Famed Maine Restaurant Only Accepting Reservations by Mail

The rule was implemented to keep the dining experience ‘small,’ ‘intimate,’ and ‘magical’
The Lost Kitchen
Yelp/Samuel Z.

A Maine restaurant will soon be accepting reservations exclusively via snail mail. The Lost Kitchen, Erin French’s eatery in the town of Freedom, has announced a new reservation system, and it’s definitely not Open Table Beginning April 1, The Lost Kitchen will only be accepting reservations through the United States Postal Service.

According to Grub Street, the new system has been implemented to relieve the 40-seat restaurant from endless phone calls and voicemails requesting seats after much press from Martha Stewart, Food & Wine, and The New York Times.

Guests from all over the country have tried to secure reservations to experience lauded menu items such as the green garlic and Swiss chard soup with mushrooms and pea tendrils, seared Maine bluefin tuna with polenta, crab fritters, oysters, and lemon-buttermilk cake. Food & Wine called the restaurant’s atmosphere “calm, festive and homey all at once.”

The Lost Kitchen website explains that “due to extremely high call volumes in years past our normal reservation process has changed for the 2018 season. We are no longer accepting reservations by phone.”

In a five-page letter linked from the site, French elaborates on the seemingly archaic decision. “We never wanted a reservation system that entailed staying up for all hours through the night on the phone, miserably hitting redial over and over again, but that is what it had become.”

From April 1 through April 10, guests can mail handwritten requests for reservations, which will then be drawn via lottery on April 11 for select seating. Should you be selected, the restaurant will call you and arrange a time and date. Although French stipulated a list of rules interested parties must follow to apply for a reservation, the new system has not put off interested customers.

“Here's hoping this is the year I get a reservation for The Lost Kitchen. I'm getting my notecard ready to mail out for April 1st. Fingers crossed,” tweeted Weekends In Maine.

“Great idea and we’ll be sure to mail our card out on 3/31 and hope for the best. Cheering you from afar and always reflect back on our lovely visit in 2016,” commented a Lost Kitchen fan and Facebook user.

“I LOVE this idea! It is SO Maine-like! I’m hoping my card will be selected!!” wrote another.

The Daily Meal has reached out to The Lost Kitchen regarding their new reservation system.

Will you be submitting a handwritten reservation to The Lost Kitchen? If you’re not some of the lucky few selected, you can always dine at any of the best places for food and drink in Maine.