The rumors are true: The Lost Kitchen, the acclaimed locavore restaurant opened by Chef Erin French in late 2011 in downtown Belfast has officially closed it doors. Almost immediately, however, another restaurant has sprung up to take its place: The Gothic, which will offer locally inspired food and drink on, is set to open Friday, June 7.
Even more tantalizingly, chef Matthew Kenney, a Searsport native and part-time Belfast resident who is internationally renowned for his take on raw and vegan food, will be the one opening The Gothic – named for the old coffee shop that was located at 108 Main St. until the mid-2000s. Kenney, who owns two restaurants in Santa Monica, CA and Miami, and who has written ten cookbooks, will offer a mix of raw foods, vegan and non-vegan dishes, and artisanal cocktails at his new eatery.
“The cuisine at The Gothic will be inspired by local ingredients and prepared with modern techniques,” said spokesperson Juliana Sobral, in an email on Tuesday. “The cuisine at all of our restaurants has always had a strong respect for the seasonality and abundance that Maine offers, and we believe that The Gothic is a perfect partner for our style of food preparation.”
Preparations are already underway for the early June opening, and Sobral said people can expect to see an initial menu closer to the opening. The website will be launched in about one week at www.gothicrestaurant.com, they are currently on Facebook at www.facebook.com/
As for The Lost Kitchen, speculation has been rampant as to whether or not the restaurant would stay open, after it abruptly closed in April. French got her start hosting private supper clubs in the upstairs room of the building at 108 Main St, and in Oct. 2011 began serving locally sourced food year-round, quickly becoming one of the most talked-about new restaurants in the state. Chef and owner Erin French left a message on The Lost Kitchen Tumblr page on May 1, in which she alluded to some personal problems she had been having, but suggested she would be reopening sometime this summer. With the confirmation that The Gothic will be moving into The Lost Kitchen’s space, it appears that is no longer the case. It remains to be seen whether French’s dinner at the James Beard House, set for 7 p.m. this Friday, May 17, is still on as scheduled.
EDIT: The James Beard House dinner on May 17 in New York City is happening as scheduled, but it is sold out.