I'm torn on how I feel about Social. The best way to put it, in my mind, is that this place has a minor identity crisis. On the one end, it has a very chic and upscale feel where this is the place to be seen, but because Social is also a lounge/night club, you also have a very young University crowd coming here, taking away from the upscale feeling. Regardless of what vibe/crowd Social attracts, it is a very big place and there is plenty of room for all. However, in saying that, if I'm going to pay at upscale prices, I would prefer to be dining at a place that is upscale all the time, not just sometimes.
We recently came here for my good friend P's bday dinner and she chose this place for 2 reasons. One: for the patio, and two: she wanted a place where it would be busy enough for people watching. We decided to order a bunch of small/share plates so we could nibble, chat and enjoy the scenery.
We started with a beet salad that had an assortment of different beets: golden, purple and candy cane. The salad was complemented with ricotta, cocoa nibs, hazelnuts, and lettuce. I love beets so this salad was great for me.
If this gnocchi dish was on the permanent menu, I would come more often. This dish was a plate of pillowy soft hand rolled gnocchi with massive BC spot prawns served in a white wine butter sauce. What I loved about this dish was how light it tasted. Being able to make a pasta dish with butter sauce taste light is talent for sure.
The three of us also shared the Social plate, which was a combination of appetizers from the menu + a Chef's addition. The night we went, we had fried calamari with Asian dipping sauce, Le Coprin mushrooms on crostini served with reggiano and truffled veal juice, seared BC albacore tuna with citrus soy, wasabi mayo and avocado, and the Chef's addition was his take on ham and eggs: crostini served with prosciutto and soft poached egg.
For dessert, we opted for both salty and sweet. Our first dessert was a cheese platter with grapes, candied walnuts and cranberry bread. The cheese was good but I found the walnuts and bread a little old tasting.
Our sweet dessert was a fancy banana split. It was a sliced banana coated with sugar served with chocolate ice cream, vanilla, rhubarb, and broken waffle pieces.
Social Restaurant + Lounge
537 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada