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!

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

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The Menu.

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

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

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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.

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

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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!

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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?

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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!

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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!

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

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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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