Think of it as the Kondo method of making a restaurant reservation. Is that random blank postcard lying in your junk drawer not sparking any joy? Use it to win a table at The Lost Kitchen.

Just be sure to get it in the mail on time. You have a two-week window: Cards postmarked before April 1 or after April 15 will be disqualified.

Erin French, chef/owner of the wildly popular, 40-seat seasonal restaurant located in an old mill in Freedom, announced over the weekend that she will return to the snail mail method of restaurant reservations this year, after the unorthodox method was so successful last year. Potential diners must fill out a 3-by-5 postcard with their name and address, and the staff at The Lost Kitchen will draw names at random. The staff then calls the lucky card holders to arrange the best time and date for their party to visit.

In a letter to diners posted on her website, French wrote that the postcards last year “took us completely by surprise.” They received cards from all over the world, some with poems and drawings, others with jokes or family recipes. “We got cards that made us laugh out loud and cards with personal stories that brought us to tears,” she wrote.

But such heartfelt pleas do not increase a diner’s chance of getting a table. Nor does sending more than one card; that is also grounds for disqualification. French still prefers the postcard system.

“Through the use of simple postcards in such a hyper-digital age, we were reminded just how important it is to slow down, connect with others, and make it personal,” she wrote. “The cards connected us. And connecting brought us joy … and when you cook with joy, you can taste it.”

When The Lost Kitchen opened in 2014, it accepted phone reservations. Customers often faced busy signals or full voicemail, and some stayed up until all hours dialing and re-dialing, hoping to nab one of the coveted tables available only from May through October. After the restaurant got national media attention in 2017, the number of calls skyrocketed – as many as 10,000 came in during the first 24 hours that year – and overwhelmed the phone system. That’s when French decided to try something different.

Diners who want to try their luck would be wise to log onto The Lost Kitchen website, findthelostkitchen.com, and read all the rules before mailing their card.

Meredith Goad can be contacted at 791-6332 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: MeredithGoad


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