Tapas/Small Plates is a style that has really grown in popularity over the past years. The Stanton Social, as you may presume, a tapas style restaurant, was one of my finest eating experiences with this type of cuisine. Located in the Lower East Side on 99 Stanton Street in New York, New York, this chicly decorated hot spot left a lasting impression on me.
When I first arrived, I was a little intimidated by the looks of this place. It was still early on a Friday night, but the large, dimly lit dining room was already filled a generous amount with a posh looking crowd. When I dine out, I really don’t care about the reputation of the place nor the crowd it attracts; all I’m looking for is great food and service, and wherever I can find that is great in my book.
I was excited to crack open the oversized menu. The Stanton Social has a unique layout of their menu; although all of their dinner selections are created in the small plate style, they still group certain dishes based on their qualities, making subtle distinctions between appetizers, lite entrées, main courses, sides and snacks, and dessert.
I dined with one other person, and man can we eat. We didn’t want to go overboard though to the point where we felt like we never wanted to eat again. We also followed the mentality that since the restaurant operates in the tapas way, you can always order more dishes if you would like. After lots of back and forth, we finally decided on the nori spiced tuna tartare roll, beef carpaccio, Maryland jumbo lump crabcake ‘corn dogs,’ ‘chicken n’ waffles,’ old school meatballs, and chipotle grilled shrimp. What was great about Stanton Social was that every dish had such complexity and was different than anything you would find at any other restaurant.
I would have to say that the ‘chicken n’ waffles,’ the crabcake ‘corn dogs,’ and the tuna tartare were my three favorite dishes that we ordered. Each one had such a distinct taste and was a wonderful combination of flavors. The ‘chicken n’ waffles’ and the crabcake ‘corn dogs’ were the most exotic dishes that we ordered. They were both extremely tasty and fresh. The ‘chicken n’ waffles’ was definitely the hardiest dish, and one that I strongly recommend if you ever find yourself in this neck of the woods. Dinner selections were a 10, now on to dessert..
Let me preface this by saying that dessert makes my world go round. I must have something sweet after every meal, and after my dinner at The Stanton Social, all I crave is their dessert creations. We selected the warm doughnuts – which sits tall at the top of their dessert menu and is the acclaimed house special – and the red velvet twinkle. The doughnuts were the perfect culmination to this innovative, inventive meal. The balls of warm dough came coated in a cinnamon and sugar mixture, on a plate with three different dipping sauces. The doughnuts were really one of the best desserts I have had in NYC. The red velvet twinkle was a classic Twinkie, but red velvet flavored cake with a vanilla cream cheese filling. This was also a great choice, but those doughnuts were the clear standout as far as dessert went.
The service was great and overall, for the amount of food ordered, the check was not exorbitant as it very easily can become at any New York City eatery, most of which do not even come close to The Stanton Social’s level. This meal was really something special because of the uniqueness of each dish. It was also a memorable meal, which to me, shows just how much I truly enjoyed it. I am greatly looking forward to my next visit to The Stanton Social.