A few months ago we were invited to Jesmond to attend Sohe's birthday party. The highlight of the night ended up being a sneaky peak round their brand new sister bar 97 and Social, conveniently located next door. It wasn't quite finished but we had enough of a look to realise it was rather beautiful so we knew we'd have to return.
Date night at 97 and Social finally happened last week and we were keen to get reacquainted. Stepping into the bar there was a lovely atmosphere with a slightly older crowd, something that can be quite hard to find in Jesmond during term time.
The bar is made up of comfortable booths, sofas and tables surrounded by bookshelves and dark oak furnishings. The fireplace adds to the atmosphere and it reminded me a little of sitting in a gentleman's library.
After admiring the beautiful looking cocktail menu (does anyone else get excited about pretty menus, or just me?) we both chose a drink after the usual difficult decision making.
I chose the Afternoon Delight - Tanqueray Gin, apricot, homemade rhubarb syrup, fresh strawberry, rose, lemon and soda. It was the rhubarb that sold it to me, I am a lady obsessed. The drink looked like Summer in a glass and I spent a good while admiring it before I got round to taking a sip. It was fruity and really refreshing - delicious!
Simon opted for a Penicillin - Monkey shoulder and Ardbet whiskies, ginger syrup, honey and lemon juice. This is the kind of cocktail that Simon loves, and although it's not really my thing, he loved it. He's really getting into his "Gentleman's Cocktails" at the moment.
The food menu at 97 and Social is small and is a bit different to what you would usually find in a bar. It definitely isn't a full menu, however offers a lot more than just "bar snacks".
We were surprised to see that none of the meals came with chips and these had to be ordered as extras on the side, maybe it's just me but this frustrates me slightly. Why would anyone want to order a burger without chips?
That said, the menu that is currently on the 97 and Social website is different to the one we had last week and has a few slight tweaks that definitely make it superior to the one we were given- chips are included with meals and there's some rather delicious desserts making an appearance. I really hope this is a new menu that will be introduced!
Simon chose the burger - a beef patty served in a brioche bun with smoked Applewood cheese and pickle. He enthusiastically tucked in and I enjoyed the bite he graciously let me have. It wasn't anything new or amazing but as Simon is my burger expert and there wasn't a trace left on his plate I'd say it gets his seal of approval.
I went for something I would never normally order when out and about - beef pie! I'm not sure why I did it as I tend to avoid anything involving chunks of beef as I hate tough meat. This time my risk more than paid off and this is where 97 and Social really left a fantastic lasting impression with me.
Wow! The beef, peach and tarragon filo pie was outstanding! The beef was perfect and melted in my mouth. I immediately began to make very enthusiastic yummy noises and then insisted that Simon dropped his burger immediately to try my dish. As he took a bite a bite a grin spread across his face. Damn this pie was good!
With the introduction of the menu on the website (fingers crossed!) 97 and Social is a great place to pop into with friends for a delicious cocktail and some good food in a relaxing environment.