American Social Hires Curt Hicken as Executive Chef: New Menu With Everything Made From Scratch | Clean Plate Charlie | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

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American Social Hires Curt Hicken as Executive Chef: New Menu With Everything Made From Scratch

You'd have to have been hiding under a rock for quite some time to not have noticed the recent surge in 'gastropubs' serving up comfort food and craft beers.

For almost a year now, American Social has been one of the busier spots to have come onto the Fort Lauderdale pub scene. With serve-yourself taps and a wide selection of craft beers, the place has gained a steady following of admirers who pack themselves in on busy Friday and Saturday nights.

And they've decided to step things up a notch, by bringing in Curt Hickens as Executive Chef. Since taking over, Hickens has revamped the menu by switching to making everything in-house, from scratch. And he's instituted some new weekly specials.

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A graduate of the Culinary Institute of American Napa, Hickens spent time working for well-known establishments like Houstons and Grand Lux. Although he lived here for a period of time about two and a half years ago, he relocated from Manhattan back in January.

Hickens describes his cuisine as global: a gastropubby, tapas style of food. "I like to find something fresh and take it from there," he said, "I like working with the best ingredients I can find."

Since coming onboard, he's already made some changes to the menu, adding dishes like new flatbreads ($11 to $15), including Thai chicken and truffle funghi portobello and shiitake; mini seafood tacos ($13); a spicy Haitian slaw called pikliz, with pulled pork tostones ($12); and more.

An extensive weekend brunch has also been added, featuring an omelet, Belgian waffle, and carving stations, fried chicken, biscuits and gravy, deserts, and more for $19.95. Bottomless mimosas and a build your own Bloody Mary bar are offered to coincide.

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Sara Ventiera

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