TERRY’S PICKY PALATE / Lost Kitchen: A hidden culinary treasure on Stock Island

BY TERRY SCHMIDA
KONK LIFE STAFF WRITER
Though technically not a restaurant, the Lost Kitchen supper club is one of the true culinary and cultural treasures of the Key West area.
This year-old brainchild of local foodies Chef Martin Liz, Layla Barr, and Bobby Mongelli offers exotic reservation-only specialty prix fixe menu dinners, as well as a casual Friday happy hour get-together at its home, a former marine industrial shop, at 6810 Front St., a short stroll down the dock behind Mongelli’s Hogfish Bar & Grill, in Safe Harbor, Stock Island.
The premise here is simple:
Lost Kitchen alerts those on its membership list to upcoming themed dinners by way of a subscribed-to email blast. Reservations are taken and diners are then brought together to meet new people and sample delicious food and libations in a comfortable yet sophisticated environment of intriguing antique furniture, art, and jazz music.
At a recent “Casual Friday Happy Hour,” (which takes place from 5 to 9ish p.m. Fridays,) Lost Kitchen offered five unique small plate dishes, including a wonderful Vegetable Fried Rice; a complex and satisfying Shrimp and Coconut Stew; Chimichurri Sirloin Skewers; a Black Bean and Sweet Potato Cake with Fennel Salad; a Cinnamon Natilla for dessert; and four alluring craft cocktails from the full, well-stocked bar. Each week the menus at Casual Friday Happy Hour change, to offer clients something new to sample.
My recent visit to a scheduled “Farm to Fork” dinner offered the opportunity to sample their delightful Winter Salad with local greens, courtesy of the Townsend Family Organic Farms in Key West; and a Pan-seared Boneless Heritage Pork Chop with fresh herbs and braised fennel; a Benziger Merlot Coq au Vin, with heritage chicken slow braised in red wine with heirloom root vegetables and pomegranate, and a Smoked Heritage Pork Butt with celeriac puree and chocolate sapote. All the meat dishes feature “heirloom” organic chicken and pork from the historic Fleetwood Farm, in Jeffersonton, Va.
Dessert was an exquisite Earl Grey Chocolate tart,with cocoa sorbet and a chocolate truffle.
A variety of organic, and biodynamic wines from the Benziger Family Winery of Sonoma, Calif., were paired with the food, and introduced by wine expert Shauna Allen, of the Republic National Distributing Company.
We’re really trying to become an outlet for culinary curiosity, and to fill a void in the local food scene,” said Lost Kitchen co-owner Layla Barr. “But we’re also about building a community among diners, and bringing people together who may not know each other, around the concept of healthy, delicious, and earth-friendly food.”
Lost Kitchen is a great way to sample one of life’s great pleasures – food – in the company of some of life’s other great pleasures – art, music, and companionship.”
Check out the web site for details of getting on their blast list on the website. Then don your best bib and drive or sail on down to Safe Harbor to discover this unique Stock Island treat for yourself!
For more information on Lost Kitchen, or to get on its email blast for future events visit http://www.lostkitchenkeywest.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/Lostkitchenkw/
Credit cards are accepted, and some parking is available.
For more information on delivery of Fleetwood Farm organic meat delivery in the Keys visit https://www.facebook.com/Fleetwood-Farm-230936907112027/
And for more information on Townsend Family Organic Farms visit https://www.facebook.com/TFOFKeyWest/