Everyone’s welcome at The Old Greenwich Social Club. Previously an Irish pub called Mackenzie’s, “OG Social” maintains a community atmosphere, serving comfort food that won’t weigh you down.
The restaurant could easily rest on its comfort factor and location (in a strip near the Old Greenwich train station) to attract families and commuters, but the menu is thoughtfully prepared. OG Social offers bar classics like burgers, meatloaf and meatballs as well as dishes with a twist, such as fish tacos, smoked trout dip and lobster mac.
Owner Jed Simon, a hospitality professional and Greenwich native, opened the restaurant in October. He says he completely renovated the inside of the restaurant, repainting the dark green walls and ceilings white and darkening the wood. Booths are enclosed in dark wainscoting and walls are decorated with paisley wallpaper, old photos and quirky knickknacks. You’ll feel like you’re in a cozy cabin.
OG Social hosts Connect Four nights, offering that game and others at the bar, and features drinks created by regulars, along with a local band Thursday nights. Luckily, I came for dinner on a Thursday and ate listening to covers of mellow rock hits.
Feeling that local vibe, I ordered the OG Honey Sting, a cocktail with Evan Williams, honey, lemon and sage that was too strong for me. There’s an extensive list of beers, wine and other cocktails I would like to try next time, such as the Elderflower Martini and the Long Island Iced Tea.
Simon swiftly picked out his favorite dishes for us to try, which for the most part turned out to be delicious. We started with bacon-wrapped dates with almond centers and a creamy blue cheese drizzle — a light, crispy intro.
A small plate of fish tacos was fresh and well dressed with a flavorful, spicy cream sauce on top. The small plate of tuna tartare was served in a pretty pink and green mound with avocado. It was simple on its own, but scooped onto the wonton chips, it made for a winning combination.
Next we had a truffle flatbread with roasted mushrooms and truffle-infused cheese. It was creamy yet light and had just the right amount of truffle flavor. The crust was thin and crispy, more like a soft-baked cracker than a doughy flatbread.
All of the dishes were aesthetically pleasing, including what could have been a simply served toasted chicken entrée. It was presented in a nest shape – the breast neatly stacked on a bed of potatoes wrapped in a swirl of thin, fried potatoes and julienned vegetables. It was nonetheless nothing fancy (which Simon would also say of his food) but the chicken was tender and tasty and, with the potatoes, made for a hearty dinner.
In keeping with the community theme, Simon told us he is alternating fare from different local bakeries on the dessert menu. This time it was DiMare Pastry Shop, which he gushed over. We chose Chocolate Decadence from DiMare, and OG’s own crème brûlée, which wasn’t even on the menu. The modestly described dessert was a standout — a perfectly whipped custard under a thinly caramelized top. I suggest come dessert time, support a bakery and taste something from the kitchen, too.
There’s a lot that would bring me back to The Old Greenwich Social Club — the friendly vibe, the music and, of course, the food. OG Social offers a weekend brunch with unlimited drink specials, and Simon is toying with some other ideas. I doubt he’ll have trouble getting people to join the club.
The Old Greenwich Social Club is at 148 Sound Beach Ave. For more, call 203-990-3033 or visit ogsocial.com.