It was a few months back when I first got a taste of Serpas' fried oysters at the Les Dames event at Serenbe. The restaurant was far from opening, but already I was impressed that their food was among the best I sampled at the event. Fast forward to this weekend...Serpas has only been open for a week or so. It's in walking distance from my home, so I was excited to see if it was as good as the oysters suggested. Aw hell yeah...it was indeed!
The space is gorgeous. With lofted ceilings with exposed pipes, a two-story cotton flower image, an open kitchen, and a single brick wall, it feels downtown hip without being too sceney. It was packed on Saturday night - clearly the recession isn't keeping all Atlantans at home.
Everything we had that night was fantastic. In an attempt to try as much as possible without throwing off my last-ditch-going-to-a-beach-soon eating plan, the boyfriend and I split two appetizers, an entree and a dessert.
The Texas crab toast with chipotle aioli had a good amont of crab and a spicy kick. Good, but when compared to everything else, not a standout. Better yet were the eggplant hush puppies with blue cheese and red gravy. These flavorful little morsels were addictive, and I could have easily eaten a plateful of them. So savory and delish - a really interesting use of eggplant.
The boyfriend and I were splitting our tenderloin entree, and I was really impressed that our waiter, DJ, split the plate for us. Instead of making a mess splitting the meat ourselves, we each got a lovely plate with the perfectly medium rare meat served atop a bed of rich creamed spinach, and topped with a crispy onion ring. Such a nice and rare service touch! True to its name, the tenderloin was ultra-tender, and at $25, a good price for a beautiful piece of meat.
I had previously heard that all the servers are experienced, and it really shows. For a new restaurant, the place was running smoothly, and our waiter was better than most I've encountered. Helpful, there when we needed him, and out of the way when we didn't. Without us asking, he even offered to split our bill by couple. How often does that happen?
The other guys at the table had the burger with smoked cheddar, red wine dressing and house fries. It's well documented here that I fancy myself a burger connoisseur, and damn, this was one fine burger. The boys commented that it was like an awesome Big Mac times a million because the sauce had a hint of a special sauce taste about it. This is definitely a burger worth returning to Serpas for! The fries were excellent, too, with a perfect amount of seasoning to keep them interesting and just the right amount of crispiness. Little sister's ubiquitous short rib was tasty, too, but I haven't really tasted a bad short rib anywhere yet.
For dessert we shared a white chocolate cranberry bread pudding, and although we enjoyed every bite of it, it wasn't as memorable as everything else. Everyone else had the chocolate and pecan tart, which was more my speed.
And I almost forgot to mention...they have great wine options available for only $25. What's not to love at Serpas?
When we left, we couldn't stop talking about how great the meal was. With Shaun's now out of the picture, I am thrilled to have a new neighborhood upscale favorite. Not only were the food and service top-notch, but the prices were reasonable. Not cheap, but definitely not exorbitant.
I'm not sure what this "true food" nonsense is (is some food fake?), but for such a great place, I can look by that. We'll no doubt be going back soon for that burger!
Pros: Hip atmosphere, top-notch food, great service, upscale but reasonable prices, lots of $25 wine options
659 Aubern Avenue #501