“It reminds me of a bar in New York City.”
“The decor is beautiful.”
“Wow, my food arrived quickly.”
These are various comments made about Social House Seven.
Located downtown and a few blocks from the ever popular Proper Brick Oven, is the fairly new restaurant, Social House Seven that opened up this past summer. I had been wanting to try it for some time now and finally took the leap for happy hour this week.
After you open the door and walk into the lobby, look down. Yes, the floor is moving but do not be alarmed. There is a fish tank in the floor. It’s already gorgeous and you’re not even in the restaurant yet.
Step fully inside and take in the modern Asian decor. Social House Seven is a Japanese izakaya-style restaurant + social house. Izakaya is a style of Japanese restaurant, known for serving shareable plates and a plethora of cocktails.
Running the show is Executive Chef Phillip Milton and Executive Sushi Chef Dan Forster who create a variety of Japanese, Korean, Thai and sushi plates. Using a robatayaki grill, meats, seafood and vegetables are seared from Japanese Binchotan charcoal at temperatures reaching 800 degrees.
We were seated in the more intimate dining room on the right. The restaurant is rather large and another entire seating area was found on the other side. On this side was a bar and an impressive Hindu deity that stood firmly looking over the room. She flickered colored lights that continued along the walls and illuminated the Asian style artwork.
It was a rough day for both of us so we started with the drink menu. They had a variety of colored cocktails, but we decided on the Sake Sangria and the Sake Tini.
The sangria was extremely refreshing and went down easy. Unlike the sangria, the sake tini had a strong taste of ginger and is mixed with St. Germaine and Gekkeikan black and gold sake.
Once drinks were out of the way we looked at the menu and tried to strategize. We decided our game plan was to each pick an item from the “meat” section as more of an entree and then share three additional appetizers.
Now I must warn you of really something I consider a positive and a negative. After you order, your food arrives very quickly, but the problem is, all of the food arrives instantly. Before our eyes, the entire table was full of 5 dishes of food. I was happy to see my feast among me, but then I felt compelled to stuff my face off all of it immediately. No one likes cold food.
I’m a sucker for lamb so I selected the mongo mongo lamb chops covered in a cashew BBQ sauce and paired with a Japanese eggplant. The meat fell off the bone and paired fantastically with the sauce, but the eggplant I could have done without. It was soggy and not very appetizing looking.
My friend selected the short rib yaki noodles mixed with mushrooms and ginger-tamarined soy. It was a great mix – the noodles soft and the ginger soaked ribs were great.
So much more was before us to share and devour:
CHEE CHEE FRIED BRUSSEL SPROUTS – Almonds, chili sauce, bonito flake.
KOBE KIMCHEE WONTON – Spicy peanut-black bean sauce, sprouts.
BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS – Bacon wrapped quail egg, wasabi maple glaze, diakon potato salad, orange slice.
I loved the almonds combined with the brussel sprouts, and the chili sauce gave them a nice flavor. It was our “healthy” alternative for the evening. The wontons were crunchy and I enjoyed the sauce that was drizzled over them. I just wish there was more.
When we ordered the breakfast of champions, the waitress was thrilled. She admitted some people were turned off by the combination of the dish, but not to fear, we were in for something great.
The bacon was coated with a wasabi maple glaze that made my taste buds sing. The quail egg was small and soft. It provided an extra texture to the bite, but the egg didn’t have a lot of flavor. It’s recommended to take a scoop of potato salad with the bacon wrapped eggs.
Toward the end of the meal, we were really slowing down, but I’m no quitter. I finished off every last bite. It was a great atmosphere with unique, Asian cuisine.
Experience Pittsburgh, One Bite at a Time.