THE LOST KITCHEN, Freedom – Tripadvisor Reviews

Once again, we had the honor and privelige of dining At the Lost Kitchen this pats Saturday evening. In only a few years, this has become one of the most difficult reservations to get. In 2017, it was a telephone lottery to come by a…place at the table, but in the past two years, they have instituted a mail in lottery for seats, with very specific guidlines. And I fully believe, knowing the principals, that the lottery is well run, and very fair. So, we feel exceedingly lucky to have landed a table for this past Saturday.

We have dined with the Lost Kitchen family a few times in the past, and feel we got the luck of the draw to have been seated at the table at the end of the cooking line, with a full exposition of what is taking place on the line. As a long suffering retired chef, I always enjoy watching the dance, and yes, they way the small crew cooks and delivers their creative and attractive dishes is truly coriography. There is no other way to describe it. Each of the cooks knows their job, and eachother's job, and are constantly in rotation from one production point to another, as smoothly as a Russian balet. What makes this all the more wonderful, is that they all are obviously having a good time. All sharing the joy of creativity, and creating a peerless product.

Saturday was the second night of the new season, and Erin's mom said their first night went flawlessly, as did our evening. Clearly, this is not at all hard to believe, given the low turnover in the crew, and they years of working together, sharing a common goal and values. All the creativity and fresh local ingredients taken together, cannot in themselves be more valuable to the total experience than the mutual respect, regard, and affection this great crew of striving young women, working in harmony and in tendem. And it's truly a balet.

We were overjoyed to see the return of a Lost Kitchen alumnus, Mia. She was a stalward member of the crew that helped creat the Lost Kitchen mystique. Also pleased to see the loyalty flowing in both directions.

Chef/owner, Erin French, has retained her humble and personable personality and dedication to excellence, in spite of her recent fame. I've known others who have become jaded. If anything, she is warmer and more confident, accepting the good fortune and good karma in stride, making her stronger and more comfortable in her skin. She always remembers our names, and uses them. I always feel like I'm returning to the home of a good and valued friend each time we enter these halls. Miraculously, she never forgets my wife's quirky dietary restrictions, and presents her with a slightly modified meal to accomodate, and it's always as good, and some times better than the one she's serving to everyone else. And it's always with a smile, like it's no big thing. Trust me. It is.

I can now prattle on about the various foods we were presented, but suffice to say, they are at the top of their game, pushing the football a little further down the field with every new season. Each time I have dined there, friends and family, even strangers ask me, is it better than last time, or similar comments. It is theoretically possible to reach a pinical of excellence, but who cares about all that. What does that matter, if you are totally blown away every time? And that's the ingredient that makes each visit unique and yet the same. And what is "better", anyway? You only have the meal in front of you. Last years' meals are long gone, and who knows about the next time? You know what? I'm not at all worried about that. If I can get in, I'll go. I know I won't be disappointed.

Back to that kitchen balet. The production kitchen is small but purposeful. I was once asked to critique a huge, well equipped kitchen at a fancy French vineyard resort. I noted lots of counters and great equipment. I also noted that every counter was cluttered, even messy. So a refined production kitchen is by it's very nature, efficient when the whole crew in on the same page, and this one always is. It's just a treat watching them go at it, and somehow, once dinner is served, the entire kitchen is clean and swabbed down, ready for dessert. Like it never happened. Make no mistke, Erin is a strong production chef as well a creative master. Just watch her work that line some time, and you will see.

This probably doesn't tell tell you what you want to know about the food, but the food is only part of why you might want to go there. So, please accept my humble review for what it is: an invitation to exceptional excellence. You go, Erin and staff. You guys are the best.