The Social’s head chef, Isaac Meadows, sits at the end of the bar after lunch service scribbling on a thick clipboard of notes. To say he’s a hands-on chef is an understatement.
“I painted this bar,” said Meadows recalling the days leading up to the restaurant’s opening in April 2014.
Located in historic downtown Port Hope, The Social, a small but mighty restaurant, has been winning over locals and tourists with its farm-fresh menu.
The Social became the first designated Feast On certified restaurant in Northumberland, one of over 100 in Ontario. To be Feast On certified, 25 per cent of a restaurant’s total annual food receipts must reflect Ontario food and beverage purchases.
“Right now, we’re 70%. 20 per cent Northumberland and 50 per cent Ontario,” said Meadows.
The Social uses products from Northumberland’s Linwood Acres Trout Farm, Empire Cheese, Osland Farms (eggs and pork), Summer Green Farms and Turtle Back Hollow. They also serve craft beers from Ontario and a variety of Ontario wines.
When it comes to cooking, Meadows follows the umami approach combining sweet, salty, sour and bitter flavours.
“As long as you have those five components, you don’t have to over-complicate your dishes,” said Meadows.
The Social just rolled out its street patio and summer menu featuring a smoked trout maki roll, pulled pork steamed buns with homemade kimchi, a lamb burger, watermelon salad with local goat cheese, roasted red pepper and tomato soup, and a pea and asparagus soup. But they’re still serving up classic hits like the Cuban Ruben on fresh homemade bread, a prime rib burger served on a brioche bun, and of course, the fresh cut French fries served with the wildly popular basil mayo.
“My motto is creating accessible food that people know, but give them more than they expect,” said Meadows. “I make food people aren’t afraid of that still surprises them with a Social twist.”
Find out more at thesocialph.ca.