Are we curling crazy? A little, for sure! For the men’s gold medal curling match on Saturday afternoon, we decided to head out to Gastown as we were scheduled to meet with friends visiting from Newfoundland later for supper. We didn’t want to miss any ends because of transit, so we got there a little early and looked around for somewhere nice to enjoy the game.
Peaking through windows to see what was playing on various places’ TVs, we spotted So.Cial at Le Magasin‘s downstairs bar. Seemed good to us!
We sidled up to the bar in this very red room, and asked what was on tap. The friendly barkeep offered me a sample of the Red Truck lagger, but after a sip, I decided to go with the Red Truck Ale instead. Chris liked the bitterness of the fresh hopps in the lagger, so he enjoyed the rest of my generous sample plus a pint of his own too.
The ale was served good and cold in a chilled glass. I’m still getting used to various kinds of beer, so all I can say is that it wasn’t to fizzy, nor too bitter or too sweet. I liked it, but drank it very slow because it still had a ‘sharp’ taste to it that I wasn’t used to.
To help tide us over until supper, we ordered one of their tapas – a cheese platter. I was a bit suprised that when I asked if they offered a charcuterie platter, (1) the waitress had no clue what I was talking about, and (2) that they actually didn’t offer one, especially given that they have an in-house deli upstairs! Oh well.
Inspired by Kim‘s amazing pictures, I tried to take a glamour shot of this platter. 🙂 Not bad for a point & shoot camera, eh?
But, this is what the Cheese Plate actually looked like: prettily cut pears and strawberries were placed around three cheese offerings: a goat cheese ball rolled in ground black pepper, a very crumbly “wedge” of blue cheese, and a small pointe of cheddar studded with (more) black peppercorns and dabbed with a truffled honey. All three cheese were very good, and while I guess the repetition of the black pepper was supposed to tie the goat cheese and the cheddar together, it was a little heavy on one flavour. I wished they would have sliced the blue cheese more neatly …
Some crostini and “candied nuts” (that look like granola in the above picture) were included in the platter, placed amongst the other items, but I have to admit that they were a little disappointing. Two of the 5 crostini came broken – this is something really cheap for them to replace, so I don’t understand why they were left on our platter (and in clear view on the top of the stacks, of all things). The nuts were not like any other candied nuts I’ve had (or made) before – some pistachio chunks were visible, but this was mostly powdered walnut bits and pulverized “candied” coating. I was expecting something more like this (BTW – I “heart” David Lebovitz‘ recipes). It almost felt like we were given the “bottom of the cereal bag dust” version of what should have been candied nuts. Maybe we were just unlucky?
The damage – not bad! The beers were much cheaper than I was expecting, and given that we hung out for nearly 2 hours watching Kevin Martin destroy Norway 6 to 3 (with pretty amazing shots by Johnny Morris), I think the price was right.
We left through the upstairs restaurant, which looked gorgeous, and maybe worth checking out to give So.Cial a second shot. On the way out, though, the view was even more spectacular:
We are pretty lucky to have such a unique neighbourhood in our city!