Since the summer of 2014, The Lost Kitchen in Freedom, Maine has preferred to stay off the grid, literally. The only way to book a reservation at this elegant farm-to-table hideout is via an old-fashioned postcard, and even then, reservations aren’t guaranteed.
While you won’t find The Lost Kitchen on Resy or Open Table, word of mouth quickly spread about its grassroots “dinner application” system and everyone, even non-New Englanders, want a taste of The Lost Kitchen! The concept grew so exciting, there is even a Magnolia Network TV series on it and the owner, Erin French. From the East Coast to the West, thousands of post cards are delivered to the 40-seat Maine nook and only a percentage of them make the draw.
It is all completely luck of the draw, with random pulls happening every year for postcards received before the deadline, which for the 2023 season is May 15. If you’re one of the lucky applicants selected, you’ll receive a follow up call from The Lost Kitchen staff to organize a time and date that works for you.
In the event of a cancelation, cards not chosen in the first draft, may make the second, so don’t lose hope! It’s akin to a college admission waitlist. And similar to college admissions, there are actually quite a few rules to follow when it comes to submitting your postcard, such as omission of an envelope and avoiding duplicate submission from the same party.
Sing (or write) for your supper at The Lost Kitchen!
It’s clearly apparent now, that this is way more effort than a simple software to allow diners to book without the staff doing so much follow up. The Lost Kitchen admits on their reservations page that the internet is a “convenient tool” but keeping the restaurant small and mysterious is part of their magic:
We want you to be excited every step of the way. From the moment we first speak on the phone to the moment you walk across the bridge and into our dining room, we want you to feel like you’re coming home. This is our greatest joy.
What happens to all the cards that don’t make it that season? Every card still gets added to the Freedom “archive.” You might make the waitlist, but if not, the team loves reading them, laughing along, and learning a bit about you! You have until May 15 to get them in!
Mail your postcard to The Lost Kitchen, 22 Mill Street, Freedom, Maine 04941