High-end chicken bar eagerly awaited, Social perch, is officially open tomorrow, December 27, in downtown St. Pete, and it’s anything but conventional. For the owners, Rob Bowen and Jason Teabout, grilled, blackened or fried just weren’t going to cut it.
Owners Jason Teaabout and Rob Bowen
“When people hear about a chicken restaurant,” says Jason, “they immediately think of nuggets or fries. But we are something totally different.
His partner, Rob, set a menu down on the table, the light from the glittering gold walls reflecting off his sleek black shirt. He explained to me the vision of the restaurant. “We’re both frequent travelers,” he explained, “And we’ve noticed that everywhere we go people always eat chicken. It is the most versatile protein. They cook it their own way, but everyone cooks chicken.
I glanced at the menu, realizing what I was going to do. Social Roost wasn’t about to cook chicken in 12 different styles – they were going to cook it from 12 different styles. countries.
And, judging by the smells emanating from New York chef Susan Burdain’s kitchen, it was going to be good.
An international itinerary in downtown St. Pete
With a huge selection of global dishes available, a cultured foodie could easily get lost in Social Roost’s menu. However, any server worth its salt will recommend that you start with the chicken samosas. So grab these culinary passports as we start our poultry journey in India.
Folded into crisp, golden triangles, these sub-Asian bites are the perfect way to kick off a Social Roost meal. With tender, spicy meat stuffed at the corners with a crispy, fried phyllo dough, these delicious “nosh” snacks are the perfect sponges to soak up Chef Susan’s homemade dips. Of both sauces, I would suggest the cilantro ginger.
Oh, and don’t just soak— soak.
DTSP Fried Chicken
Next stop on our international gastronomic journey: Korea. Yes, you read that right.
Fried chicken might sound quintessentially American, but Social Roost’s version of this patriotic staple comes with a twist. With many fond memories of Seoul and its tasty food, Rob and Jason set out to design a Korean-inspired spice blend that would give an otherwise predictable dish a high touch. Combine their batter with a side of grated Asian coleslaw, and the result is a comfortable and reliable classic with subtle hints of global flair.
These fun little bar bites are an ode to another culinary hotspot; Thailand. Playing on the famous peanut dish, Chicken Satay, the Social Roost team creates their Thai “PB&J” through lightly salted peanut butter wing frosting and a sweet chili sauce.
Also, note that this is not the only Thai dish on the menu. In the appetizer section, Chicken Khao Soi combines tender bird, Asian vegetables and noodles in a curry and coconut sauce that is sure to satisfy those in need of spice.
Chicken pot pie
Ahh, the good old United States.
Apparently, the average American consumes 1,423 chickens throughout their lifetime. If I had a choice, I would like as many of them as possible to be whipped into Social Roost Chicken Pie.
With a buttered puff pastry floating above the bechamel cream sauce and sweet potatoes cleverly replacing the average Yukon, this pot pie is top notch. For me it was a mix between this and the samosas for the best dish of the night, so I highly recommend ordering both.
In fact, just get more of the two. Your midnight munchies will thank you.
Curious about the rest of the international menu? Then spread those wings and follow the herds to 150 First Avenue N.
And if the element of surprise isn’t enough to get you off your couch, they’ve churros.
So it probably should.