Highly anticipated upscale chicken bar, Social Roost, is officially open tomorrow, December 27, in downtown St. Pete—and it’s anything but conventional. To owners, Rob Bowen and Jason Teabout, grilled, blackened, or fried simply wasn’t going to cut it.
Owners Jason Teabout and Rob Bowen
“When people hear about a chicken restaurant,” says Jason, “They’re immediately thinking nuggets or fried. But we’re something totally different.”
His partner, Rob, laid a menu on the table, the light of the glittering gold walls reflecting off of his sleek, black button-down. He walked me through the restaurant’s vision. “We’re both big travelers,” he explained, “And we noticed that, everywhere we go, people are always eating chicken. It’s the most versatile protein. They prepare it their own way, but everyone’s cooking chicken.”
I glanced at the menu, realizing what I was in for. Social Roost wasn’t about to cook chicken in 12 different styles—they were going to cook it from 12 different countries.
And, judging from the smells wafting in from New York chef Susan Burdain’s kitchen, it was going to be good.
An international itinerary in downtown St. Pete
With an extensive selection of global dishes available, a cultured foodie could easily get lost in Social Roost’s menu. Any waiter worth his salt, however, will recommend that you begin with the chicken samosas. So grab those culinary passports, because we’re starting our poultry journey in India.
Folded into crisp, golden brown triangles, these sub-Asian bites are the best way to kick off a Social Roost meal. With tender, spiced meat stuffed to the corners of crunchy, flash-fried phyllo dough, these tasty “nosh” snacks make perfect sponges for soaking up chef Susan’s house made dips. Out of the two sauces, I’d suggest the cilantro ginger.
Oh, and don’t just dip— dunk.
DTSP Fried Chicken
Next stop on our international food journey: Korea. Yes, you read that right.
Fried chicken may seem quintessentially American, but Social Roost’s version of this patriotic staple comes with a twist. With many fond memories of Seoul and its distinctly flavorful cuisine, Rob and Jason set out to design a Korean inspired spice blend that would give an elevated touch to an otherwise predictable dish. Combine their batter with a side of shredded Asian slaw, and the result is a reliable, comfort classic with subtle notes of global flair.
These fun little bar bites are an ode to yet another culinary hotspot; Thailand. Playing on the well-known peanut dish, chicken satay, the Social Roost team creates their Thai “PB&J” through a lightly salted peanut butter wing glaze and accompanying sweet chili dipping sauce.
Also, side note, this isn’t the only Thai dish on the menu. In the entrée section, the Chicken Khao Soi combines tender bird, Asian vegetables, and noodles in a coconut curry sauce that’s certain to satisfy those with a need for spice.
Chicken Pot Pie
Ahh—the good old USA.
Apparently the average American consumes 1423 chickens throughout their lifetime. If I had a choice, I’d want as many of those as possible to be whipped into a Social Roost chicken pot pie.
With buttered puff pastry floating above bechamel cream sauce and sweet potatoes cleverly replacing the average Yukon, this pot pie is top-tier. For me, it was a toss-up between this and the samosas for the best dish of the night, thus I’d highly recommend ordering both.
Actually, just get multiple of both. Your midnight munchies will thank you.
Hungry for more?
Curious about the rest of the international menu? Then spread those wings and follow the flocks to 150 First Avenue N.
And if the element of surprise isn’t enough to get you off your couch, they have churros.
So that should probably do it.