(MSP) Northeast Social Club
New restaurant/bar opened 3 weeks ago. It is located on 359 13th Avenue in Minneapolis on the same strip as Erte and Modern Cafe replacing the Europol deli on the corner. It was packed Saturday evening. The menu is semi-pricey with entrees ranging from $15-20, appetizers from $5-12. American cuisine. Wine and beer selection was solid. They really did a nice job of the interior. The service was not friendly or attentive and the food was good - but not great (make sure if you like your beef cooked medium, to ask for it medium-rare - OR rare). I'm definitely going back again BUT in a month or two. I'm hoping the wait in time will allow the staff and kitchen to work out the kinks.
We were really excited to go last Thursday, when it was also absolutely packed, though this may have been partly due to an event at the Rogue Buddha next door. I was certainly prepared for kinks and imperfection, given the place has only been open for a couple of weeks. Inside is lots of dark woodwork, a spectacular refinished tin ceiling, and an odd choice of wicker chairs as seating.
They seem to be trying to provide a global wine and beer menu, with several affordable wines by the glass. They offer a brands of beer by the bottle and three "social" style (large bottles meant to be shared, common in other parts of the world, but not here). I would have liked to see an actual variety of beer styles, since the list seems almost exclusively pilsners.
Ok, the food. We all shared the welsh rarebit to start. Good organic bread covered with a beer cheese sauce, augmented with a sprinkle of blue cheese. It was tasty, but not really warranting the price. I had the risotto primavera special, which was not actually anything special - under al dente rice, good asparagus, button mushrooms and sliced roma tomatoes. The basil oil drizzled on top was good, though the whole dish was underwhelming in flavor. Sweethound had the potato gnocchi stroganoff, which was described by our waitstaff to include oyster, shitake and button mushrooms. We found an oyster, but it was mostly the buttons, which I feel didn't add much to the dish. I couldn't tell if the scoop of sour cream buried underneath the mushy gnocchi was not properly mixed in, or to allow the diner to adjust the level of creaminess in the dish. I hope that this dish gets better, as it has great potential. Another diner had the lamb sandwich, which looked really tasty and came with fantastic homemade potato chips. They had run out of both salads, so the last diner tried the vegetable bean soup, but didn't have much to say about it.
Service was obviously a little off, as everyone seemed to be figuring out who did what, when and where. They definitely need some time to get food and service figured out. Like MNLawGirl, I want to try it again, but in a little while.
Chowspouse and I have been a few times during and since Art-a-Whirl. So far, the service has been excellent. It's very family-run, and the family has been very attentive.
I like the food, but I disagree with their names. For example, the gnocchi stroganoff. To me (and everyone else I know) the key ingredients in stroganoff are the sour cream and the paprika. NESocial's seems to be missing both. There was no sour-cream tang, nor was there a robust Hungarian-paprika fire to it. It was a very tasty gnocchi dish, well worth eating. It's just not a stroganoff.
Same with the "Welsh" rarebit. Blue cheese? Again, tasty. But it looked and tasted more like a crostini that a true Welsh rarebit.
Still, we like the place and anytime we're in NE for a good reason, it's a worthwhile stop.
I was hoping Jeremy Iggers whould have blogged about it, but I don't see it anywhere.
I went to NE Social last night with two friends and while the space is wonderful, and the waitstaff friendly, the food disappointed. Specifically I found what MNLawGirl mentioned - I asked for my burger medium rare and it came back at least medium well, not a bit of pink in sight, which also made it very dry. I meant to mention it to the waitress, just so she was aware of the situation, but between serving the entrees and getting the check she didn't stop by our table. I will say the shoestring cut fries were incredibly good.
Besides that most obvious disappointment, the other dishes we got were just okay. The pate appetizer was fairly bland, and friends' risotto special was nothing great. I also found the on top beer choices pretty limited and uninteresting.