49 Social Puts a Contemporary Twist on the Classic Neighborhood Watering Hole
Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Downtown Crossing, the charming bistro front of 49 Social stands out against its pub neighbors. Located at 49 Temple Place, the restaurant’s large airy windows give passersby a glimpse of the rustic exposed brick walls and cushioned parsons chairs that await them inside. Friendly waiters greet guests and invite them to sit at the expansive bar or the large booths or tables, which are sized to accommodate groups. The cozy atmosphere of 49 Social invites guests to kick back, relax, and enjoy a meal with friends, so naturally I met a friend there after a long day of work, ready to unwind with good food and conversation.
The drink menu of 49 Social pays homage to the nearby theaters and opera house with a selection of creative cocktails named after songs from popular musicals. As a fan of both raspberry and Rent, I ordered the Seasons of Love, a vodka based cocktail made with ginger beer, lemongrass simple, and raspberry puree. It was the perfect refreshing fruity drink for a spring day and got the meal off to a great start. I was starting to feel relaxed already.
The restaurant has a rotating bar menu of appetizers and snacks, and I couldn’t resist trying the bacon fries. Thick pieces of crispy bacon topped glistening golden fries for a perfect salty snack. I also talked myself into a side of truffle mac and cheese, which arrived in a small crock topped with crumbs. The truffle flavor was perfectly melded with the creamy cheese for a gooey, savory dish. I decided to temper my bar snacks with a crisp green Caesar salad, light on the cheese and dressing. The classic Caesar taste was still present despite the dressing’s lightness.
After my starters I was afraid my eyes were bigger than my stomach, but the pasta with seasonal vegetables in a white wine garlic sauce sounded too good to pass up. The resulting dish was a colorful medley of tomatoes, peppers, and green beans sauteed in a savory wine sauce. The thin al dente pasta complemented the variety of vegetable flavors without overwhelming and the bright colors and textures of the vegetables brought some nice pizazz to an otherwise simple dish.
Even though I had sampled a large portion of the menu, I made sure to save room for dessert. I opted for the traditional New York cheesecake, which came topped with chocolate ice cream and a berry glaze and was accompanied with a side of mango slices. This dish was the ideal mixture of dessert flavors: tartness from the glaze, sweetness from the fruit, richness from the ice cream, and creaminess from the cheesecake. I polished it off in shockingly few bites.
49 Social is the perfect gathering place for groups of friends to hang out and unwind in Downtown Crossing. Ideal for retiring after a long day at the office, taking a break from shopping in the city, or grabbing dinner before a show, the cordial atmosphere and creative menu of 49 Social make it the kind of place that turns locals into regulars.