Tucked away on 1st Street is an unassuming one story building. You wouldn’t know a restaurant was occupying the space if it wasn’t for the valet parking out front. It’s not a street you would normally go down, so enjoy this hidden gem while you can because it won’t be the best kept secret for long.
When inside you have the option of sitting in four different areas, all have their own unique flair. I have a couple of favorite spaces, the bar and the outdoor area. The high back bar stools invite you to stay a while; unique and comfortable. I find a nice seat off to the side. A chalkboard lists the house specialty cocktails, but I’ve been on the copper cup kick, so I order the Blueberry Mule -Tito’s Gluten Free Vodka, muddled blueberries, ginger beer with a dash of fresh lime and lemon – very refreshing (tip; ask for lite ice)!
The menu is one long sheet with an Italian flair. Today I am not up for appetizers or dessert, just a good filling meal. I go for the vegetarian lasagna – wow, I have never tasted a dish quite like this -very light. Don’t expect to get full on this dish, you will feel perfectly content. I highly recommend this authentic meal, and I am not a vegetarian, nor Italian – but all the pasta on the menu is handmade, it is very apparent.
Social hasn’t been open but a week now, and I’m already a regular. I decide to head outside to my favorite space for one more cocktail and chat with a couple of friends. This space although undiscovered, has an energetic vibe with its white couches, and gas burning fireplaces. The open outdoor concept allows me to enjoy a cocktail and gaze up at the stars, I get to see a different side of Sarasota than usual and some unfamiliar faces.
Not open for lunch, but the good news is, Social servers their full menu after midnight – that is GREAT news for this Table For One who often realizes she hasn’t had dinner around 8pm.
Like any new restaurant, there is room for improvements, but these people have their menu, service and atmosphere in check – add a little music outside on the patio and you have one really hot spot! If I had three thumbs, that’s what this place would get! Visit Social on the web at http://www.socialonfirst.com for more photos and hours.
Social Eatery & Bar, 1219 First Street, Sarasota, FL 34236, 941.444.9702.