Not one for venturing further than Boston for dining out, stepping out beyond my front doorstep definitely has it is pluses when I decide to do it. After 7 months of saying I would make a little trip over to Newton, which by the way is only 15 minutes by car from Boston, to try out the new(ish) Social Restaurant and Bar, I finally made the trip.
Social Restaurant & Bar has received very mixed reviews from yelpers to Urbanspoon and Trip Advisor reviewers. When writing a review, I do read these, however, they do not influence me but instead keep me honest and truthful about my thoughts and it’s always good to see if people think the same or if I am way off base.
As my friend is one of the owners, we did receive special treatment with being able to get a variety of menu tastings, but what’s wonderful about my friend is he really wanted me to honest with him about the food, so I was and truthfully it’s really favorable with some objectivity thrown in.
Let me start with describing restaurant itself. Located in Crowne Plaza Hotel in Newton in a former Applebee’s space, Social is designed for entertaining and welcoming patrons through its doors. A huge long bar runs the length of the restaurant, which is where we seated ourselves. High-top red chesterfield style leather seating run opposite the bar for those wanted to stay and dine in the bar area. A huge open plan restaurant houses about 100 seats with an additional more private area towards the back for those wanting to host a special event. It’s a really great space and something Newton surbanites need to offset the smaller very high-end restaurants or super fast in and out dining establishments.
I recently posted their Lobster Sliders as my Fab Dish Friday so you know I love these already! Bursting with chunks of sweet lobster and just the right amount of mayonnaise and crunch of celery, stuffed into a soft challah bun, Social’s Lobster Sliders are definitely a winner in my book and worthy of being a FABulous Dish Friday.
After the sliders it was a seriously ludicrous amount of food for two ladies, but let me try and remember everything for you.
A version of their Tuna Tartar appetizer was next. Freshly chopped tuna with a melt in your mouth texture, however, little flavor. It seemed to be missing something, perhaps avocado? I liked the idea of it in a cone, albeit a bit to big for an appetizer. It did remind of the little Savory Cornets with Tuna Tartar at Cuchi Cuchi, which is not a surprise as that is where I believe the chef hails from and those do add avocado.
Asparagus and Brie flatbread came out next. This was my friend’s favorite of all our dishes, besides dessert, and I have say I would agree if it wasn’t for the lobster sliders. This is ridiculously good cheesy brie flatbread, which I would order again to share with perhaps just a salad.
Entrée tastings were next. A signature and most ordered dish on the menu are the Pan Seared Scallops. These are simply good. Perfectly seared scallops with a side of tasty mushroom risotto and crunchy carrots and asparagus.
Our other entrée tasting was the Yellow Fin Tuna, which again didn’t have much taste, however dipped into the soy it changed everything. The flavor just popped. The side of vegetable Pad Thai is a little different as it has a more sweet and sugary taste, which my friend liked a lot.
Finally, there was a surprise of Chocolate Bread Pudding, which I had to pry out of my friend’s grasp. This is a fantastically excellent dessert with a creamy side of vanilla ice-cream.
The evening was quiet so we had time to chat to the bartender and manager and talk about the restaurant and their aspirations for perhaps outdoor seating and more live music to bring in the locals, hotel guests and those further afield like all the way out in Boston, like me :).
The particular night there was no live music but be sure to check out their website for upcoming entertainment. I know I am.
Social continues to build positive momentum and has lots to offer and I am looking forward to seeing it growing and becoming part of our restaurant scene infrastructure.