Lagusta’s Luscious Mad Men Summer

A few weeks ago, a friend and I went up to New Paltz for one of Lagusta’s Luscious Savory Dinner Series nights, the Mad Men Summer. It was an excellent, excellent choice!

Lagusta’s Luscious is a chocolate shop. I’ve never been during the day, but I’ve picked up some of her chocolate before at the Brooklyn Vegan Shop-Up (awesome!). She makes some seriously crazy flavors that just… work. My understanding is that there are some non-confectionary food options in the shop as well, but it’s not like it’s a regular restaurant.

Enter the savory dinner series.

May through August (she had originally planned to go until September, but has gotten super busy- good for her!) there is a dinner served a few days at the end of the month. It’s the same dinner that’s served for the 3-4 nights each night. Seating is limited (I think there were 12), and everyone gets the same thing. The was one on the night of my birthday in July that I had thought about going to, but since the menu was mushroom-heavy, I decided against it and went in August instead. While I’m glad I went in August, it might have been a mistake to skip July. More on the mushroom conundrum later!

Of course, it was low lighting so pictures aren’t great, but Lagusta has an album up on her FB page!


The table was set with a Mad Men-era flair.


The Menu.


I don’t usually drink whisky, but when in Rome…


Potato chips with caramelized onion and shallot dip. Off the hook.


The cauliflower is supposed to be like shrimp cocktail. I’ve never had shrimp cocktail, so I can’t say how it measures up, but I liked it. What I LOVED was the picked watermelon rind. See below for how this was served.


With cream of tomato soup! This was so, so good. I really want to learn to make this one myself.


Next up, Heirloom Iceburg Lettuce Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing and Smokey Eggplant Bacon. To be honest, I didn’t love the eggplant bacon, and my friend didn’t love the cheese (it was pretty ripe. I was on the fence about it, but loved the base of the dressing). It was still a winner though!


Mushroom roulade. My friend loved this, and was hoping I would hate mine so she could have it. I kept eating it, and thinking “it tastes like mushroom, but I want more.” Maybe there’s hope for me yet?


Peach punch with thyme. And vodka, I think. Or was it gin? Either way, I couldn’t finish, as I was driving. But I liked what I had!


Mac & Cheese with Fried Green Tomato and Carrots with Dill. I LOVED this. The pasta was actually smoked! This was so good. My friend did not love it, but I did. The coating on the tomato was a little bit too heavy, but then again, I had never had a fried green tomato before, so what do I know? I do know that it was made with a 40-year-old sourdough starter!


The Chocolate Bombe. I actually said “Oh my God” when it was being described to the table. And man, was it good!


To end, we got candy cigarettes. I didn’t actually eat mine, but it was really fun and smelled awesome! We also got a tobacco chocolate wrapped that we could take to go. I unfortunately forgot about it in my purse, and wasn’t sure how good it would be by the time I found it.

Now, I should point out that my friend that I went with is not vegan. She did note that if she could eat like this everyday, she sure could be!

If you get a chance to go to one of the dinners next spring/summer, I highly recommend it. I can’t wait to go back, and hope I can bring even more friends with me! This is the kind of dinner that has the potential to convert people!


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