On Tuesday night I was lucky to have been included as Rannie Turingan‘s plus one to the Opening Party for SOCO Kitchen + Bar. Opening at 75 Lower Simcoe Street, steps away from the CN Tower or the ACC, SOCO is a restaurant designed for the neighbourhood. The name comes from the area of the city, South Core Financial Centre or SOCO. “With so many thousands of condo units and corporations right here in SOCO, it was important to provide a spot for the community to come together, share, entertain and just belong”. The menu has been inspired by the Mediterranean but what that means, might be different to each of us. I was surprised when chatting with Valerie Brive, Marketing and Communications Manager when she used the word Mediterranean. I’d sampled many items and I wouldn’t have used that word. Valerie explained what they mean.
“The food is unpretentious and uncomplicated. The ingredients are allowed to be what they are so the food just tastes great. The environment is warm and welcoming like the countries that are found along the Mediterranean Coast. The whole idea of SOCO is centred around this Mediterranean culture: simple and flavourful foods to share in a relaxed atmosphere with nice people.”
I think they’ve hit the nail on the head. The food was delicious, simple but flavourful. The staff were welcoming, friendly and helpful. The room is a gorgeous, a mix of white-oak wood, neutral tones and amazing glasswork. They’re hoping SOCO becomes known as a neighbourhood place. Their tagline is – “SOCO Kitchen + Bar. Belong. ” They made me feel like I belonged and I can’t wait to go back to check out all the wonderful, well prepared, well priced dishes. NOTE – they’ve got a take out window for those of you needing to grab a quick lunch or dinner. The take out area is called SOCO TO GO and it will be open 24/7 with an entrance off Bremner Blvd.
At the head of this operation is Executive Chef Dan Craig. Dan Craig, winner of the BC Chef of the Year British Columbia Chef’s Association moved from Ontario to BC at the age of 18. apprenticed at The Fairmont Empress and Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort and Spa. His culinary arts studies began at Canada’s Camosun College in 2004, where he graduated with honours with a Red Seal Certification. From there he continued his education and cooking experiences in Australia and France. He then returned to BC and now he’s come home to Ontario. Rannie and I said hello to Dan and he’s the sweetest, most down to earth guy you could meet. I’m personally glad Dan has come home to Ontario.
Best of luck to Dan and his team, the restaurant looks amazing. I’m looking forward to many meals here. Welcome to the neighbourhood.
You can find SOCO all over social media: