To most students, State Street evokes the thought of dive bars, basement nightclubs and shoulder-to-shoulder packed dance floors. However, further north on State Street, Social on State provides diners and patrons a more upscale and chic alternative for an evening or night out. This year for Restaurant Week, Social on State offered $30 dinners in which any of the three courses could be replaced with either the house wine or a dolce vita martini.
As my dining partner Michael and I walked through the doors, we immediately noted the contemporary yet timeless ambiance developed by the LED lights and exposed brick interior. We were seated at the bar and greeted by friendly servers and waitstaff. For appetizers, I ordered the beet & burrata salad, intrigued by the unexpected combination. The salad presented a wonderful balance of flavors with sharp arugula, earthy beets and walnuts and tangy oranges that left a sweet, citrusy note on the whole salad. It felt like the perfect transitional season dish as we enter fall. The burrata was creamy and light.
Michael ordered the butternut squash croquette as his appetizer. The croquette was presented beautifully, perfectly centered in a black-and-white striped bowl. Michael said the croquette had a nice outer crunch with a creamier, cheesy center. The croquette was topped with a squash sauce which Michael approved of, despite his typical dislike of squash.
For entrees, I ordered the stuffed acorn squash while Michael got the braised short rib. The squash was stuffed with farro, golden raisins, applesauce, cranberries, currants and roasted walnuts. The combination of sweet, nutty, warm flavors felt very seasonally appropriate and the squash itself pulled apart nicely, indicating a well-cooked squash. The farro was a great choice of grain to include, offsetting the smoothness of the squash with more body and bite. As a lifelong vegetarian, I did not try the short rib. However, Michael said, “The meat pulls apart very smoothly and the flavor of the meat is incredibly divine.”
Finally, for dessert, Michael ordered the Nutella ice cream sundae. The sundae consisted mainly of espresso ice cream with melted Nutella and hazelnuts sprinkled on top. Michael said all the flavors worked very well together and the nuts sprinkled on top gave a lovely extra crunch. I tried the pumpkin spice panna cotta, which turned out to be my favorite part of the meal. As someone who doesn’t typically like sweets, I gravitate toward pumpkin spice flavors in desserts because they usually aren’t too overpoweringly sweet. However, artificial pumpkin spice can often taste like chemicals, synthetic and too sugary. Social on State’s take on the classic fall flavor did not disappoint, as the pumpkin flavor tasted authentic and not too sweet. It complemented the maple whipped cream and when I mixed the custard and whipped cream together, it created a heavenly, fluffy texture.
The staff was incredibly friendly and presented us with the barbacoa chicken tacos and grilled swordfish at the end of our meal. I took the tacos home for my roommates. Michael took the swordfish home and allowed our Arts & Culture Editor, Lakhsmi, to try some.
Lakhsmi said, “It’s quite nice. The fish is really soft and the mushy rice is a nice touch with it.” Lakhsmi also noted the strong lemon flavor on the fish.
Social on State provided an upscale culinary experience coupled with a hip, modern vibe and a fantastic deal for restaurant week. I highly recommend Social on State as a great spot to enjoy some fantastic food with a fantastic company.