Drawing inspiration from Chicago restaurants, American Social is modern both in execution and aesthetic, creating an inviting ambiance that caters to the local in a somewhat upscale setting. The American Social Brickell location is the second outpost of the popular Las Olas eatery, known for its craft beer selection, mouth-watering burgers, and indulgent brunch.
Housed next to the Miami River, it would be safe to call American Social the most strategically placed restaurant in Brickell. No other restaurant in the area can compete with the al fresco dining that American Social offers, with plush handcrafted sofas and torch lit tables that make the perfect setting to spend a few hours with company. You can also dine inside, which promises a true Americana experience with rustic decor that is timely to the restaurant’s theme. Bricks imported directly from Chicago perimeter the building, vintage TIME magazines fill the walls, a hand-crafted wood bar is home to what seems like an endless selection of craft brews, and self-serve beer tap handles surround the room. American heritage is celebrated in every aspect of the restaurant, from the décor to the menu.
Comfort food fills the menu, but in proper American Social manner, it is contemporary and represents the refinement that American cuisine has achieved within the past few years. American favorites like Sloppy Joe and Braised Short Rib give an essence of stick-to-your-ribs fare, but the way in which they are presented elevate childhood favorites to cater to our grown-up palates. American Social skips the blue box Mac n Cheese and instead serves Orecchiette Pasta coated with a three-cheese mix of Vermont Cheddar and Gruyere. You can top it with Braised Short Rib, Boar Sloppy Joe, Shrimp, or Chicken, but I would stick with the shrimp or chicken. The already heavy dish of Mac n Cheese does not do well with added layers of rich ingredients such as short rib or boar, so anything that is less heavy adds a sort of enhancement that is much appreciated.
Chicken and Waffles seems to be a crutch menu item that can be found on most menus as of late, but trust me when I encourage you to order American Social’s. Here, your boneless Southern Fried Chicken is served with light and moist Vanilla Herb Waffles, which are accompanied by a mascarpone cream sauce that adds a sweet and refreshing aspect to a heavy dish. Cherries are used to add a sense of natural sweetness that is otherwise underrepresented in various incarnations of this dish. If you order any menu item at American Social, let it be this one.
Although American Social welcomes all patrons with open arms, it hopes to be the preferred spot for locals in the area. VIP lockers, which can be rented on an annual basis, line the walls, allowing people who frequent the restaurant to mark their spot. Claim to these lockers also allow a patron 10% off bottles, space to keep cigars, and an area to store bottles of alcohol that they do not finish. A private room, also known as the Kennedy Room, can cater up to fifty guests as well as a private dining room for up to fourteen, also giving you access to a private bar and more sophisticated décor and an exclusivity factor.
American Social is a welcomed addition to the Brickell area, filling a niche that required some attention. This place is already receiving heavy traffic on weekends, and it is well warranted. The location next to the Miami River alone is enough to draw crowds, but the fact that the food and décor is eclectic does not hurt in the least.
American Social- Brickell
690 Southwest 1st Court, Miami, FL 33130
By food editor, Santiago Cardona