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For French Onion Soup Dumplings: "The Stanton Social" Part Two- My Return

It seems to have gone by in a flash but I have not been to The Stanton Social in over three years. Time flies when you are craving French Onion Soup Dumplings and haven’t been since that time. It is a wonder I finally made it back there last night. I couldn’t have been more excited. I felt like a kid counting down the days until Christmas. If there really is a Santa I would appreciate another order of these then. I know I will always enjoy these dumplings, as they are one of the very best dishes I have ever tasted. They get extra points for the creative use of a traditional meal.
In 2012 my journey to Stanton Social ( had me only focused on one thing: Claire Robinson of the Food Network and her description of the above mentioned dumplings.
Once I was there I was in love with the atmosphere of this very cool, fresh, innovative restaurant. The entire menu is meant to be ordered for groups (even as small as two people) to share. The portions are not family style as you would find in say Carmines ( Here you can order more dishes to try because there are fewer bites. This solves a problem I often have, deciding what to order because everything seems irresistible. Believe me this is a bigger problem for me then when I don’t like anything on a menu, even though that doesn’t happen much anymore. If I am going to a restaurant, regardless of whether I write about it, there is something I am longing to eat there. Otherwise what’s the point?
Since my last visit I notice that the menu has changed some but their signature dumplings remain on the list. I doubt they are going anyplace anytime soon, thankfully. I like knowing they are there whenever I need some.
Last night was also the final night of Restaurant Week of which The Stanton Social had been a part.  So that menu gets tossed into the mix. I stuck with my pattern of ordering whatever sounds good. After all it could be three more years before I am back in the neighborhood.

A lot has changed for me personally in terms of my health and eating out. For starters last time I was not allowed to have alcohol because of my migraine medications. However this time I can and I have to say I still remember some of the pretty drinks I missed out on last time. Although I am tempted to try some red wine after my success last week ( I ended up going with the Strawberry Fields off the menu. It tasted good but was too strong for me to finish. Vodka and me are not quite yet back to being friends.

As for the meal we were there for what else? The French Onion Soup Dumplings, obviously. There were two of us so we needed two orders. Then we decided to try the Social Mac & Cheese (with spicy Italian sausage & peppers), House Brined Pastrami Reuben Quesadilla (Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, mustard aioli), Coconut Curry Samosa  (housemade paneer, peas,
cilantro yogurt sauce), and Potato & Goat Cheese Pierogies  (caramelized onions, truffle creme fraiche).
They all looked so tasty. I was anxious to take a bite of everything. But only hesitation is that I never know quite how to order. There are so many kinds of foods and flavors at a place like this that I never have any confidence in what I order. Maybe I am doing it wrong? There really should be a guide to follow.
Our meal ended up going pretty well except the combination and the order they came out in could have been better. The pierogies are amazing anyone who tastes them probably could eat way more than the few that were served. I certainly could have. The dumplings had stood the test of time for me but I was informed that the aged cheese used is too strong for some people, not me I am a lover of all cheese.
Turns out I no longer like coconut so the samosas were good but would have been better without that ingredient. The mac & cheese was all right but nothing special. The Reuben quesadillas also were odd but inventive. I think most of the foods on the menu sound good but end up having one flavor that doesn’t quite fit in. I appreciate that it is a way to push comfort foods into a new direction. Sometimes it’s a swing and a miss. I would have loved to interview some fellow patrons to see what they liked and disliked. I would really be curious to know those stats.
After this meal we were incredibly full. I couldn’t breathe and I said it many times. The place couldn’t have been more packed in and I was happy to step outside and get fresh air when I left. I was surprised I couldn’t find room to try one of the desserts. I thought about it but really couldn’t imagine taking another bite of anything. I was full and satisfied.
My return to The Stanton Social had been something I have longed to cross off my list. Now I am eager to continue trying new foods at restaurant I haven’t yet been to, here in my empire state of my mind, and stomach.
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