We went to Social for a friend's birthday. It was my second time eating dinner there, the first also being for a birthday, and heard the chef had since changed; a new menu is always exciting. The atmosphere in the dining room of Social is nice; dark with moderate lighting, red walls, wooden columns, high, engraved ceilings and lots of seating (big tables and comfy seats good for dinner parties), it's also a fairly quiet atmosphere, which is good for chatting. They also have a lounge area downstairs. First up: free goods. These are always a nice touch, and a nice surprise. The server brought out starter veggies and chips, served in a mini clay pot with yogurt dip; really cute. My one suggestion would be to leave the chips out on the plate, they get soggy sitting in the dip. Next came an amuse bouche of beet puree with salmon, served atop of crispy bread and some sort of flavoured oil, it was really tasty; nice little treat. Bread with butter was served, and although some of the guests complained that the bread was too salty, I love almost all breads and didn't really notice this.

Up next: appetizers. We started with the Crispy Plate for $9, the birthday girl loves anything crispy, and this plate promised to deliver - chicken, fries, potato chips, and bread, accompanied with a dip. It's rare that you can say this, but it was too deep fried, it made you feel unhealthy eating it (not that deep fry is healthy, but this was something else). The chicken was all crisp and no meat, and the taste of deep fry was overwhelming, you couldn't really distingish one bite from the other. As for the dip, it was of the yogurt variety, which I didn't think matched the deep fried items in taste or texture. Pulled Beef Poutine for $9 was next. I love poutine, and this one was pretty good; the cheese, beef and fries were in good proportion to eachother. If anything, and that's cause I'm picky, the beef could have been a bit more shredded, some of the beef bites were pretty big, and it would have been nice to get some fry, cheese and beef in every bite.

Finally, the mains. I went with the Local Chicken with carrot puree, crispy dophinoise potato, new baby corn, glazed salsify and jus for $15. Quite the description, right? (I had to look up salsify, and for those of you who are interested, and it is a a purple-flowered, composite plant, whose root has an oyster-like flavor and is used as a culinary vegetable; it is also called oyster plant, vegetable oyster). The presentation was lovely and seasonal, the colours of fall. The meal itself was okay, nothing spectacular, but not bad....could have used a bit more juiciness in the chicken and a bit less savoury of a jus. Other mains that were ordered included the $20 Pan Seared Wild Salmon Salmon with local nugget potatoes, beets in different textures and celery foam, the $26 Queen Charlotte Halibut with clams, green onions, cauliflower stems, puree spinach and clam foam. Again, the presentation on both these dishes was amazing, beautiful colours and textures. I can't comment on the taste, but I do have to add that the flavour/smell of the clam foam was too much for the girl who ordered it, and she switched it up for the AAA Ribeye....

Service wise, they were on it and the food came quickly...almost too quickly, the table was a bit crowded at times, some of the plates could have been cleared faster.

As an aside, their Deli Sandwiches are really good, and huge.


So.Cial at Le Magasin
332 Water Street
Gastown, Vancouver BC

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