Sunday Scaries are a concept I’m all too familiar with, and one of my resolutions in the new year was to spend less of my rest day filled with angst about the week ahead and instead push myself to spend one-on-one time with great friends over delicious meals.
I’ve driven by SER in Ballston more times than I can count, but had never dined at the authentic Spanish tavern. My friend Ariel and I recently vacationed together in Costa Rica, and were anxious to catch up on each other’s lives since landing stateside. We decided to partake in Sunday Super, hoping our meal would inspire us to plan our next big jaunt.
Upon walking into SER, the natural light completely absorbs the space. It was particularly sunny that Sunday evening, and I immediately requested to be seated near a window. The space is an appropriate size, with both tables suited for large families or intimate date nights. My eyes immediately gravitated to the bright yellow booths perched in the center of the restaurant, they matched the yellow high-top chairs in the bar area.
Upon taking our seats, we were immediately greeted by Dmitri, one of the managers of SER. He expertly explained the menu, highlighting a few of his favorite options along the way. Ariel and I both suffer from severe allergies (peanuts for her, shellfish for me), and Dmitri ensured nothing coming out of their kitchen that evening would include a trace of either.
We perused the menu over a glass of Spanish wine, and it didn’t take long to decide what to order. Papas bravas and tomates verdes were obvious choices, and then Dmitri convinced us to try the puntillitas (crispy mini squid) and piquillos rellenos (piquillo peppers stuffed with spinach in a delicate cream sauce).
Everything was extraordinary, but Ariel and I agreed the tomates verdes was the standout plate. The citrus vinaigrette was a delightful surprise with the crispy shell, which wasn’t the least bit heavy. Normally averse to goat cheese, I welcomed the tangy bite because it felt more like a necessity than an option for a meal like this. Our second favorite was the puntillitas, mainly because the aioli that accompanied it was a clever combination of heat and spice.
I made a slight variation for our main platter, as my shellfish allergy prevents me from enjoying authentic paella. The kitchen happily obliged my request so it was a chicken-only meal, and Ariel opted for the txipirones a la parrilla, grilled squid with lima bean, celery root and squid ink.
It’s been said paella is a difficult dish to master, yet that was not a concern at SER. Their chefs nailed the spice to meat to rice ratio, and every bite was seriously better than the last. Ariel approved of her squid, and raved about the smoky aftertaste she got from the char marks on her squid.
The meal was pretty overwhelming, but we couldn’t say no to dessert. We tried all three options from the menu: flan, arroz con leche asturiano (rice pudding) and the chocolate churros. The flan was the perfect consistency of firm and dense, and rich coating didn’t add too much sweetness.
Sunday Supper at SER was an excellent way to cure my Sunday Scaries. It’s a quiet, yet entertaining eatery that’ll leave you feeling like you’re ready to take on the week.
Sunday Supper at SER is available every Sunday evening.