A few weeks ago a fire gutted the Laramie Vision Clinic on 408 South Second Street, and closed the entire block for about five days. Though most of the businesses are open again, the Vision Clinic’s neighbors are taking their time.
One neighbor, the Lost and Found restaurant, hopes to open officially the week of June 9. But that doesn’t mean they’re idle.
Apart from drying their building after its soaking May 24, the restaurant staff prepared a meal for the Wyoming Entrepreneurs and Small Business Development Center.
The WE and SBDC are operate through the University of Wyoming, and offer educational and advice centered resources to small businesses. Lost and Found is a client of theirs.
The preparations began around 4:30 in the afternoon. The interior of the building was still disordered with furniture huddled together for safety. Alex, a main server, moved the furniture and set out five tables in a line for the evening banquet.
The tables were covered with white cloths, and set, temporarily with plates and cutlery to ensure the guests would have space.
Like the name suggests, the dinner ware had the eclectic feeling of an antique store. The plates were a blend of patterns including floral and cheetah print, while the cutlery ranged in design from colorful, plastic coated handles to sturdy feeling knives and forks.
But the preparations were not complete. There were still dishes to do and meals to make, most of which would come after the guests arrived.
When the WE and SBDC arrived, Mike Armstrong, the owner, gave them a short tour of the space before dinner, while the servers for the evening, Alex and Simon, prepped waters for the party of 20.
Meanwhile, in the kitchen: Miki Hudson, the Lost and Found chef and owner of the catering business Hart’s Alley, was busy making salads, and prepping the main course for the evening.
The meal began with salads. Some were simple – greens with a light sauce – while others where the “Strawberry field”: a base of spinach, with gorgonzola, homemade balsamic vinegar, blue cheese, strawberries, and locally sourced vegetables.
Following salads was the main course: Ratatouille, a combination of squash, eggplant, zucchini, tomato, and local herbs, nestled on a bed of chicken and curry flavored Israeli cuscus, which was then slow baked for three hours.
Ratatouille is a French peasant dish, and Chef Miki Hudson said she likes these slow-bake peasant foods because they follow the theme of “Lost and Found”:
“No one has time to make them anymore,” she said.
After the Ratatouille came the desserts: bread pudding in whiskey sauce, topped with fresh berries; red wine chocolate cake with whipped cream; and a berry fruit cup with whiskey sauce, crowned with whipped cream.
As the evening came to a close the guests expressed their satisfaction with the meal, and the restaurant staff began the clean-up.
Though it’s tempting to go into detail on the process of clearing tables and washing dishes, these are things best left for another dinner that they may be, for the moment, lost, and later found by another writer.