I was sad to learn Nana, the romantic fine dining restaurant atop the Hilton Anatole, would close and the elegant space would reopen as a steak restaurant called Ser (pronounced “sear”). With a chip on my shoulder, I grabbed two guys and headed up to the 27th floor to eat a steak and reminisce about the good old days of Nana. I was pleasantly surprised to find a chef’s touch on the menu. Executive chef Anthony Van Camp’s house-made foie gras torchon was a nice starter. I was thrilled with a dainty tower of loup de mer (also marketed as bronzini). Triangular cuts of fish were layered with grilled leeks, surrounded by a gentle lemon beurre blanc, and topped with a disk of crispy pancetta. The boys ate steak, but not just any old sirloin. One ordered and barely shared a $50 7-ounce Wagyu cap steak. The heavily marbled meat was sliced in the kitchen. The purple sheen of the meat made my mouth water. I had to pull the plate from him to get a sample. Not so for my buddy with the 26-ounce Prime porterhouse. I pushed his plate away. On top of the barely warm steak sat a cold disk of herbed blue cheese butter that refused to melt. The 600-bottle wine list is presented on an iPad. You can search by style, grape, body, price, and other options. The kitchen turned out an appropriately tart lemon meringue pie and hot beignets with warm cafe au lait syrup. My biggest disappointment was the atmosphere. I admit I was nostalgic for the white tablecloths and fine art of Nana, but the wood walls and floor radiate all of the warmth of a gentleman’s country club locker room. Judging from the customers, though, many of them in large parties wearing name tags, the guy-town feel may be the right move for the hotel to make money. You can cross it off your list of “where to pop the question” and add it to “where to eat a steak with a view.”
For more information about Ser, visit our restaurant directory.