Serafina is one of those places that drops off my radar for a while, then someone suggests meeting there and I remember all over again why I love it. My two favorite things: First, the charmingly shaded courtyard in the back makes a picture-perfect setting for a summer evening meal. Second, somehow I always feel at home in the bar, no matter that I haven’t darkened their door for at least two years.
At Serafina you step out of the traffic on Eastlake and directly into their just-right sized bar area. Maybe I like it because you can choose the few seats that are window-adjacent, or snag the funky tall table for two or four, or take a seat at the bar. Never have I chosen the last without someone or other striking up a conversation with me, usually a person who looks to be a neighborhood regular.
The happy hour is among my favorites in town, offering an impressive array of drinks at very happy prices as well as a dinner-worthy menu of food. On one recent visit a friend and I agreed that the Plin (agnolotti filled with braised pork shoulder, savoy cabbage, and reggiano cheese) was our favorite, though the Panino con Formaggio (brioche filled with fontina, fresh mozzarella, onion frittata, and sliced tomato) and Salsicce d’Agnello (spicy Anderson Ranch lamb sausage served with yogurt and cucumber lentils) were fantastic as well. Finished off with a piece of the house-made mascarpone cheesecake served with Marasca cherries, the meal was an excellent one.
While there I picked up some information about their upcoming cocktail tastings, events that might well be worth a look given how much I enjoy Serafina’s cocktails. Just a few of the upcoming dates:
Nancy Leson recently wrote about another reason to keep an eye on Serafina: their soon-to-open cicchetti bar. Think Sambar/Le Gourmand and Licorous/Lark, that magical pairing of small bar-bistro and sister restaurant. From what I read in Nancy’s post it looks as though the folks at Serafina are converting a former architecture firm’s office into a funky space for great drinks and small plates — the perfect complement to its big sister across the courtyard.
[Photo of the mussels I have yet to try courtesy of oysters4me]