A serious adventurer and foodie, I make it my business when traveling to never eat at the same place or somewhere I can eat at home. So, during my quick trip to NYC this weekend my heart but mostly my stomach, craved a meal of depth and substance. And that is exactly what I got. After battling the traffic and finding myself in tunnel after tunnel, I landed at SoCo restaurant in Brooklyn, New York.
SoCo specializes in Southern Fused Cuisine with a tagline of So Jazzy, So Brooklyn. Walking through the door I was ready to absorb the “ SO Brooklyn” atmosphere, but was stopped in my tracks as 3 of my guests were asked to remove their hats due to a, “No Hat” policy.Although I understand the desire to create an upscale atmosphere, the idea of adults having to do anything when patronizing an establishment slightly rubbed me the wrong way. But after everyone briefly debated rather they were going to comply or keep it pushing we decided to stay, nappy heads on display and all.
While being walked to our table, our bad hair day thoughts quickly dissipated as we heard familiar hip hop tunes being recreated by violinist/dj Phear None. As we were seated and throughout the night he would go on to play hits from: Drake, Wale, Young Thug, Tory Lanes and more. It completely set the atmosphere giving you what you know but reaching you in a way you hadn’t expected. It was dope. We were set at a very beautiful large wooden table overlooking the restaurant in a way that made us feel nothing less of VIP. As I looked across the room, all guests were dancing, singing, laughing and eating- these were definitely good signs.
Looking across the menu with black and white photos of icons such as Brooklyn’s own Notorious BIG, I was pleased to see the culture being celebrated and executed in a unique but not gaudy way.The inside of the menu intrigued me even more. It was filled with cajun/creole, barbecue, soul food and everything in between. I didn’t know where to begin. After taking entirely too long to decide, I finally chose the lobster, shrimp and grits. I am actually hailed for my cover of shrimp and grits that includes clam meat so I can be very picky when it comes to the flavors. Needless to say, flavor was no issue here. As our plates arrived, ( within a very good time frame) our excitement heightened. My plate, not only with satisfying portions of lobster and shrimp, was also dressed with fresh herbs and spices for days. The grits were perfectly prepared with a excellent balance of cheese and perfect texture. This was truly the best shrimp and grits interpretation I’ve ever had. They receive a Ms. White stamp of approval 10 stars for that dish.
My companions had blackened salmon, bbq chicken and another had chicken and red velvet waffles. Each person non-verbally gave the same review clearing their plates in record time.We were so stuffed but greed took over as we dared to go towards dessert. One friend had a strawberry shortcake rendition that was one for the books. A small mason jar was filled to the top with cake, strawberries, whipped-cream and ice cream. Another one ordered the banana wontons. This was beyond phenomenal with a perfectly flaky shell all on a small pool of hot caramel that melts your soul. One word to sum up the food at SoCo, delicious!
One word to describe the entire experience…I can’t think of one. But one sentence would be; excellent food and dope atmosphere. Customer service was on point although they do fast talk you into purchasing large bottles of water for your table. Clearly not regulars we didn’t know, so when offered a bottle of water or tap we quickly said bottled. We later realized we were the only ones with the $6 name brand water on our tables while all other patrons had what the waiter called Tap water in a similar glass bottle. Other than that small observation this establishment gets 5 stars.