Dig in and devour this post.
I don’t usually have an appetite for more than one weekly restaurant review.
It is a term paper, taking hours to describe the dishes, ambiance, compose appealing photos and wordsmith. I am not complaining because the feedback from readers and the restaurants are exciting and worth the work. Plus, dining at new restaurants around the world is a delicious endeavor.
Recently, Mr. Devil and I sampled a trendy new addition to the Los Angeles restaurant scene. The food was actually very good, service impeccable, but the atmosphere a bit gloomy, tight and the crowd noise was worse than a Metallica concert.
The dining experience had me contemplating how much it takes to create a successful restaurant. The food is just one piece of the puzzle. You need soul, great servers, perfect music, a warm and welcoming ambiance, lighting and a charismatic front person.
I am a publicist, representing clients who are never present for the pitch. If I don’t resonate and make a great impression, the road can be bumpy and the amount of press skimpier then what the bitches wear in my spin classes.
I would like to salute a restaurant that has it all, in my humble opinion.
Let me introduce you to the charismatic and accomplished Francesco, Mr. Everything at Sociale in Brooklyn Heights, New York.
I met Francesco when he was managing Perbacco, a small, adorable restaurant in the East Village. He had me at hello. We traipsed down to Perbacco frequently for Francesco…no direct route from the upper west side. Don’t get me wrong. The food and wine were fantastico, but Francesco had the magic fairy dust.
He parted ways because he had a dream and was able to fulfill it. One year ago, his goal was attained. Everyone familiar with the charming Francesco told him, “Build It and They Will Come.”
He did and they have.
I reviewed Sociale last year, but I wanted to acknowledge its overwhelming success. The first year is always the hardest…congratulations!
All the elements are packaged into one charming corner of Henry Street. Amazing food…traditional Italian with a modern, delicate touch, outside dining, a sophisticated wine list at incredible prices, attentive service, great atmosphere without being formal or stuffy…we even met a fabulous couple there who have become friends (shout out to the dynamic Chloe and Federico). It is a place you want to dine frequently and, of course, there is Francesco…the crown jewel.
He makes every woman want to marry him and every man his friend. The twinkle in his eye and his contagious enthusiasm for the food and his ‘dear to his heart’ concept is contagious.
You can invest millions in decor, hire a super chef, but if a restaurant does not have a personality to make you feel like the ‘Chosen One’ every time you dine there, it just isn’t going to happen.
Last time we dined at Sociale we sat outside and it was so inviting. We put our selections in Francesco’s capable hands. We started with a fantastic burrata salad with sweet roasted tomatoes, sprinkled with flavorful aged balsamic that enhanced the ingredients.
The tender, succulent scallops, seared to perfection, were supported by delicate asparagus slightly charred and accompanied by a tantalizing mushroom salad, was beyond fantastic.
Francesco always selects our wine. That night is was a divine, reasonably priced Poderi Luigi Einaudi Vigna Tecc…a Dolcetto, full bodied with a fresh, rich fruity bouquet and a slightly almond final note.
The spaghetti al pomodoro with fresh parmesan and basil was amazing…traditional, simple, but it was was magical…the homemade pasta was al dente and the sauce sweet and delicate.
Francesco has a meticulous fishmonger who accesses the best, freshest fish daily. He deliberately has not over expanded his refrigeration storage which demands that he only have the freshest produce and best food sources.
The fish was sauteed to perfection…crispy skin, flaky and on a heavenly bed of sauteed cauliflower.
Dessert was a chocolate orgasm…need I say more?!
Do yourself a favor and dine at Sociale once and tempt near perfection. Make sure the Magic Man is there and tell him the Devil sent you…I guaranteed a heavenly experience.
Sociale, 72 Henry Street corner of Orange Street. Brooklyn Heights, New York. Open Monday-Friday for lunch 11am-4pm, Dinner Monday-Thursday 5-10:30pm, Friday and Saturday 5-11pm, Sunday 5-10pm. Brunch Saturday-Sunday 11-4pm. socialebk.com.