I was really looking forward to eating at Stanton Social after all the good reviews on Chowhounds. I made a reservation online and was instructed to call and confirm day of. When I called to confirm I was kept on hold for 10min. We got to Stanton Social early and planned on having a drink at the bar. The lounge area was reserved for a private party and the bar was open for 15 more minutes to the public (a new name for customers) . When the bartender placed my Manhattan on the bar he spilled a good part of the drink making a nice little puddle. Personally I think a bartender should apologize, clean the mess and then make a fresh drink. Stanton Social follows a different social norm. We were given the check.
After cocktails we went back down stairs. The hostess was swamped. It was chaotic. I was jostled a few times by employees it was very strange. One of them said excuse me followed by a quick pardon me. The hostess was very nice but clearly needed help. She was on the phone, greeting people, assigning tables. It was very hectic. We were assigned a table on the second floor by the bar. The table was near the bathroom. Busboys were carrying crates around. With a large private party in the lounge and bar I realized there would be people going in and out of the bathroom all night long. I like eating in a urinal as much as the next guy. I mentioned this to our waiter. He was rude and told me to go speak with the hostess. The hostess was very nice and said there would be a table ready for us in 15min in the main dining room.
Since the bar was closed to the paying public we had to wait around by the coat check. Finally we were seated in the diningroom. The first thing that struck me was how load and crammed together the tables were. Stanton Social obviously is not a non for profit institution. Our waiter was a nice guy. Now on to the food. First we had the Onion Dumplings which I had heard so much about. I asked my wife what she thought of them. She said nothing special. I agreed and added that it sort of reminded me on microwavable tv dinner food. The we had some Kobe beef sliders; nothing great. Give me shake shake burgers over these any days. The lobster roll was not very good. Too much mayonnaise, not enough lobster and I think they put celery in it. My wife loved the look of the mini fish tacos. Unfortunately for her food is primarily meant to be eaten and after one bite she was non too thrilled. I am a little picky about fish. She advised me to not even try it. Last entree was the braised short rib tacos. It was okay nothing memorable. The dishes where brought by busboys who would drop then on the table.
After a cocktails and a bottle of wine I had to take use the restroom. There was a line of people waiting since there was only one bathroom on the first floor. I guess Stanton Social figured lets add more tables and skimp on the bathrooms. After about 5 minutes I made it back to the table. Behind our table was a large table of about 10 people. One man at this table keep on getting up and yelling to people in his party What is your sign. He was very load and obnoxious. This went on and on. I felt like I was at a bar mitsva. Finally I asked our waiter what was going on. It turns out the group had hired a magician of sorts and he was performing for them. When I asked the waiter if he could do something, he replied I am the waiter I cant say anything. At this point I asked to speak to the manager. He said he would do something, however there was no change.
Finally we ordered dessert. We had the donuts, which I guess they were the culinary high point of the meal. I really dont get what all the hype is about. What a joke of a restaurant.