ABF & I celebrated Valentine's Day a little early. He called to tell me he'd made reservations at Love Lane Kitchen (which we'd visited earlier with Jen & Alex) for Sunday night. I was very much looking forward to it, and ABF was, too.
We got there ahead of time and popped into the Love Lane Cheese Shop (post here), then walked around the block and took in the scenery. We made friends with a sweet, friendly tabby cat. Isn't she pretty?
Someone drove by and explained that she lived behind the Cheese Shop and did have a home, so I felt better. I was seriously considering getting a 3rd (?!) cat up to that point. FriendlyTabby then followed ABF and me as we made our way to Love Lane. When she couldn't follow us through the front door, she went around the corner and tried to come in the side door.
She almost broke my heart with her meows! Thankfully she has lots of free cheese and other goodies in which to drown her sorrows.
We each started with a glass of locally-produced wine: Wolffer Estate Chardonnay for ABF and Lenz Merlot for me. We've yet to visit or try Lenz wines, but one taste of this smoky, ruby-colored wine was enough to convince us we must.
The homemade rolls are absolutely worth eating. Normally rolls are meh for me--but these are buttery and fluffy and rich and soooo good.
ABF ordered the black bean soup, which was smoky, chunky, and lick-the-bowl good. He was expecting more of a puree, but I thought this was perfect.
I started with the beet and goat cheese salad. DIVINE. ABF might have had a rare case of order envy this time! I wanted to lick my plate.
I wish Love Lane and I were closer--I'd pop back just to have a cup of that soup and this salad. Talk about fresh and fabulous!
On to our mains: I ordered the Duck Tagine ($26) which came with orange segments and couscous. This was dramatically presented in a burnt-red tagine, but I didn't have time to take a photo before it got unveiled. There were so many wonderful flavors in this it was almost overwhelming--sweet, savory, tangy, tart, smoky...wow. This was a complex and seriously hearty dish. I couldn't finish it by a long shot.
ABF ordered the rib eye Alhambra, tender chunks of meat wrapped in bacon (!) and skewered with onions and peppers, all on a bed of asparagus risotto. The steak was insanely moist and the bacon sent it to spiraling heights of yum. The risotto cooled off while we were focused on the steak--if you get this, don't let it sit there too long! I think it's much better while it's still hot.
Somehow we decided we'd still get dessert. What? Yes. Red. Velvet. Cake. A monster-sized piece, no less, with a significantly awesome amount of real whipped cream on the side. This was denser to me than what I expected, and the icing wasn't as tangy as I expect with RVC.
ABF says it reminds him of the 1-2-3 Cake his grandmother used to make (mental note: attempt this recipe soon!). It was well-made, satisfying, and we ate every bite of it. Oof. Worth it.
Once again, dinner at Love Lane Kitchen is like eating at a good friend's kitchen. The food tastes like the best homemade dishes prepared with love and expertise, the service is warm and inviting, and you feel afterwards like you've had a delicious mini-vacation. Thanks Love Lane Kitchen Staff!
Love Lane Kitchen
240 Love Lane
Mattituck, NY 11952