian. However, with his degree in hand and many additional years of schooling ahead, he had second thoughts and took a break from his studies to continue working full time at the Dublin restaurant. As he climbed the ranks to line cook by graduation, he decided to turn his passion for homemade American cooking into a career.

After working in the kitchen of the Dublin restaurant for nine years, Dunn spotted an ad for a cook position at Lark Creek Walnut Creek and jumped at the opportunity. He joined the Lark Creek Walnut Creek team as a line cook just one week after its opening, and has since expanded his culinary understanding beyond his own expectations in the 11 years he has been with the restaurant group. “My ‘cooking school’ was through the restaurant. It was a solid educational experience about product, preparation and seasonal foods,” he explains. This education propelled him to sous chef after six years and finally to his current position at Yankee Pier Santana Row.

Yankee Pier

378 Santana Row, Suite 1100

San Jose, CA 95128

(408) 244-1244

Want to nominate your favorite restaurant dish for a “Steal This Recipe” feature? Just e-mail Phil at (or use the mail box below) with the name of the restaurant, city and state, and the dish you would like to have re-created. Want to know more about Phil and food? Visit his Web site at