May 17, 2007 | BITE: My Journal

Stanton Social 

Slip slidin away at Stanton Social.  Photo: Steven Richter

   I was wild about chef Chris Santos’ sharing plates at Stanton Social when I wrote about them in May, 2005. Four of us even managed to find a quiet corner for grownups one evening revelling in pulled pork sliders and lamb shank tacos. But I knew once the nighttime hotties moved in we wouldn’t be able to handle the uproar in this acoustical nightmare much less score a table.

    Then suddenly it seemed the perfect place to celebrate the Road Food Warrior’s birthday.  “Ask for a quiet table,” I instructed my friend Eddie who had a connection to massage when the house was fully booked. 
    Alas the quiet table no longer exists.  Even those of us without life-lived-to-the-hilt diminished eardrums –- could not hear across our big round table – and we older rock groupies and disco junkies could barely hear ourselves.  But all of us, Stanton Social familiars and first timers are delighted with these savory riffs on everything Americans love to eat -- French Onion Soupy dumplings, wild plum and brie quesadilla, charred squid lettuce wraps, a shockingly perfect wood grilled pizzetta. And when a dish offers four cakes or five pierogies, or three triangles, the house is willing to add a pierogie or two or three and charge accordingly so no one at the table has to split or abstain. And nothing is more than $20. Six bucks for a small Kobe slider leaves cash for more delicious excess.

    (In my crowd if the kitchen sends out one of each cookie as a farewell there may be mayhem, even a divorce.)
And we are not the only AARP candidates tonight I notice.  Everyone  -- grey beards and Lolitas -- is laughing and clinking glasses and pretending they can hear every word.  Our insatiable seven (Insatiability seems to be contagious) has managed to polish off two dishes too many -- only the ancho-caramel glazed pork tenderloin does not find favor. Are we too groggy for dessert?  At that moment a giant platter of sweet childhood treats lands in front of the birthday guy. Mini milk shake, luscious warm donuts with a trio of dipping sauces, chocolate pudding cakes, Mom’s best homemade cookies and a better-than-Twinkle with a flickering candle.

    I can’t even pick out a shirt for this guy anymore.  His taste is so personal, unfathomable and fussy.  But this time, I’ve certainly scored with the birthday celebration.  By the time we get home, our ears will probably stop ringing. And long after we’re doing zzzz’s, Stanton Social will still be nurturing the young and the restless, heat-seeking vampires and free range insomniac as the kitchen stays open till 2 a.m. most nights and till 3 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.

    99 Stanton Street between Ludlow and Delancey. 212 995 0099. 


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