Chef Scott Serpas took a big risk opening his restaurant in what was a somewhat sketchy neighborhood. Despite the adversity, his business thrived. Eight years later, Serpas is still going strong, serving modern American food with a dash of Cajun flavor. And the neighborhood? It’s the hottest in town, with Krog Street Market and the BeltLine right around the corner.
I remember walking through the industrial space during its renovation, marveling at the impossibly high ceilings. A giant photo mural of cotton provides a focal point and adds warmth with its orange hues, set against painted white brick. A few years later, an update included tufted banquettes in a bold pattern, providing a comfy seating option.
Arriving in style in a limo courtesy of LC, LS and her new beau AS joined us for a pre-concert dinner. We started with cocktails. I tried the Snowbird made with a lengthy list of ingredients: Herradura Blanco, Mezcal, coconut, pineapple, lime, nutmeg, cardamom, and Havana & Hide Barrel Aged Bitters. Whew! They had me at coconut, but unfortunately, the bitters and Mezcal overrode the creamy sweet flavor I expected.
During my many visits to Serpas, I’ve fallen in love with a couple of dishes that have remained on the menu since opening day. For example, the house salad, divine in its simplicity: a pile of field greens, goat cheese, red onion, and candied pecans dressed with chef’s house made blistered grape vinaigrette. Likewise, LS always orders the smoked salmon chips.
Another favorite is the tuna tartar, a funny choice for me since I’m not a big tuna fan. But here, the sushi-grade fish, red onion, and green apple are diced into tiny cubes, then dressed with a sweet and spicy chili sesame dressing. Serpas is a master of dressings. A tiny spoon is used to top house made potato chips with the tasty tartar.
As always, LC and I shared an entree, this time the jumbo sea scallops served with roasted butternut squash, bok choy, and mushrooms sauced with a rich and mildly spicy panang curry. They were indeed jumbo and perfectly prepared. Our friends enjoyed their duck breast as well. As we all licked our plates, our thoughts turned to sugar.
Both guys have a serious sweet tooth so we ordered three desserts to share: a mini spice cake, beignets, and my favorite, the decadent cranberry white chocolate bread pudding with bourbon sauce and chantilly cream.
659 Auburn Avenue 404-688-0040