Almost in the same breath, Shaffran is bubbling over about the restaurant that will take its place. Piata is the first new local venture in years by Dennis Serras, whose Mainstreet Ventures owns sixteen restaurants around the country, including four that anchor the south end of downtown: Real Seafood, Gratzi, Palio, and the Chop House. Shaffran is a longtime friend of Serras: "I haven't seen this Dennis Serras in twenty years. He's back in the game!" Shaffran laughs. "He's talked about this concept for years: Mediterranean small plates."
Serras's parents were Greek immigrants, and Serras himself has a house in Greece. Says Shaffran: "It's food he knows. If you were lucky enough to go to the Serras house on a Sunday, as I often was, that's what it will be: the lamb, the whole shooting match." He adds, aware that his description of the menu is lacking in detail, "Ed Shaffran is not a food guy--I just like to eat."
[Originally published in March, 2014.]