Civility Social House
Behold a culinary invention for the ages.
A revolutionary use of a childhood favorite.
An innovation in the donut landscape.
And a mastermind, boldly going where no chef has ever gone before by creating
THE MAC AND CHEESE DONUT.
And you can find this creation of culinary genius and more at Civility Social House.
Set in this chic spot at Assembly Row in Somerville, Civility Social House is the brainchild of chef and restaurateur Chris Damian. In his latest creation, he decided to take decades of experience and make a spot he’d love to go to- whether he’s working or not.
“I always wanted to build a place that I would want to go enjoy and hang out at. And I really think that we were able to finally accomplish it in all my years and all like different restaurants. A place where friends could create memories with family, have great food for a reasonable price.”
The design of the restaurant is truly unique, making your head spin from wall to wall to check out all of the art.
“We have different aspects of people of civility in history. We have JFK on a big wall behind me. There’s lady Di on one wall. There’s Nina Simone on another wall. Muhammad Ali, David Bowie. And we also have Anthony Bourdain.”
And the menu represents many culinary genres from around the globe.
“A lot of it’s centered around shareable plates where you can have a couple of different bytes of different things. The menu speaks of all sorts of different foods from Louisiana, Italian influences, Asian influences, so you’d never get menu fatigue.”
Before opening Civility Social House, Chris was dreaming of the ultimate mash up of two of his favorite things: Mac and Cheese and Donuts.
“I’ve had this idea about the mac and cheese donut for close to 10 years. We basically hand cut mac and cheese panko bread it and flash fry it. We serve it with the chipotle barbecue sauce. We actually bring that to the table and we pour over the cheese sauce tableside with a bacon and scallions in it. So you get textures of like the density of pasta, you get the hot cheese sauce on top, you get the crunchiness of the panko. And then Chipotle barbecue sauce adds a bit of heat at the end. It’s pretty spectacular.”
Other apps you should most definitely try include the so called “Nonna’s Wet Meatballs”, a family recipe using wet bread rather than bread crumbs so they come out moist every time. Grilled Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella with an arugula salad and pickled red onions, the pop-able and shareable Screaming Rooster Rock Shrimp and Civility Social’s Grilled Margherita Pizza.
“Our pizza is like paper thin. We grill the dough. It’s fresh mozzarella, we do oven roasted teardrop tomatoes on top and then fried pieces of basil as a garnish. You’re gonna get in here and try it.”
You’re also going to want to try the Lollipop Chicken Thigh. Chris’s twist on the buffalo wing is smothered in that spicy sauce with blue cheese vinaigrette and served over cabbage slaw and for lots of flavor, try the Short Rib Tacos- braised for 18 hours and served on a fresh tortilla with pickled cabbage, bbq sauce, hand hacked avocado, grilled corn and cotija cheese.
“We have texture, we have different flavors, we have sweets, spicy, warm, we have hot, we have cold. It hits your mouth in all different ways.”
Those slow braised short ribs also show up on the entree section of the menu.
“I always love short ribs. This particular recipe we serve on a bed of chive mashed potatoes. We braise the short ribs and then we have oven roasted mushrooms that go with it. We put a glaze a balsamic reduction and shaved Parmesan cheese.
It is the ultimate meat and potatoes dish.”
And for the ultimate meat and pasta dish, nothing quite tops Chris’ family recipe for bolognese.
“This recipe is one of the ones that I find fun to my heart. We use ground meats and we stew it with vegetables and the final result is just an amazing, densely flavored wonderful dish that great to share with your family.”
There are handhelds like the Angry Butcher- stacked with seared ribeye, provolone, crispy onions and horseradish sauce on grilled ciabatta or the absolutely indulgent Civility Burger- which brings the flavor of French onion soup with a custom beef blend.
“So we use French soup onions, top the seared burger and then put ementhaler cheese on top and we brulee the top. So the top of the burger has that texture like you would have on the top of a French onion soup. It’s not for the faint hearted if you’re worried about dripping stuff on yourself. Awesome dish.”
And the awesome dishes continue right through dessert with sweets like the Skillet Cookie Sundae.
“We bake our own fresh baked chocolate chip cookies in a skillet. And then we topped it with French vanilla ice cream. Drizzle it with chocolate ganache, and then serve it with caramelized, sugar glazed pecans. Amazing combinations”
And whether he’s coming up with the latest culinary trend or executing old family recipes, Chris keeps coming back day after day because he feels he owes it to the people in his life.
“I keep doing it because I have a passion. I have a responsibility to appreciate what I have all the people that believed in me all through my years, I owe it to them to stay fresh and different and give them more opport