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foodbitch says:

VIPeek at Private | Social (@privatesocial, @masterchefTD)

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I knew being invited to a media lunch preview was pretty awesome. What I didn’t realize, was that it would be such a lengthy experience! This bitch has a day job! But I did appreciate the effort and certainly the exciting items we we sampled at the preview of Private | Social on McKinney Avenue in Uptown. 

A little background:

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Chef Tiffany Derry was a contestent on Bravo’s Top Chef series and now she’s staking her claim to a spot on McKinney Avenue just south of Hall Street. The space resembles Central 214′s space with elegant mixed metals and a soothing palette of neutrals. Like a clean, white plate, the space is set to let the food shine.

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“Chefs are rock stars. There’s the band,” Derry explained as she gestured toward the kitchen. The chef’s room features a huge picture window showcasing “the band” to Derry’s rockstardom.

Chef Derry is a shining star herself, with grace, humor and quiet confidence in her work. First, she detailed the restaurant’s space and layout. There’s a “private” space featuring intimate tables and the chef’s room, as well as a “social” space with communal seating and a bar featuring mixologist Rocco, who describes himself as an “accomplished bullshit artist.” Menus in the two spaces are different, but can cross over if desired by a guest on either side. Both feature locally-sourced ingredients with an elegant, southern flair.

Okay, okay let’s see what graced my tastebuds yesterday!

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Servers were friendly and plentiful, but there were a few hiccups with timing and necessary items like champagne glasses, tea sweeteners and tea spoons on the table.

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Serious and composed, Chef Derry checked each dish before it was passed out.

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First course: Top Chef Pork Buns 
A winning item on the show, Derry updated this dish with pork belly which looked perfectly cooked and crispy. The slaw was spicy and sweet and the bun was gooey in a good way.

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Second: Pastrami Cured Hiramasa
Okay I admit I had to look up what hiramasa was. It’s a fish from the yellowtail family. This genius dish features two sashimi-thin slices cured in pastrami fashion, slightly smokey and flavorful. Then it was topped with a coriander vinaigrette, pickled chiles and tomato jam. It brought the heat and there were moments of fresh herbs like mint that suprised and delighted me.

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Third: White Sturgeon
This intensely meaty fish was surrounded by a blue crab chowder that was studded with fingerling potatoes, chunks of pancetta and veggies in small dice, which was poured at the table.  

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Champagne break…
Sexy sommelier D’Lynn Proctor poured elegant glasses of bubbly whose name started with “Louis Vuitton” and ended with “Chandon”. I was intrigued. And it was really excellent. Coming from someone less than enthusiastic about champagne in general, I would drink that again for sure. Especially when not on my lunch hour, and when poured by Proctor.

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Fourth: Braised Oxtails
This savory treat featured meaty, shredded oxtail with perfectly cooked rapini and sheeps milk cheese atop gnudi, which I describe as dumplin’-like pillows of doughy, cheesy goodness. Try this when you go. Well, try everything. 

Speaking of trying everything, we were given the opening menu for Private | Social as parting gifts. Starter tastes range from $12 to $15, soups and salads are $8 and $10, and entrees will set you back between $24 and $36.

No dessert?
Well, it was getting quite late and unfortunately, like I said, I have a day job. So, one last sip of champagne and I was out of there. Even without a taste of Tiffany’s Decadent Chocolate Cake with Chai Gelato, I felt like one lucky bitch.

You should all go visit Private | Social soon. Like, really soon. My only fear for this spot is that McKinney Avenue is a douche minefield and that those folks might stumble into Private | Social and claim it as their own. Get out there before that happens so you can let the delicious food shine without the aid of too much bling.

Enjoy!

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1 Comment / 1125 days ago / foodbitch says: /

Comments (1)

MJ
24. Sep, 2011

I will definitely have to check this place out! Thanks for the posting