Being Social at Stanton…

Last night The Frogge had dinner with some friends at The Stanton Social (Stanton between Ludlow & Orchard.) It was a really fabulous dining experience, and The Frogge is here to tell you all about it. 

I arrived to the restaurant at 10:30, which you would think would be “a little late for dinner.” Not at The Stanton Social… by the way, their kitchen is open until 2 a.m. on Sunday-Wednesday and 3 a.m on Thursday-Saturday. It was 10:30 on a Monday night and the place was completely packed to the point where there was a wait for a table. My party was seated at a nice table on the first floor which looks like this… 

The first floor of the Stanton Social

The first floor of The Stanton Social

Since we were a large group of about seven or eight people, everyone decided that it would be best to order a lot of things and share. (By the way, that is the idea behind The Stanton Social… the menu is designed as sharing plates… this is what they have to say about themselves… “Rather than offering individual starters and main courses, The Stanton Social serves dishes that are designed for sharing among friends and are brought to the table steadily and continuously throughout the meal.” So if you want to go there and taste a lot of the choices on the menu, I do suggest to go with a bunch of people… I also suggest to make a reservation.)

Before we placed the food order, it was cocktail time. I got the Strawberry Fields which is Grey Goose Citron, fresh muddled strawberries with a lemon simple syrup, fresh lemon juice and a Riesling floater… it was really delicious, a perfect summer drink. My friend who was sitting next to me ordered a dirty martini… now you would think that a dirty martini is just a dirty martini… but apparently that is not true. For some reason the dirty martinis at The Stanton Social are the best martinis ever, not to mention they give you really nice olives (The Frogge has an olive addiction!) I also tried the Blood Orange-Jalapeno Margarita, which is amazing, especially if you like your drinks a little spicy. It is made with jalapeno-infused Sauza Commemorativo, blood orange juice, fresh lime and Cointreau. 

Then, the food started to arrive… we started off with the Grilled Pizzetta. It was made with fresh mozzarella & grana cheese, oven-dried tomatoes, roasted garlic & hot chile oil. I can not tell you how this was because it was not vegan, so I ate Wok Charred Edamame with a spicy miso glaze. If I sat here and told you everything that came to our table, we would be here all day… so in the interest of saving time  I am going to cut to the interview I did with Anthony Serignese, the general manager of The Stanton Social. 

The upstairs lounge of The Stanton Social

The upstairs lounge of The Stanton Social

The Frogge: I am here at The Stanton Social with Anthony Serignese, the general manager of The Stanton Social… tell me a little bit about the restaurant…

Anthony Serignese: We are a share plate restaurant which serves global cuisine. The restaurant is very trendy, it was Avroko designed…

TF: For people who don’t know what Avroko is, tell me what that means…

AS: Avroko is an award-winning design firm; they did everything from our uniforms to our signage. They are one of the most popular design firms in the city, even in the country right now. 

TF: Speaking of the design, I have noticed that the downstairs part of the restaurant is quite different from the upstairs… tell me the difference between those two spaces…

AS: The downstairs has a very masculine feel. It has two-toned banquets and a herringbone wine wall… In the 1940’s [the time period that inspired the design of The Stanton Social] men used to wear pants with the herringbone pattern, so that was the inspiration. The upstairs is very feminine, I am sure that you noticed the small beauty mirrors on the walls…

TF: Yes, those are gorgeous; they are my favorite things in the restaurant.

AS: There are also other feminine touches, such as the white tassels on the walls. The lounge, which is also upstairs, is also very feminine and sexy. There are cherry covered Shoji screens, which glow from behind.

TF: When did The Stanton Social first open?

AS: In 2005.

TF: So, this is four years in the making…

AS: Correct, we are very fortunate. We keep on getting busier every year.

TF: That’s fabulous… is that really true?

AS: Yes, its true. We are three times as busy now compared to when we first opened.

TF: Why do you think that is?

AS: We have great, consistent service, innovative cocktails; the food is great quality…

TF: Do you think the increase in business has to do with word of mouth?

AS: I do, if you come to a restaurant and have a great experience; you are going to tell your friends about it. It’s just how things work in New York. We are also very well received on the Internet.

TF: I know! I read about 50 reviews on Yelp.com, and they were all positive. I don’t think I saw a negative review… it was insane. I have never seen that. Normally places will have mixed reviews, but that wasn’t the case with The Stanton Social…

AS: I would say we are one of the top ten reviewed restaurants in New York City… its fun for us to read what people say about us on the Internet… if there is a negative review, we do what it takes to make a change… if someone doesn’t like one menu item, or they don’t feel it is as good as it used to be, we will check on that…

TF: My sources tell me that there was once a drink on the menu that had fresh, muddled watermelon in it… I heard it was the best drink on the menu… so why was it removed? Certain people are devastated about that…

AS: Yes, it was a watermelon ginger margarita. We make everything in house, and we used ginger infused simple syrup, with muddle fresh watermelon, and watermelon infused Don Julio tequila… we couldn’t put it on the cocktail list this season because the watermelons didn’t ripen quick enough, so we found a great replacement with the honey peach margarita with Don Julio reposado.

TF: What is the difference between regular Don Julio and Don Julio reposado?

AS: Reposado means its aged for a minimum of five years in an oak barrel.

TF: You guys are very serious about your tequila!

AS: We are serious about everything we do, but at the same time, we like to have fun with it.

TF: Let’s talk about the food…

AS: Our executive chef and partner is Chris Santos… he is also on Chopped, he does a lot of things with the Food Network…

TF: What is Chopped?

AS: Chopped is a show on the Food Network, Chris Santos is one of the celebrity judges. He appears on about 13 of the 26 episodes they do a season. So, Chris Santos has created most of the dishes on our menu… he has developed a really accessible menu, that is really fun and sharable… it is great for group dining… we have a lot of large tables in our dining room for this purpose.

TF: Do a lot of people have their special occasions here?

AS: Yes, we do a lot of birthday parties, bachelorette parties, anniversaries, sweet sixteen’s, graduation parties…

TF: Tell me about the cocktail menu…

AS: Seasonally they change, we try to keep it fresh and inventive… but not to the point where you are going to wait fifteen minutes for your drink…

TF: Ugh, I have been in that situation, its ridiculous…

AS: We want to make good drinks that are of a high quality…

TF: And last, tell me about your dessert menu…

AS: Jamie Sudberg is our pastry chef… she makes shared plate desserts. The warm donuts are very popular…

TF: I know, I heard they are amazing… I couldn’t eat them because I am vegan…

AS: We try to accommodate all dietary restrictions…

TF: I know, your chef was fabulous, he made me a special vegan menu… every time they brought something to our table that wasn’t vegan… there was something vegan as well. I never felt left out… it was exciting.

AS: We also have a gluten free menu.

TF: Wow, that is extremely accommodating… 

AS: That is our main goal..

So there you have it people. Thats the dish on The Stanton Social… make sure to check it out especially if you find yourself roaming around hungry on the LES… 

Love your friend,

                            The Frogge ❤

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