In 1997 when Rebecca Charles opened her restaurant, Pearl Oyster Bar, there was not a lobster roll to be found in Manhattan ; their availability limited to New England vacation destinations and the odd Long Island fish shack. Then along came Rebecca who, with nearly 30 years of cooking experience, reinvented that Maine icon, the lobster roll, as well as other seaside staples from fried oyster rolls and pan roasts to chowders and blueberry pie. Eight years later the New England clam shack craze has raced across America , to say nothing of New York where the lobster roll, or some version of it, has become a near-mandatory menu item. Phrases like “top loading” and “side loading”, which Rebecca first used to distinguish between the two types of hot dog rolls, have become part of the culinary lexicon. Everyone from classically trained French and American chefs to New England seafood experts and even former employees have taken Rebecca's version of New England seafood for a spin, turning it into a trend.