The Stanton Social
People always ask me, "What is your favorite restaurant in NYC"? That is a tough one to answer but I would say that The Stanton Social would be high up there on the list.
I like the whole concept of the restaurant. Everybody shares. Each dish is designed to share. It is fun. The courses continue to come out of the kitchen over the course of your meal. Your palette definitely goes all over the place but that is fine by me.
There is a downstairs which dark and an upstairs which is much brighter due to the skylight. I actually like the upstairs more in the summer. There is a bar up there too. The vibe is definitely a party type atmosphere. The food is conducive to it.
It was the four of us, Jessica, Emily, me and Fred. The girls ordered and we just went along for the ride.
We began with Chipotle Grilled Shrimp. Four charred shrimp served on a long white rectangular plate and a mixture of tomatillo and feta relish underneath and over the shrimp. Simple, spicy and good. This came out of the kitchen with the Sweet and Sour Chicken & Cashew Spring Rolls. Pulled chicken with Chinese flavors stuffed with cashews and deep fried. Served alongside with a sweet/sour dipping sauce.
The next round began with one of the house specialties, French Onion Soup Dumplings. Served in a round plate with small holes where the dumpling is baked. Each dumpling is made of a bread type dough stuffed with caramelized onions and then Gruyere cheese roasted over the top. Each dumpling has a little liquid in it too. The concept is brilliant and the taste is quite good too. Memorable.
Next round was a great combo to serve together. Tiny hand held red snapper tacos. Each taco was stuffed with snapper, vegetables and creamy avocado. On the side was a spicy mango sauce. These tacos pack a powerful punch. With that we were served the Duck Confit Empandas. Deep fried empandas stuffed with intensely flavored pulled rich duck. The empandas were crispy and served with a blood orange dipping sauce that really complimented the flavor.
Next up chicken mole Taquitos. Again small tacos filled with pulled chicken made with a spicy mole sauce. The Stanton Social Sliders are a bit hit here. We were told that the Kobe Beef Burgers are the biggest seller. They serve more of them than anything nightly. We went with the BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders. Pulled pork that was really rich and thick served on a small hamburger bun and a pickle on top. Amazing. I don't think I could eat more than one. The beautiful thing about all these tiny appetizers is that they each carry such a punch that the one small serving you get it just enough to satisfy.
Last we got the Moo Shu Rock Shrimp. 4 folded pancakes served alongside a small bowl of spicy rock shrimp wok fried with a variety of vegetables and mushrooms. A lighter duck sauce on the side that is thin that you can pour over your pancake, put in your shrimp and fold up to eat. Fun and delicious. We got a few sides with this. Mayan style Grilled corn. One piece of corn cut into four pieces and doused with chili, lime and queso fresco cheese. Really delicious. Also some grilled asparagus on the side with a smoked sea salt and pieces of lemon.
At this point we started to hit the wall but decided it was essential to have a few desserts. We had a cookie plate. Stanton Social's interpretation of the classic cookies. Chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal, small pop tarts filled with apricot and strawberry jam, ice cream cookies with coconut and home made oreos. Very clever. Emily said it would be great to do a tray of their interpretation of all girl scout cookies.
We also went with the After School Snack Cakes. It appealed to my child hood sensibilities. Twinkies, ring dings and a funny bone. What is kind of funny is that my kids didn"t know what these were. The Twinkie was light with a rich creamy filling. The ring ding was a tad dry buy was pretty similar to what I remember. The best was the rich peanut butter filling that was so rich and creamy under a layer of white chocolate and a dot of dark chocolate too. Really yum.
We were so full that we walked home from there. It took us about 45 minutes but it was really nice to walk through the lower east side through Noho through the village to the west village on a warm summer night. The city wasn't that busy last night so it was kind of nice and empty.
Love Stanton Social. Met the chef at an event a few months ago and told him so. Not even a question of returning just the question of when not if.