Lost Dog Cafe & Lounge continues to be a staple for Binghamton University students and the local community alike. Dining at this restaurant only once before, I was excited to try more of their dishes.

For this fall’s Restaurant Week, Lost Dog Cafe & Lounge offered a three-course lunch for $15, as well as a three-course dinner for $25, both including an appetizer, a main course and a dessert. When my photographer Caspar and I walked into the restaurant, we were immediately pulled into their cozy atmosphere. With colorful lanterns adorned on the ceiling, various modern artwork along the walls and fairy lights on the sides of the cafe, it all tied together to give the place an aura of warmth and vibrance.

For my first course, I had the doghouse salad, which included roasted tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, garbanzo beans and a variety of dressings. I chose the balsamic vinaigrette, which, in my opinion, made the salad pop with its slightly tangy taste. I also enjoyed the addition of cucumbers as it gave the salad an extra crunch. Caspar got the spanikopita triangles with tzatzki sauce, which he enjoyed and described as being both flaky and garlicky.

For entrees, I had the rigatoni ala vodka, a signature dish of the cafe. The rigatoni was on the softer side, with a creamy orange sauce that gave the dish a burst of flavor. The dish was topped with fresh basil and grated parmesan cheese, adding an extra element of saltiness which I enjoyed. The creaminess of the sauce made the dish quite filling, but I managed to save room for dessert. Caspar had the pastilla, “a savory and sweet chicken with saffron, cinnamon and Moroccan spices wrapped in filo dough and baked,” as described on the menu. He was happily surprised to find the dough to be sweet. Our server was also kind enough to give us their BBQ baby back ribs flavored with their sweet and tangy maple, blueberry and bourbon sauce. The dish came with their cafe fries and autumn slaw — which included cabbage, apples and brussels sprouts. You can also choose to sub in the fries with their mac and cheese for an extra $2. Caspar had the ribs and found them to be perfectly cooked with just the right amount of smokiness.

Last but certainly not least, this fall’s Restaurant Week menu offers a selection of four desserts — our favorite maple cake with bourbon cream cheese frosting, apple pie ice cream with toasted oat crumbs, chocolate butterscotch pretzel brownie and their sorbet of the day. I chose the brownie, Caspar chose the ice cream and our server surprised us by bringing out their maple cake. The brownie was rich and dense, which made for a satisfying dessert. I found the chocolate syrup drizzled on the brownie to take the sweetness a little too far for my liking, but the saltiness of the pretzels embedded within the dessert helped to balance it out. I also appreciated the whipped cream on the side, as it added a cooling aspect to the brownie. Both Caspar and I found the maple cake to be the standout dessert by far. The frosting to cake ratio was perfect, the texture of the cake was light but moist and the hint of spice added a depth of flavor to the dessert. Each bite was like being in heaven.

Whether you dine with friends, family or a significant other, Lost Dog Cafe & Lounge will provide you with great food and exceptional service.