In our ongoing series The Reveal, we go behind closed doors and introduce you to the people and food of the city’s newest restaurants and undiscovered places.
This week, we enter Eastside Social.
The Gist: The Social, as its quickly become known, is"Williamsburgh meets London meets Nova Scotia."
Owners Cherie Stinson and Joey Skeir, born and raised in Halifax, met in the restaurant industry in their 20s and have been together ever since.
After co-founding Ruby WatchCo, their own place was next. The result is travel-inspired, from visits to New York, Miami, London, Prague and Nova Scotia. That, along with pieces collected from the 'hood and family - ties to their roots – makes it warm and inviting (And Cherie is a Lead Designer for international, award-winning design firm, Yabu Pushelberg).
With the bar on one side and a casual dining room on the other, you can pop in for a drink and nibbles, or have a meal to share.
Grub: Comfort food classics mingle with modern dishes and interpretations. Expect family recipes (chowder and deviled eggs are from Cherie's grandmother) along with a collab from chef and owners. The Yorkshire pudding poutine, however, is all Chef Chris's creation.
Dished are meant to be shared, but they’re not small. And affordable, with the most expensive item $21, for grilled flank steak. And while Surf & Turf Tacos ($11) and Sea Bream Ceviche ($13) are on the menu, don’t call it a seafood restaurant - The vibe is coastal culture, so “coastal fare” (and don’t forget the “bevies”), it is.
Libations: While beers on tap, wine, and great cocktails are available, you’ve simply got to try the Housemade Punch ($21/for two, $35/for four). Ingredients: gin, vodka, port, rum, grapefruit juice, chamomile syrup, citrus, sugar, and nutmeg. It packs a wallop, but in a highly elegant way.
Deets: The dining room seats 50 with 12 at the bar. A large harvest table allows diners to get to know one another or seat a larger party. A patio is in the works. A small area in front allows smokers to mingle.
Fixtures & Fittings: Cherie’s design eye is spectacular. The nautical touches - submarine window showcases the menu out front, light fixtures inspired by lobster traps – are fantastic, but it’s the little things that will get you. Dollhouse-size prints sit just above a long majestic green leather button tufted banquette, fitted with refined feet. Rattan backed chairs come with customized tartan cushions. Glass-door cabinets house hand-selected items, many of which are antiques.
Off the Menu: Yorkshire Pudding Poutine ($12) is a brilliant concoction – yorkshire pud is set alongside fresh-cut potatoes with a real demi-glacé, topped with squeaky cheese cursds and fresh herbs. Very Devilled Eggs ($7, with smoked trout $10) may look innocent, but offer a wonderful spicy finish.
Fried chicken ($14) deeply satisfies with two legs and a thigh, a 24-hour buttermilk brine and banana pepper & apple sauce. Skate schnitzel ($17) sells out most nights, and it’s easy to see why. The “cutlet” adorned with caper butter takes up most of the plate, but thankfully there’s room left for a classic cold red potato dill salad. And the perfect summer dish – 8 oz. Grilled Flank Steak ($21), brined in olive oil for 24 hours, and served with garlic butter, parsley and a side of heirloom tomato salad.
How Cool is This?! Cherie found a book of black and white maps of old East End Ontario and hand-pasted them to the wall of the men’s bathroom. The result is stunning and yet, it’s something you could do yourself at home.
At the Stove: Chef Chris Mentier (Ceili Cottage) and Sous Chef Stephan Skeene (The Kitchin in Scotland, Ruby Watchco)
Head Honchos: Owners Cherie Stinson & Joey Skeir
Visiting Hours: Tuesday - Thursday - 5pm - 12am
Friday and Saturday - 5pm - 2am
Map It: 1008-1010 Queen St. E. (just east of Pape)
Phone It In: (416) 461-5663
Check out our Facebook page for more photos.