Soco’s proprietors had a vision: to create a neighborhood institution that is equal parts restaurant and cocktail bar. With food and drink offerings such as the pecan-crusted pork chop and a caramel martini topped with a toasted marshmallow, it’s hard not to sample both sides of the business on any given visit. Before Soco opened, its owners and executive chef Kingley John all worked together at Negril Village, a West Village Caribbean eatery. That experience inspired the group to shape Soco’s menu into the fusion of southern-American classics and Caribbean influences now on its lunch, brunch, dinner, and cocktail menus.
In practice, that combination brings about flavorful plates such as blackened salmon and jambalaya with seared shrimp, Andouille chicken sausage, and dirty rice. Grass-fed beef burgers are accentuated with caramelized onions, red-bean mayonnaise, and parmesan-dusted fries, and at lunch, organic fried chicken tops a red velvet waffle. The wait staff can also recommend food pairings with Boylan’s cane soda, 20 American microbrews, or the bar’s 10 signature cocktails.
As an homage to Soco’s home borough, designer Andres Aladin drew up plans for the eatery to look like “the Brooklyn Bridge turned into a restaurant.” To accomplish that feat, he juxtaposed industrial elements such as locally sourced steel with the homey feel of exposed brick, walnut walls, and a rotating staff of mothers who watch until you clean your plate.