Comfort Food for the Hip and Fabulous

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Can mac-n-cheese be sexy?

At Society, a new restaurant and bar in Vancouver’s Yaletown warehouse district, it just might be.  Society, which bills itself as a dining lounge, is based on an unusual premise:  down-home comfort food served in a hip, sensual setting, complete with DJ and velvet sofas

“It’s a sexy room.  It’s a sultry room,” says John-Paul Lamb, who handles marketing for Glowbal, the restaurant group behind Society and several new, high-energy restaurants in Vancouver, including Italian Kitchen and Coast.  “We want it to be a playroom for Yaletown, a spot where you can come and spend the whole evening.”

I had a chance to check out Society at its opening this afternoon.  And the premise – as unconventional as it sounds – seems to work.  Inside, Society is stylish without being intimidating.  The dark floor and walls give the open dining room a moody, conspiratorial feel.  Suspended from the ceiling, two ornate pink chandeliers – straight from the set of Moulin Rouge – add a scandalous edge.  Slip across the dining room, and you’ll notice a staircase leading to a discrete upstairs lounge, concealed from below by an intricate facade.

But what about the food?  The menu is dominated by home-cooked classics like meatloaf and mac-n-cheese that evoke simpler culinary times, long before cucumber foams and torch-seared seafood became requisite menu items.  This doesn’t mean, however, that recipes haven’t been updated. Society’s mac-n-cheese is made with winter truffles and parmesan gratin.  Meatloaf is served with wild mushroom gravy.  And the Shepherd’s Pie comes stuffed with Atlantic lobster.

“We’re going for classic, American comfort food,” says Society manager Ryan McDonald.  “Something you ate as a kid is definitely going to be on this menu.”

The other part of the Society experience is the bar.  Drinks, too, represent a kind of R-rated version of childhood favorites.  Among the more decadent options are milkshakes spiked with bourbon and a potent mix that incorporates big swirls of cotton candy.  Between the drinks, the original menu and the lounge, Society aims to be a one-stop option for people looking for a night on the town.

“We want this to be everyone’s hangout spot,” Ryan says.

Anyone had the chance to check out Society?  Do you think the comfort food/Moulin Rouge vibe works?  Let me know by adding a comment below.

Remy Scalza

www.remyscalza.com

A travel blog about places you haven’t been

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  1. Pingback: Society Dining Lounge in Inside Vancouver « Glowbal Group Blog