When it comes to dining in Boston, it’s all about celebrating the art of fresh seafood. No one knows that better than Michael Serpa, chef/owner of the highly acclaimed SELECT Oyster Bar. After attending The Culinary of Institute of America, he worked with the Olives New York group before coming to Olives in Charlestown and moving on to Neptune Oyster in the North End where he worked as their executive chef before opening SELECT last year.
Photo Credit: James Rose
At the Back Bay restaurant, you will find starters like hamachi crudo, dayboat scallop ceviche and striped bass tartare along with entrees with a Mediterranean flair that Serpa inherited from his family of Cuban chefs (think Gloucester swordfish with Moroccan olives and roasted eggplant; or Casco Bay halibut with sweet corn salad and white bean puree).
Photo Credit: SELECT Oyster Bar
We caught up recently with Serpa to find out what he loves most about Boston.
Where were you born: Reading, Pennsylvania
How long in Boston: 10 years
Occupation: Select Oyster Bar (chef+partner)
Favorite Restaurant: Boston-No 9 park Nearby-Sarma
Best Sushi: Cafe Sushi (Cambridge)
Best Italian: Sportello
Best dessert: Don’t eat dessert often, I save my calories for wine
Best place for a romantic date: Lunch at Coppa on the patio
Best Sunday brunch: Brewers Fork in Charlestown
Best place for a power business meeting: Bristol Lounge at the Four Seasons
If you have out of town guests, which hotel would you recommend? The Mandarin
Favorite shopping venue/boutique: Frank & Oak on Newbury
Favorite place to buy jewelry/watches: European Watch Co.
Favorite Charity Event: Pan-Mass Challenge
Favorite Cultural Event: Marathon Monday
Favorite Cultural Institution: The whole city is a cultural institution. Walking around Beacon Hill and Back Bay is my favorite.
Best Steakhouse: Grill 23, 100-day ribeye all day
Best Pizza: Brewers Fork
Best Lunch: Hillstone
Best Gym/Athletic Facility: Boston Tennis and Racquet Club in Back Bay
Best Limousine/Driving Service: Uber Black
Best Museum/Exhibit: Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) or the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA)
Describe Boston in three words: Can’t beat it
Favorite historic/legendary place to see or explore: Fenway Park
All-around favorite spot in Boston: The Esplanade on a bike
Best Aspect of Boston: Big city culture and amenities with small town feel.