I love Gastown and work nearby but had never tried So.cial, so as it was a friend's birthday and she had a hankering for oysters we wandered over after work.
The oyster bar downstairs was nice and comfy, though somewhat empty--not unusual for a Monday night in April though. We had a couple dozen Kussi and Fanny Bay oysters that were comparably priced to Joe Forte's at about $1.50-2.50 each, and then split three appies and a couple of bottles of wine.
The food overall was good: Oysters fresh and tasty, though I've had better migonette: A trio was served that included basic red wine vinegar with some chopped shallots, a second lighter Muscat vinaigrette with shallots and a third (very spicy) chili-lime sauce. I pretty much skipped these. I love an icy sorbet-style mignonette or even the fresh horseradish and cocktail sauce they serve at Joe Forte's much better--but the oysters were very good.
Our appies were excellent, though salty. From these reviews I'm gathering the kitchen has a heavy hand with the salt, and it's too bad as otherwise these would have been perfect. I highly recommend the duck confit crepe and the mussels with black fig. Very yummy. The charcuterie plate was excellent also, and despite the high price of flour and how stingy most restaurants have become with the bread of late we were served generous second helpings of good bread. It was perfect for mopping up the mussels' sauce :)
I agree the wine list isn't stellar, but for Vancouver fine dining I didn't find it to be too pricey. I did like the selection of BC wineries included. Some Pentage was there, and we had Kettle Valley Semillion--both solid choices, but not what I'd consider 'high end' or would buy for a dinner party at home. We did split a bottle of Babich Sauvignon (New Zealand) and it should be noted that it was $42, compared with $60 at Forte's and $58 at Lift.
Overall a good Monday night out. Good oysters, decent service, nice people and a cozy atmosphere. Another Gastown winner, and one I can see only getting better.