Friday, December 2, 2011

Where NOT to Eat: Lost Society

I have been to Lost Society three times. The first was a first date. We sat on the rooftop and sipped cocktails in the late August heat. It was a cool crowd and I fell in love with the rooftop atmosphere. Bustling U Street down below. Open air. Eclectic decor. Nice, friendly bartender. Tall, attractive, bearded date. All good things.
Third floor bar leading out to the rooftop
The next time I went for an impromptu dinner with Katie. We sat outside on the rooftop and each ordered a steak. The steaks were...forgettable. I honestly do not remember them at all. The server was wonderful and extremely friendly but when she told us that they were all out of the wines by the glass (on a Friday night!!) and did not offer any alternatives, we thought it was lame. Also, Katie wanted to order a specialty cocktail and she was told that "cocktails could not be ordered on the rooftop, only in the main dining room." WTF?

Needless to say, we finished our steaks and got the hellz out of there and onto more "drinking friendly establishments." Like Maddy's in Dupont Circle, where we flirted with the bouncer. And Russia House where we got hit on by 24 year olds. But that is a story for another time.

The most recent time I went to Lost Society was about a month ago for a date. I was excited to try the place out for a full meal now that it had been open for about six months (and hopefully had worked out the kinks) and relax after a long week at work.

And full meal it was. My date had bought a gilt city coupon that included dinner for two--- two cocktails, two appetizers, two steaks, and a dessert.

We arrived and the hostess led us to our table. Having only ever been to the rooftop, I was looking forward to sitting in the main dining room. I envisioned over stuffed booths. Dim lights. Cozy, intimate seating areas. I was wrong. Way wrong.

Look at our teeny tiny table! Barely had room for all the dishes.
We were sat at a small round table in the bar/ lounge area. Now, I know for a fact that my date made reservations days in advance, so why would they stick us in the lounge area??? It was loud and the table was cramped and small. And instead of being able to look across the table at each other, the chairs were positioned looking INTO the bar. Not to mention that the lighting was terrible. We felt like there was a spotlight on us the whole time. The entire thing was sort of awkward. But, both being optimistic people, we made the most of it.

Tuna tartar at Lost Society

We both ordered drinks off the specialty cocktail list- I had the cosmopolitan and my date had the Manhattan. Both were fine.

Then we ordered appetizers- the steamed mussels and the tuna tartar. Both were, ehhhhh. The tuna had excellent presentation but it lacked flavor. The mussels, while not bad, were nothing to write home about. And half of them did not open up--- if you are a mussel eater, you know that's a bad sign.

Next we ordered our main entrees. I ordered the 10 oz. filet, my date ordered the 14oz. bone in strip, and we got a side of broccolini. Again, nothing was wrong with this course but nothing was spectacular. I do remember my steak being cooked perfectly (medium rare) and having decent flavor. But as someone who loves steak, when you have a good one, you remember it. And I don't remember much about mine at Lost Society. And, I ordered a glass of Cabernet with my steak, which the server brought TEN MINUTES after I was served the steak. Not cool.

Finally, dessert. At this point, we were stuffed, so we really only ordered dessert because it was part of the package. We decided on the upside down cake. Again, forgettable.

All of that being said, we both agreed that we while nothing was horrible, nothing, including the food, service and table, were anything more than average.

Later that night, while sipping drinks* at Russia House after dinner, we decided that we were having just as much fun drinking vodka, listening to live music, and sitting close to one another as we did at dinner. Just another lesson learned for this girl- It's not where you go that matters. It's who you're with. And I may not have had a great dinner like I was hoping for at Lost Society. But the quality time with my date? I definitely got that.

My recommendation: Lost Society is a great place to go for drinks or for some late night dancing. But skip the dinner.

*next time you go to Russia House try ordering vodka and apple juice.  I know, sounds weird.  But it's beyond delicious.

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