BY CAROL ONOFREY
Since it’s opening in 2005, The Stanton Social has been a staple on the Lower East Side for inventive tapas in a swank setting, drawing the rich, famous, and fashionable from around the globe. Although getting a reservation may be a bit difficult on some nights, the upstairs lounge is a great alternative to the downstairs dining room for stopping by to meet a few friends for a drink at the bar or grabbing a sexy banquet space perfect for lounging and snuggling while you sip on a signature drink from the diverse cocktail list.
*Try the Cucumber -Vanilla Cosmo ($13) for a light and refreshing cocktail to sip on while you gawk at the cute bartenders.
Executive chef/owner Chris Santos has created a plethora of comfort food and inspired tapas from around the world. Standouts include the sweet and salty French onion soup dumplings ($12), served piping hot (don’t burn your mouth!) and covered with crisp and gooey cheese browned inside the broiler and the barbecue duck confit and black bean empanadas ($10), served with a blood orange jam and bursting with flavor and moist duck confit. Other can’t miss dishes include the sinfully, too-rich-for-your-own-good ‘Kobe Philly’ ($9) with a truffle and goat cheese fondue, and the nori spiced tuna tartare roll ($13), a refreshing start to your meal.
Try two or three of these small plates per person and don’t forget dessert! Classics like the warm homemade doughnuts and the double chocolate chip cookies are always a satisfying end to your meal.