Society – Restaurant & Lounge

Restaurant: Society
Cuisine: American
Last visited: November 18, 09
Location: Vancouver, BC (Yaletown/Downtown)
Address: 1257 Hamilton Street
Price Range: $10-20

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: 2
Service: 3.5
Ambiance: 5
Overall: 2.5
Additional comments:

  • Comfort food with a twist
  • Executive Chef Brandon Thordarson
  • Hometown classics/favourite – made gourmet
  • Attracts trendy crowd – Glowbal feel
  • Great decor/playful and contemporary ambiance
  • Better for drinks/desserts
  • Part of the Glowbal Group family
  • Heated patio, outdoor seating
  • Busy during peak hours/after hours/weekends
  • Express lunches (under 45 min. or free)
  • Housemade Ketchup
  • Open 11:30am-12am
  • Open 4:30pm Sat/Sun

**Recommendation: Junk food platter, Flight of hand cut french fries (not the poutine one though), housemade ketchup, roast garlic aioli

The Glowbal Restaurant Group is a powerhouse when it comes to opening restaurants. Society is the newest addition to family located where the old Coast (another Glowbal restaurant) used to be. I was really excited to try Society, however the ambiance and overall experience was more exciting than the food.

On paper the menu looks delicious and the majority of dishes are well-presented however the flavour and execution were lacking. I wanted to like it because I do think the Glowbal restaurants can be good, but for the price I was paying I think Cactus Club could have even done a better job for some of the stuff. I would even prefer Glowbal or Trattoria before Society.

The food is definitely your American classics and comfort food like mac n’ cheese, shepherd’s pie, milkshakes, cookies, cotton candy, and meatloaf. However everything is done with a twist or “Glowbal style”, which means gourmet, modern, trendy and fancy. The ideas are there, but I found that everything I tried I could easily think of a place that makes it better. In fact I’ll list where I think there are better.

I thought the only thing that was up to Glowbal standards was the decor. The atmosphere is casual, playful and pretty girly yet the crowd is 25-45 and trendy. The staff “uniforms” are light blue jeans and plain white t-shirts yet the atmosphere is more luxurious than this. It really does carry that “opposites attract” theme they are aiming for. I would go back with friends, but only for the experience and to enjoy some drinks or desserts. I MAY go back to try other things so I can really make a fair judgment.

Click for my post on the Junk Food Platter

On the table:Mac and Cheese Balls2.5/6

    • Jalapeno & white cheddar $8
    • It was 6 white cheddar and jalapeno macaroni and cheese rolled into balls, lightly breaded and deep fried. It’s served with housemade ketchup.
    • They were well fried well with a crispy exterior however the inside was just not cheesy or creamy enough. It looks better in the pictures. When I order mac n’ cheese I expect it to be indulgent and very cheesy…that’s the point right? But it wasn’t. It wasn’t necessarily dry but they need to use a stronger cheese because it was kind of bland. The jalapeno kick was right on though and I did like that part.

  • They serve it with their housemade ketchup which is great! However these mac n’ cheese balls are best eaten with their roast garlic aoili. Dipping the mac n’ cheese balls in this aoili gives it the flavour it needs…with this condiment I’d give it 4/6.
  • Deep fried mac n’ cheese balls are better at Cheesecake Factory in the States

**Flight of Hand-Cut French Fries served 3 ways 3/6

    • $9
    • It’s pretty well-priced, however I think places like Fritz and even New York Fries do a better job. The fries were soft, but not really crispy. They’re comparable to Fritz, but I think Fritz does a better job overall. The execution of each is better at New York Fries although the fries themselves aren’t as good as the ones at Society.
    • They need wider dishes to serve them in because only the top of the fries had sauce.
    • **Au Natural – 3/6
    • Housemade ketchup, roast garlic aoili.
    • These condiments are great…I’d give both 6/6
    • The ketchup tastes like ketchup, but better.
    • We dipped all the fries into the garlic aioli.

    • Poutine1.5/6
    • Cheese curd, chicken gravy.
    • Can easily find a place that has better poutine. It doesn’t even look like a poutine.
    • Where are the cheese curds? They were melted right into the chicken gravy I think.
    • Chicken gravy wasn’t think or dark enough.

  • Chili fries2.5/6
  • Housemade chili, cheddar cheese, sour cream.
  • The chili tastes like bolognese meat sauce, the same thing they probably use in their lasagne except with red kidney beans mixed in.
  • They topped it with shredded mozzarella and sour cream.
  • It didn’t taste bad, but it can easily be found better somewhere else especially when the chili tastes more like spaghetti sauce.

Loaded Prime Rib Burger2/6

    • Crispy bacon, sun-dried tomato aioli & caramelized onions $15
    • It’s served with fries. The presentation was great and it looks really good, but it looked better than it tasted.
    • It could have been better if they only balanced the ratio of the ingredients.
    • The caramelized onions we’re great and so was the aioli, but it was all lost because the patty was so thick and overpowering.

  • The beef patty was very salty, but not flavourful. It was like eating pure ground beef with a lettuce leaf.
  • It’s weird because the middle was dry and it should have been moist because it’s the thickest part so it should take longer to cook.

Lobster Gnocchi1/6

    • 1/2 Atlantic lobster, tarragon cream, Parmesan crust & garlic bread $18
    • It came with a side of garlic bread. This was not well presented, not worth the price and the portion was pretty small.

    • The gnocchi was made really poorly. They were made much too big for gnocchi and it was very plain, mushy and too soft. I felt like I was just eating dough, they used too much flour and not enough potato in the mixture. There was no flavour or potato texture.
    • There were also no fork ridges on them either and gnocchi should have them to hold the sauce.
    • I have definitely had better gnocchi elsewhere…even their family restaurant Trattoria does a better job.

  • There was actually 1/2 an Atlantic lobster in it (8 pieces), so that was good. The pieces were really tender and it was the only good thing I got from this dish.
  • The cream sauce was bland and not strong enough to stand up to the overwhelming sized gnocchi. It was basically butter and cream…and cheese and tarragon which neither I could taste – a bit on the thin side too.

Baked Lasagne 3/6

  • Kobe meat sauce, tomato fondue, roasted peppers, herbed ricotta & garlic bread.
  • You had to have seen this coming. A Glowbal restaurant without some “Kobe meat sauce” or “Kobe meatballs” just wouldn’t be a Glowbal restaurant.
  • This is almost their signature, so you knew it would be good…but that’s the thing, it was just good, not outstanding or anything.
  • It had about 7 layers and the bottom layer had roasted red peppers and the layer above had the ricotta. There wasn’t enough though and the lasagne noodles and meat sauce over powered these 2 layers. I always think meat lasagnes are best homemade though.

Lobster Shepherd’s Pie2/6

  • Atlantic lobster, creamed potatoes $18
  • There were carrots, celery and onions and it felt like a twist on a chicken pot pie rather than a shepherd’s pie. It tasted like a chicken pot pie except with lobster…and not much of it. For $18, this was not worth it. There was way more lobster in the lobster gnocchi. This one had 5 pieces. The portion was small and it didn’t look that appetizing.
  • The gravy tasted like a chicken gravy rather than a lobster gravy. There was no lobster flavour except for the actual pieces and it was a bit on the watery/buttery/oily side too. I expected more from it.
  • The creamed potatoes were good though. It was really smooth and creamy. I think they melted cream cheese into them because they were very flavourful and delicious. This was better than the lobster mixture/stew.
  • Overall I was most disappointed with the lobster dishes, this one tasted better than the gnocchi, but it wasn’t difficult to surpass that dish.

Recyclable/Re-usable take-out bag that probably wastes more than it saves due to the size of it.

To see their “Junk Food Platter” (their signature dessert platter) – see here.

[geotag]Society Dining Lounge on Urbanspoon


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