Advertisement

Chicken Little Reviews Clinton Street Social Club


Chicken_Little_vector-e1348617455772Tucked into the busy lineup of Clinton Street storefronts, wedged between two other doorways, an unassuming red awning marks the entrance to one of the city’s newer and more exciting dining establishments, the Clinton Street Social Club. This elusive entrance opens to a flight of stairs that lead up to the second floor. This obscure entrance to the restaurant gives the feel of being transported to a Prohibition-era speakeasy. Emerging from the staircase, exposed brick walls, rough-hewn wood furnishings and bare filament bulbs set the stage for a dining experience that not only transports the mind to another time and place, but also offers a menu inspired by the best of American comfort foods.
As the sweet and haunting sound of Mississippi John Hurt’s music filters through the dimly-lit space, I take a seat at the bar, a 4-inch thick slab of wood that runs nearly the length of the restaurant. It’s my third visit and I order my usual, the Porch Crawler, a concoction of ale, vodka and lemonade. In addition to my favorite tipple, the drink menu includes other creative and surprising beer cocktails, as well as a generous offering of cocktails inspired by prohibition classics and given names like “Annabel Lee” and “The Dirty Birdsong.”

The food embodies as much character as a Flannery O’Connor novel and I start with a generous portion of chili glazed pork belly served with shaved fennel. It is rich, delicately sweet, and accompanied with just enough of a kick to remind me that my taste buds are alive and well. Following the pork, I continue my indulgences with the chef’s Oyster Po’Boy, a delicious take on the classic that is served on a fresh baguette with the slightly spicy creole aioli. I finish my meal with the sweet and boozy Caramel Apple Bread Pudding that comes drizzled in whiskey sauce.

My enthusiasm for this place doesn’t hide areas that could definitely use some improvement. Service is often slow and disorganized. It is unclear if this is a result of poor communication between the wait staff and the kitchen or simply a result of being understaffed. Either way, be prepared to sit. The lighting, although charming, can at times seem way too bright, and consequently offensive to the senses. Nonetheless, from first bite to last, neither quality nor quantity of the food fails to disappoint.

The bottom line: come early and come often. The Social Club will surely cure what ails you…as long as you’re not in too big a hurry.

Submit Reviews:
ChickenLittle@LittleVillageMag.com


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement

A collaboration between The Englert Theatre and FilmScene

STRENGTHEN
GROW•EVOLVE

Help us build the greatest small city for the arts in America—right here in Iowa City. Learn more »

Donate Today

Strengthen • Grow • Evolve is a collaborative campaign led by two Iowa City-based arts nonprofits, The Englert Theatre and FilmScene that seeks a major reinvestment to strengthen the arts through modern and historic venues, innovative programming, and new models of collaboration.

Advertisement

Enjoy a tasting and drinks from the best chefs the area has to offer!

Presented by

Join us Saturday, February 15, 6 p.m.
@ Coralville Marriott Hotel & Conference Center

For 18 years...

Little Village has been telling the truth and changing our little corner of the world.

If you can, help us head into the next 18 years even stronger with a one-time or monthly contribution of $18, or any amount you choose.

Advertisement

MISSION CREEK FESTIVAL APRIL 1-4, 2020
MUSIC • LITERATURE • COMMUNITY

America’s intimate festival experience featuring cutting-edge music, the Midwest’s premier indie book fair, and readings and community happenings across downtown Iowa City.