SER is Where the Heart Is
Married couple Christiana Campos-Candon and Javier Candon got each other a restaurant for Valentine’s Day. Well, sort of. They’re gearing up to open SER in Ballston this month, which has been a dream 11 years in the making. A tour of the space reveals that the restaurant is an extension of their home—frames hug black-and-white family photos, the table for six looking in to the kitchen is the same one they have at home, and it’s generally cozy and inviting. Christiana and Javier had some help: They won the Ballston BID Restaurant Challenge, granting them a one-year free lease and other prizes.
If you guessed SER was a Spanish restaurant, you're right. But, you won’t see the word tapas on the menu. “We want you to feel like you’re in someone’s home in Spain,” Javier tells us. “Your mother doesn’t make 10 little tapas dishes to share, she makes an appetizer and entrée.” In Chef Josu Zubikarai's appetizer section, you’ll find interesting edibles like lamb sweetbreads and merluza jaws, while the entrees are divided into three nostalgic sections: “From the Market,” “From Our Grandmothers” and “From Our Travels.” Josu hails from the Basque region of Spain, and previously helmed the kitchen at Taberna del Alabardero. Get excited for the drinks, too. Javier once won a competition naming him the best bartender in Spain.