Social House 7 Pittsburgh Restaurant Review
I dined at Social House 7 way back in April during our Pittsburgh staycation weekend and am unfortunately only getting around to writing about my meal now (mea culpa blog).
While I (still) wait for the day when the city of Pittsburgh finally has a restaurant that not only serves fare from a Latin American country (or countries) but also has a hip environment and decor to match, I’ll content myself with the more hip and cool restaurants that continue to pop up that serve Pacific Rim cuisine. The (relatively) new Social House 7 is one of those.
Social House 7 is part of the AMPD Group that has various restaurants and drinking establishments around the city, although I’ve personally only ever been to one of their other locations, Ten Penny. I applaud any food and beverage group that thinks outside of the same old “grilled and fried fare” mindset. Latin American cuisine will always have my heart (and stomach) but Asian fare is a close second.
We dined there on a Saturday night and I’m glad we had reservations. It’s located in the building that Bossa Nova formerly occupied (right in the heart of the city’s cultural district). We were lucky enough to get a booth in the back of the restaurant, one that not only afforded us a bit more privacy but also allowed us to people watch, both in the kitchen area and other diners.
We each ordered cocktails to start and most on the list were on the pricey side, $10 and up. I opted for the Tokyo Sling ($10) which consisted of vodka, a lemongrass ginger simple syrup that was mixed together with lychee juice (a personal favorite). D ordered the Matsumoto ($13) that featured a locally produced bourbon, lemongrass, ginger, lemon, and angostura bitters.
While it has an extensive sushi menu, we opted against ordering from it. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not really the biggest fan of sushi but will eat it on occasion, always the cooked variety. Instead, we stuck to the dinner menu which consisted of small plates and is meant for sharing. Here’s a rundown of all that we ordered:
Chee Chee Fried Brussels Sprouts ($10)
This is one vegetable D can never pass up. I admit, I’ve grown to love them too, even though as a kid I hated eating them (probably because growing up my mom never made them in any way except steamed and healthy). These were topped with almonds, chili sauce, and bonito flake. Charred Brussels sprouts are simply the best.
While officially a soup-like dish, it was a huge portion, hence the higher price. There was a ton of ingredients in it including pork belly, pork shoulder, bamboo shoots, scallions, spinach, soy sauce egg, and shoyu broth (soy sauce broth). The broth was particularly tasty and the portion would be more than enough for one person to get as his entree.
Kobe Kimchee Wonton ($9)
Okay, so this hands down was my favorite item of the meal. It’s pretty self-explanatory although I should note that these were fried, not steamed. They came with a spicy peanut-black bean sauce for dipping purposes. Wontons, dumplings, I’m always in culinary heaven when these are around.
We ended up ordering two items from the robata (foods grilled over Japanese charcoal)
Shrimp skewers with lime cilantro ($13)
I’m not a big shrimp fan (especially after still having terrible memories of my most recent food poisoning case), however D loves the stuff. I did think the price was decent considering you got six relatively large shrimp.
If I had one complaint of the meal, the scallops would be it. For $12 I thought this was the biggest rip-off ever. I know sea scallops are expensive but this was ONE jumbo sea scallop slivered into two pieces. It’s not that it didn’t taste good because it did, but this was too expensive for what you got.
Of course I wanted to partake in dessert and even though I was sorely tempted by the infamous “Fortune Cookie” selection (friends of ours who ordered it said it was MASSIVE), I went the slightly healthier route and we split the Ginger Pear Egg Rolls. These came with a Jasmine White Chocolate Dipping Sauce and while I typically don’t care for white chocolate (I find it to leave an odd aftertaste), paired with the jasmine, it was sinfully delectable. And I came to the conclusion I don’t have nearly enough pear in my life.
Like so many of Pittsburgh’s popular and hip restaurants, Social House 7 wasn’t remotely quiet or intimate but offered a good and memorable meal. Taste wise, everything was just about perfect, as was service. The menu is incredibly varied and diverse and I look forward to dining here again in the future.
Social House 7
123 7th Street Pittsburgh, PA 15222