Haute Secrets Boston: Michael Serpa of SELECT Oyster Bar

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.

Michael SerpaPhoto 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).

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

Neighborhood: Eastie

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.