CLOSED. Chef Erin French has taken her show on the road with an Airstream food truck. Chef Matthew Kenney’s The Gothic has taken over the space.
For too long, Belfast, Maine, had only one restaurant worthy of a dedicated road trip, and that one served dinner only on Friday nights. Now it has The Lost Kitchen. The Lost Kitchen began as a secret supper club by Erin French, but word spread and its popularity grew.
The Lost Kitchen restaurant occupies the flatiron building at the head of Main Street that once held Maine’s best ice cream shop, The Gothic, and more recently an architectural salvage and antiques biz. It’s been updated and refurbished with clean, contemporary lines and gleaming wood floors, but without losing its historical charms. We entered through the bar, where there also are a handful of tables, but were seated in the adjacent small dining room. And then the fun began.
Our waiter welcomed us, helped us choose from the wine-by-the-glass selections, then reviewed the menu, explaining nearly every dish in detail. The menu changes daily, reflecting what’s fresh and locally available. My friend G and I didn’t get beyond the appetizers, choosing to cobble together a meal from three of them. All arrived together—in hindsight, we should have asked to stagger them a bit.
One taste of the fresh dates, paired with local chorizo resting upon a slice of blood orange and dressed with honey and yogurt ($6), and I was a fan. The heaping bowl of skillet-roasted Pemaquid mussels with rosemary and lime, accompanied by two slices of Tinder Hearth bread ($12), turned me into a rabid fan. Only complaint was the stinginess with the bread. We requested more, and were again given two meager, thin slices. A basket of bread would have been preferable and provided enough to mop up all the juices (we resorted to using mussel shells as spoons). But it was the local lamb sliders, decked with feta, pea shoot pesto, and yogurt and served on a housemade bun that slayed me. I would return night after night for those (serving comprised two slider-size burgers for $12). Had we opted for entrées, (see menu below), these ran $16-27.
Honestly, those lamb sliders were so good, we debated splitting another order, instead we opted for dessert. Lost Kitchen offers two menus, one listing nine cheeses, (available as single $5, double $8, triple $12, and quad $12 servings), and the other listing three desserts at $6 each. We chose a single serving of Tourmaline Hill lavender honey chevre (heavenly!) and the to-die-for housemade fresh ricotta fritters with ginger cream and blackberry jam, absolutely decadent and delicious. The night’s other dessert choices were a pistachio semifreddo and a bittersweet chocolate mousse.
I’m already planning to return, hoping that the lamb sliders and the fritters are both on the menu again, but then, as our waiter noted, there may be other equally delicious and enticing offerings available.