188 East Bay, Charleston, South Carolina
Wine, Tapas, International
$$ — Entrees for $13-17
Social, located on Charleston’s busy and exceptionally touristy East Bay Street, is a chic wine bar. The dark decor and low lighting give you an intimate, big-city experience all in close proximity to all Charleston has to offer–both sites and tastes.
Social is predominately a wine bar, with the centerpiece behind the bar being an entire row of those super cool wine dispensers like this one:
But don’t worry beer-lovers, they also have at least 4 craft beers on tap and also a full liquor bar.
Being a wine bar, they have a huge menu of wine and even a cellar that holds an insane numbers of bottles (their website is claiming 4,000). Their menu is grouped by types, flavors and regions. I went in for the RIOJA FLIGHT ($17) which featured three of their small (2.5 oz) pours of wines hand-selected to go well together, complete with instructions from the waitress on the most appropriate order to sample.
Opting for what seemed like the most traditional of wine bar starters, we ordered the TAPAS PLATE ($10). With pickled garlic, chorizo, speck, lemon-stuffed dates, paprika almonds and olives, I wouldn’t necessarily have considered it a “tapas plate,” but the choices were all very good with lots of attention to detail. I was a bit hesitant about the pickled garlic, but it turned out to be chilled and made for a very crisp, refreshing bite. It was by far not a very filling sampler, but it seems to go perfectly with a few glasses of red wine on a Saturday afternoon.
They’ve got a rather extensive menu, but it was obvious after looking around that their pizzas were the most popular items on the menu. We dove into the MUSHROOM PIZZA ($15) and were nothing but impressed. I would like to give lots of credit to the chef, but he had a leg up from the get-go since I’ve yet to find a dish I don’t love with crimini mushrooms, truffle oil and goat cheese. Those ingredients, combined with the crispy, light brown crust from the very fresh dough, made for an amazing pizza… One I will definitely be back for.
BOTTOM LINE: Social’s great atmosphere, delicious food, reasonable prices and convient location have guaranteed our return.