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The bottom line: This is a great place for a light bite and to chill with a cocktail. It's not well designed for large parties and, even though a few families were using the outside terrace, isn't really a family friendly restaurant. When the weather is nice, the terrace is the place to go. Non smokers beware: they do allow smoking on the roof. If it's a cocktail you desire, Social Lounge has plenty of options with food selections that go beyond bar snacks.
About a year ago, the Broadway bar Sazerac was renamed and rebranded as Social Lounge and Tapas.
It was a gorgeous evening, and ninety percent of the patrons had taken seats outside.
But it wasn't just a name change. Sazerac had a Cajun and French influenced menu, but Social Lounge's menu is now based around Mediterranean style tapas, offering more cohesion with its next door neighbor, Strada, which has the same ownership group. Another change is an inside doorway from one restaurant to the other, allowing patrons to move from cocktails to entrees. Otherwise, the inside is relatively unchanged; the space is long and narrow, sleek with dark woods, a long bar and dim lighting. In the back of the bottom floor, a stairway leads you to a mostly wooden room with a small secondary bar and a few tables before opening into an outdoor rooftop dining area.
All in all, I think Adidas Hi Tops 2.0
Asheville's Social Lounge and Tapas
Atmosphere: Downstairs takes on a sleek lounge setting, while the upstairs has almost an exotic feel before opening up to the Adidas High Tops Grey And Yellow
group, it's a great stop with one or two others.
the new menu approach works; it certainly fits with Strada better than the old Cajun menu did. While not a place to bring a large Adidas Originals High Tops Black And White
Sharing a few plates was smart , but not the best logistically, since the tables are on the small side and juggling all those tapas plates was a little tricky. In hindsight, I should have requested that things come out staggered.
Once seated, we were given drink menus, a tapas menu and a Strada menu. A new perk of joining these two restaurants is having both menus fully available to you while dining. In fact, while we were eating, a family moved over to the rooftop from Strada and ordered completely off that menu. They were one of three families on the roof amidst a few couples.
Dish to try: Whether sharing or ordering a meal for one, the fennel and tomato mussels are a great place to start. A cocktail should also be part of the equation.
For our food, we stuck to tapas; the selections are few but many sounded good. It was dinnertime, so I bypassed the snackish selections such as stuffed dates or asiago truffle popcorn. We split the fennel and tomato mussels, a Mediterranean platter, and, for the baby gourmand, pizza.
Despite the awkward maneuvering, the food more than made up for it. The mussels were fragrant from the sliced fennel cooked in the white wine broth, and they tasted even better. The rich broth was full of chunks of tomato, parsley and fennel, plus there was plenty of broth to mop up.
We had to guide ourselves to this upper space on our own, as there was no host at the door, and the bartender, after helping customers at the bar, said we could go find a seat anywhere. Finally making it to the rooftop and running into a server, we were again told to find ourselves our own table.
Our server delivered a basket of warm bread with a plate of herbs, Parmesan, and red pepper flakes, filling the plate with olive oil. It's rare these days to get bread service, but with alcohol around, it's never a bad idea. It was a definite plus that the bread was made fresh at Strada, another perk of the joint venture.
With drinks in hand, the wait was less of a concern. On this warm Wednesday, a Highland Razor Wit was the perfect refresher. My wife had the Roberto, made with vodka, St. Germain and orange and lime juices, a sweet, floral drink with a little citrus tartness. The top was dusted in freshly grated cinnamon, perfect for leisurely summertime sipping.
Last but not least was the pizza, a personal sized portion with a soft chewy crust and crisp bottom. There are a few topping options, and we selected fresh sauteed mushrooms and pepperoni. The sauce had hints of oregano and other herbs, and the baby gourmand loved every bite. Of course, I was more than happy to assist her in finishing it off.
modern looking outside terrace.
All the tables outside also were ordering food as opposed to just drinks, so with only a couple of servers, the wait to place an order was lengthy. The speed of service was paced more for those looking to linger over cocktails, or for tourists on vacation time. But it was a clear night and I could think of worse ways to wait for a menu; though Adidas Harden 1 Concept quicker service would still have been welcome.
As for the Mediterranean platter, start with triangles of flatbread, top it with tzatziki (my favorite on the platter), hummus or tabbouleh. There were a few varieties of sauteed olives, and then a few raw veggies including cucumber, tomato and avocado. It's a great platter for sharing. The avocado was slightly brown and the tabbouleh was mostly parsley, but the hummus and tzatziki were both homemade and delicious.
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