Let’s just get this out of the way first: I’ve never been to a party in Miami or to a 19th century burlesque (allegedly).
After spending last Thursday at Lost Society, I feel like I have a pretty good idea of what it’s like to hang out at either of these places… and it never hurts to enjoy some tasty food at the same time.
When you enter the nondescript storefront right off of the corner of 14th & U, you’ll probably think that you’re in the wrong place. However, once you ascend and are greeted by a friendly face at the top of the stairs, those thoughts quickly fade away. The welcome is an invitation back in time. You can’t help but feel comfortable here. And I mean that in every sense of the word: the plush purple sofas and ottomans by the brick arch windows, the soft light reflecting off the bar pendant lights, the booths with curtains for more intimate times, and the tucked away corner where you’re surrounded by a fantastic wall of burlesque beauties. It all comes together.
Walk up the second staircase and you’re brought to another place. The walls shift from exposed brick and dark hues to a world of contrasts: hardwood floors against white walls with leather wallpaper accents, a creamy stone bar against a badass glass feature behind the bottles of booze. This floor is where the party is at… and this party will spill out and continue out onto their fantastic roof deck that lords over U St.
But the real reason we’re here? Of course, of course: the food. This evening, Lost Society offered a sampling of some of their bar and dinner menu items. Having my weapon of choice at hand, a Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, we dove in headfirst into some of the bar items and appetizers. The tempura-ed zucchini ribbons were a nice, light starter to get everything going. Quickly followed by french fries and mac & cheese, what’s not to love? The mac & cheese’s béchamel sauce was delicious and creamy, and was pushed to the next level by what we dubbed a “crack crumble.” Hey, every chef has their secrets. The oysters were fresh, delicious, and accompanied by a classic mignonette sauce with a twist.
Some downers: I wasn’t down with the steak tartare. The flavors were very clean and the arugula gave it a nice bite, but the crostini on top was overdone and it overwhelmed everything else. The pork belly was disappointing and dry. It makes me sad when pork belly is dry.
When you look at the menu, it’s clear what the stars of Lost Society will be: the dry-aged Angus steaks. Tonight we were able to sample the flank steak and the sirloin. The flank steak was cooked perfectly: fork tender and complemented nicely by béarnaise and onion straws. The sirloin was also done proper justice with it's great friend the roasted porchini mushroom. I will definitely come back in the future to try the other steak options, especially if Chef Evan provides them all with as much care and consideration as these offerings.
When I first heard the name Lost Society, I thought of a world of hooded, shady characters sitting around a round table discussing world domination (one of the many unfortunate aftereffects of reading Dan Brown novels). But Lost Society is by no means a secret society: the warmth of the 2nd floor invites you in and makes you feel at right at home and the funky feeling of the top floor and roof deck will keep this society's party going all through the night. If anything, this Lost Society is not lost… these guys and girls clearly know what they are doing.