My experience with the Revival Social Club won't be soon forgotten! A second date, on Valentine's Day, no pressure! Of course, I hadn't made a reservation yet because I'm a terrible planner (I'm working on it, though). That leaves me on the morning of February 14th scrambling to make a reservation for a restaurant that fits my extensive list of requirements on one of the busiest restaurant days!
Those criteria would include but are not limited to non-chain restaurants, a cozy atmosphere, exposed brick is always a plus, sophisticated without being over the top, and an interesting food and cocktail menu.
After I calm my last-minute planning anxiety, I initiate a thorough review process that starts by searching Yelp for restaurants in an area and browsing their cuisine, food pics, and rating. Once I find a place that interests me on Yelp, I'll cross-reference that restaurant on Google. The cross-referencing part is something I recently implemented; it's proven to be a valuable step thus far! When a restaurant passes the two-step review process, I then move forward confidently with the selection! I take my restaurant experiences seriously!
Last-minute planning for the big day
On this particular day, Valentine's Day, I knew it would be challenging to get a last-minute reservation. I made the online reservation for Revival Social Club through Yelp, and to my surprise, I was able to book a table for the time I had requested. To double-check, I selected another time, and it was available as well! For a moment, I thought this must not be working. Nonetheless, I made the online reservation through Yelp and crossed my fingers. Once the restaurant opened, I called to confirm the reservation. RESERVATION CONFIRMED! Anxiety relieved, part 2!
Another one of my fatal flaws, which I've developed over time, is the inability to show up to places on time. Since this was a second date, I was meeting her at the restaurant and not picking her up. Right before leaving, I couldn't find my only hairband, causing my departure to be delayed as I searched the house, only to finally abort the search and decide to just go with a hair tie. Moreover, I get in my car and realize that I must stop and get gas! “My bad, boo. I'm going to be there 15 minutes late.”
First impressions of the Revival Social Club
Revival Social Club initially caught my eye with the enticing images of their menu (I love that they published it on their own!) and a 4.5-star rating backed by 142 Yelp reviewers. Pro-tip: there must be at least 50+ reviews to take the Yelp rating seriously, that way you know it’s not just the parents of the entire restaurant staff posting reviews about how great their kid is doing. With the restaurant posting their own professional food pictures, I was able to get a better idea of their dishes, as opposed to some amateur like me posting their own thinking they going to be the next Anthony Bourdain(RIP).
The Revival Social Club is in a charming historic building. It's as quaint and cozy on the inside as it would appear to be from the outside. It had my required exposed brick walls, hanging Edison bulbs, and black and white pictures hanging on the walls that created a sophisticated environment without the oftentimes accompanying pretentiousness. Valentine's Day restaurant checklist: intimate (check), warm (check), cozy (check), and safe (check).
I walked into the restaurant, provided the hostess with the name on the reservation, and she courteously escorted me to my awaiting date. I got to the table, sat down, as my date was waiting patiently. I apologized to her for my sloppy punctuality. She handled it very well! It was a good thing that she had wine to cheer her up. She offered me a sip, it turned out to be quite fantastic!
Food and beverages at the Revival Social Club
This is the best part of this Revival Social Club review. Once the waitress saw that I had arrived, she promptly made her way over to our table to ask for my drink order. I ordered the same as my date, a Cabernet, Joel Gott 815. It was smooth and mellow, I picked up the subtle notes of cherry and clove. The flavor wasn't too dramatic. You'd have no problem drinking this entire bottle yourself while bingeing your new favorite series.
Typically, Revival Social Club is closed on Mondays, another reason I had a hard time believing my reservation was valid. Since it was a holiday, they were open and were serving a pre-fixe menu. To their credit, they had the pre-fixe Revival Social Club menu and holiday hours published as soon as you clicked to make your reservation. The three courses per person were $60.00. With the amount of flavor they packed into those three courses, the meal could have cost twice that!
On course 1, my date had the Scallop Crudo, and I had the Arugula & Pomegranate Salad. I truly enjoyed the balance of flavors in the salad and the brightness that the pomegranate seeds brought to the dish. The plating of all the dishes was phenomenal. The Crudo was plated on a circular bed of razor-thin cucumber slices was a feast for the eyes. The attention to detail was impressive.
On Course 2, we both had the 6-ounce Filet. They were cooked to perfection! The idea of the pimento grits, fried Okra, and blackened shrimp really made the dish! I typically do not order add-ons, and while I enjoy shrimp, I never crave it enough to order it. Since they were part of the dish it was an unexpected delight! The slightly spicy blackened seasoning on the meaty shrimp gave the dish another brilliant layer of flavor and complexity. The Okra was crispy, seasoned just right, and added an additional textual component for a different mouthfeel. So far, this place is on the next level!
The waitress must have seen how hungry we were for our entrée and brought it out before the shrimp had been planted. She quickly came back to our table, apologized, and promised that she'd bring the shrimp right out immediately. True to her word, she quickly came right back from the kitchen. To me, an incident like that doesn't even register as an issue. It was self-diagnosed and promptly resolved. The only issue was that we waited to eat until she brought out the shrimp before taking our food pictures. Phones eat first, am I right?!
For Course 3, we both ordered the Dulce de Leche Lava Cake with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. I'll take Dulce de Leche over chocolate any day! The Lava Cake was soft and had a warm molten center, but not too warm. We would hate to see the ice cream melt too quickly! The milky-caramelly gooeyness of the souffle-like cake was a perfect way to wrap a meal. I’ve since added an extra day to my gym routine to compensate.
And so ends a wonderful day!
Toward the end of our great meal, the manager walked past our table to politely ask how everything was. Of course, we told her everything was excellent and that we really enjoyed our evening there. She was personable and genuine with her questions and didn't linger as some restaurant managers do. Which allowed me to get back to trying to impress my date, trying to compensate for my tardiness that started the evening.
We both needed containers to take our leftovers home. I intermittent fast and typically do not eat before 1 PM. It was incredibly hard to avoid eating those mouth-watering leftovers until 1 PM the following day. But once 1 PM hit, I was reliving those flavor bombs from the previous night!
I hope this Revival Social Club review is useful to anybody seeking a fantastic spot to go on an idealistic date or spend some quality time with their family. Lastly, the Revival Social Club website says that their goal "is to create innovative yet approachable dishes." I would say that they nailed it! See you soon, Revival Social Club!