|330 East Ave, Rochester NY 14604|
|CLOSED (as of January 2010)|
The Social was a restaurant and bar on East Ave.
Donna DiMarzo opened Veneto in this old space originally in 2001, before expanding a few doors down a few years later. In its space Riffs Wine & Piano Bar opened and closed but a year later. Now in this space she has opened a new tapas restaurant and wine bar, The Social. It specializes in food made from fresh, seasonal, locally-grown and organic ingredients and in organic wines.
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2007-06-28 08:12:08 The decor is pretty nice, but lends itself to pretty bad acoustics. When we showed up the other night, there were only a few other groups there and I found myself struggling to hear my friends. The service was quick and friendly. We ordered two meals per person (it's tapas-style, so everything's smaller than a typical entree) and it was a perfect amount. The menu is split into "This" (meats), "That" (fish), and "Other" (vegetarian). We tried the lamb lollipops (good sauce, but the lamb was a bit rarer than we expected), chicken skewers in saffron sauce and tomato jam (very good chicken), pork lettuce wraps (the sesame citrus soy sauce that came with these was AMAZING), pomme frites with ketchup and garlic aioli (just french fries, but they were good), quesadillas (not too cheesy, just the way I like it), and waygu beef skewers in lemongrass sauce (pretty good). Overall, it was an enjoyable meal and the location is perfect to grab a fancy snack before heading out to bars or to have a full meal, but if you're hungry, remember to order multiple dishes. —RachelBlumenthal
2007-07-09 10:15:26 Ok, so I went to The Social hoping for an exquisite, posh dining experience. What I received was quite the opposite. Let us begin with the staff. Rude, boring, and immature. Frolicking around giggling like children, knowing nothing about the menu, and looking like glorified BK Staff.
The decor is nice, I will give it that. The portions are incredibly small, and everything came pre mixed so I could not request "no peppers" on my quesadillas. Sorry, but even at McDonalds can you request special accomadations. The wine was mediocre, and the booths were comfortable and trendy. Bottom line? Not worth your money for the location, lack of adequate server staff, and overall presentation. Table 7, Tastings, Lola are all much better bets. :-) —JimMagoo
2007-09-09 08:39:54 I have to echo the negatives listed so far. I had the fries, the burgers, and the apple fritters. The fries were not worth the money, the burgers were actually inedible and horribly prepared, the apple fritters weren't bad. There were two very small bites out of the burgers and our waitress still took them away later like nothing was wrong. I've never had this happen; if you see a plate full of something that was ordered, the minimum would be to ask if something was wrong. They have about 8 wines open, all are priced even over what you normally see at restaurants. Not recommended at all, especially not with the high quality most places in the east-end deliver. —CharlieBeltram
2007-09-19 13:38:23 Well, to each his own, but the wife and I love this place. I guess I don't understand why you would expect to get the same "special accommodations" at a fine-dining restaurant that you do at Burger King in the first place: fine dining is about trusting the chef to prepare a whole package, not expecting the hash-slinger to make it "your way."
It's not for everybody, but I have to say, if you're not looking to crawl out of a place stuffed to the gills, this is about the only place in Rochester where you can get a decently-proportioned meal of outstanding quality. —DragonFlyEye
2007-09-19 17:12:56 I really enjoyed the food at Social and the space is cool and eclectic. It makes for a great place to grab something to eat before hitting the bars. The plates are cheap and 2 is enough to fill you. Go with multiple friends, each order 2 plates, and you will be able to try a myriad of dishes and have plenty to eat. —MrRochester
2007-10-09 19:56:44 This place has a good concept, but the execution is so-so. I had a "salmon grilled cheese." I was disappointed with how "fishy" the salmon tasted. Like it was frozen or not today's catch. A grilled cheese and fish sandwich is novel idea, but it doesn't really work.
The black bean sliders were tasty enough as were the black bean quesadillas. The pico de gallo was good. —JonGary
2007-10-20 05:04:39 What an amazing restaurant!! It's like walking out of Rochester and into Big City Dining!! Knowlegable staff, excellent concept, great wine list and food presentation. As DragonFlyEye said, it's not for everyone...but if you truley understand food and cultured dining you'll love it!! On a side note...dont expect to get sat right away unless you make reservations (585-325-2010)in advance...especially Fri-Sat. Excellent work guys!! —KorbinJames
2007-10-25 18:53:19 Korbin, how are you connected to the Social? —BadFish
2007-11-19 22:45:06 A great spot for drinks and tapas. They have an excellent beer list, highlighted by some nice Belgians. Whatever-tinis and classic cocktails were mixed up with equal proficiency (definitely not something that can be taken for granted). Black bean sliders were tasty, and a $10 crabcake was worth every penny. Even something as simple as french fries shone with uncommon attention to detail. Our waitress (same one for both of my visits) was friendly and knew the menu and wine list well. —EastSideStephen
2008-01-18 22:41:54 Had an excellent meal here. Three friends ordered 7 plates among us and were well fed and had food to take home. Food was imaginative and well prepared and presented. Hits included the endive salad with goat cheese, the frites, and the crab cake. Waiter was enthusiastic and attentive. Only small negative was bored and inattentive bar staff; seemed more interested in gossiping with another staff person sitting at the bar then attending to the paying customers.
Would definitely go back. —JasonHaremza
2008-02-08 09:53:11 We went in a big group, order several dishes (2 per person) and had a great time. The food was really nice, the concept - a pleasant change and location- very convenient. We enjoyed all the food but loved the pomme frites and the desserts. A bit pricey, though I would definitely go there again. —DesignDreamz
2008-04-04 12:27:32 Well, I disagree with the negative comments. We went last week and are going again tonight with a large party. Our waitress was excellent! Everything we tried was good: wings, mussels, pomme frites, steak, polenta dish and the APPLE FRITTERS!? They were delicious!! The service and quality of food excellent-and it was extremely busy that night. Martinis were also good. I highly recommend this place. —BetsyBrown
2008-09-26 02:09:53 Excellent cocktail menu here. The Garlic Aioli served with the fries left me weak in the knees. Check this place out for it's unique take on tapas style dining and its convenient location on East Ave. Fill up on classy drinks and food and head out to the bars afterwards. —parkaveglutton
2008-11-02 14:22:30 Ate there last night. Mixed experience. Maitre d' said he'd have a table shortly and we spent more than 40 minutes at the bar. They have very cool booths that can sit six or more, three of which remained empty the entire time we were there waiting. He apologized that his "two tops" didn't clear out as he'd expected. Sure, you don't want to tie up your big tables for a party of two but they are empty and remained empty the whole time we were there. However, the food- oh yeah. Our waitress was great, attended to us quickly, drinks, water, orders quick quick. Food? Very good overall. We were hungry and ordered a bunch. Sliders- super good but how can you screw up a burger? Tuna tartare- I thought it was just OK, girlfriend loved it. I thought the avocado completely dominated the dish, she disagreed. Tasted good, just couldn't taste the tuna. Oysters- very very good, loved the mignonette and the acidic dressing. Polenta- another winner. Very cheesy, balsamic glaze was perfect, accompanying mushrooms were so-so but the polenta was so good it didn't matter. Lamb chop lollipops- the only disappointment. They weren't lollipops but double chops, just not as advertised but I will say very reasonably priced for how much they served (two double chops for $11). However the delicate lamb taste was overwhelmed by the smoky flavor of their cooking process. They were cooked medium rare as ordered so kudos to the chef for that. Finally, they had a special, grouper with shiitakes, asparagus and a beurre blanc. Holy crap, so good you can't imagine. I don't know that I've ever seen grouper on the menu in Rochester and was worried about ordering it (it's my favorite fish) but so glad I did. Perfection. And where did they find good asparagus in November? They did. I will go back but if the young idiot maitre d' pulls the same nonsense I may not. Large parties will likely have a different experience. Total bill for six dishes and 2 glasses of wine? Just over $100 and worth it.
2009-07-21 20:25:34 I really like this place...but I don't go on the weekends! Tuesday-Thursday night is great for me :)
I like being able to order a few different things off the menu and share with people. So far, I don't think I've disliked anything I've ordered. The service is OK. Could be better. And I wouldn't recommend ordering mixed drinks, stick with wine or beer. But as far as the food goes? Wonderful!
Edit 12/3/09: Had a terrible experience about a month ago. Kitchen was backed up, they've changed their menu away from the "tapas" style, definitely more entrees now...and my boyfriend's steak was wayyyy over cooked. If it hadn't have taken over an hour between apps and main, we would have sent it back. The kicker? Only 3 tables were occupied. It'll be a while before we're back...—KellyT
2009-09-16 14:56:21 Visited Social on a Tuesday evening with my wife for a special event and had a great experience. Overall, service, atmosphere, food quality were great. Price was reasonable.
We had chicken sticks, crab stuffed anaheim peppers, pan-seared scallops and tuna tacos. The tuna tacos, while being the most expensive tapas was our least favorite. The banana split however was amazing and is highly recommended.
Based on my experience, I recommend Social for an enjoyable dining experience at a decent price. —RichardSchreiber