Sea bass. photography by Kevin Hunter Marple

Review: Social House

If you keep up on your foodie trends, you already know about gastropubs, the term for bars that serve better-than-average food. They started in London, moved to New York (see: Spotted Pig), and now have landed in Dallas.

Or have they? Social House, which took over the old Nikita spot in the West Village, has the word “gastropub” engraved on its ye olde wooden sign. They call it a gastropub; I call it a frat bar. Drinking seems to be the primary reason to come here, except that, jeez, a frat bar should at least get the beer right. Social House has a dozen beers on tap, many high-end, but the two sampled, Maredsous and Boddingtons, were both flat.

Like the impressive on-tap lineup, the menu was well written, with ingredients and dishes (sea bass, “brushetta”) that might indicate good food. But actual execution, not so much. Fish and chips had watery fish, a brutally soggy crust, and harshly seasoned fries. Calamari, sprinkled with chunks of blue cheese since this is a gastropub, was crunchy but cold.

A mixed green salad with candied walnuts and Gorgonzola cheese wasn’t half bad, but phooey to the $10 price tag. Weird, though, since salads are the last thing you’d expect done well at a frat bar—oops, I mean gastropub.

Get contact information for Social House.