Central Social Hall – Grand Opening
I work in the Associated Engineering Plaza where the doomed sushi restaurant was situated. I am unsure of the name, but when I read the eviction notice on the door when I first started there, they did not look like they were very “upstanding” tenants.
I was excited to see that construction had begun with a new tenant and was intrigued by their marketing campaign. They had a few quirky videos that were advertising “Public Conversation”. I scoured Twitter and the internets to see what I could find out about them, which wasn’t much. The last month or so of the campaign they finally gave their operating name “Central Social Hall”, got their website, Facebook, and Twitter on the go. They are part of the Two12 Social Co.
The menu was not online on opening day which was a little disappointing. They had however, left a copy at our reception desk to get some interest from the neighbours. I was also fortunate that one of my clients was hired in the kitchen so he was able to recommend some of the things that he like on the menu.
Looking on to the bar on Grand Opening day.
The decor is pleasant. They have cozy two person booths lining the walls and group booths on the floor. The monitors were set to “Conversation Starters” – bits of trivia and information to discuss. The Manager was there to greet people and direct them to seat themselves. They do not currently take reservations for lunch.
The menu is a one page affair – relatively standard “Gastro-Pub” fare with their own flare on a lot of the items. Appetizers run from ten to thirteen dollars, salads from ten to eighteen dollars and entrees from fifteen to seventeen dollars.
The beverage menu is where Central Social Hall differs from the rest – they have a lovely variety of craft beers and martinis on tap – yes you read that correctly! Martinis on tap!
Since I was only there for lunch that day, I chose the Crispy Mac & Cheese; Deep fried Mac & Cheese squares filled with premium cheese and ham; a new spin on an old favourite.
A new spin on an old favourite.
As you can see the presentation is pleasant – the sauce on the side is ketchup.
The texture of the Mac & Cheese was pleasant. I found the taste was rather bland. I would have like to have tried it with a sharp cheddar or have had some hot sauce to accompany it.
My lunch companion had the “Fruit and Nut Salad” which she commented, was very refreshing and tasty.
I chose the appetizer as the main for lunch so that I could indulge in one of the three desserts on the menu. I chose the Creme Brulee.
As you can see from above – very nice presentation. The signature in chocolate and berry on the bottom is a very nice touch. The raspberries brightened everything up. The kitchen did a beautiful job of torching the sugar – it had a very nice crust on top.
The custard was smooth and tasty – not heavy or overpowering. Very tasty.
My lunch companion chose the Red Velvet Cake which was also very beautiful – very deep red. She commented that it was good but she had made better at home.
The downtown restaurants are notoriously busy at lunch and most strive to get the patrons through lunch as quickly as they can so they can get back to the daily grind. I was a little disappointed in the time it took to get the food to the table – 40 minutes. I was almost hesitant to order dessert but decided it should be relatively quick. I was late to get back to work, but luckily my lunch companion was my boss.
Will I go back again – yes. I will chalk it up to opening day jitters and certainly give them another try. I am a “three strikes and you’re out” kinda gal. I can see myself sipping martinis with friends and engaging in “Public Conversation”. It is a nice place to leave your social media behind and visit with great friends.
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