Serenidad, from chef Deborah VanTrece, set to open October 7 in Cascade Heights

Get ready for Latin American and Caribbean flavors in a serene atmosphere

The bar at Serenidad

Photo by Rebecca Bockman

Known for Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours in West Midtown and the recently opened Oreatha’s at the Point in Cascade Heights, chef Deborah VanTrece is at it again. This time, she’s opening a Latin American- and Caribbean-inspired restaurant called Serenidad (2317 Cascade Avenue Southwest) on October 7.

Located near Oreatha’s, Serenidad is the product of a partnership between VanTrece and chef Whitney Thomas, formerly of 5Church Midtown. Here, Thomas will serve lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. Menu highlights include paella shrimp and grits, short rib tomahawk, elote ribs (a take on Mexican street corn), and albondigas (meatballs) con mole poblano. Thomas adapted her mole recipe from one of her former prep cooks, who learned it from her grandmother in Veracruz, Mexico.

“She made it for family meal one day, and I had a passion for those flavors,” Thomas says.

The dining room

Photo by Rebecca Bockman

Gambas al ajillo

Photo by Josh Swinney

Agua de Vida

Photo by Josh Swinney

Her 30-item menu will also include a Cuban sandwich and a burger with salsa, pickled green tomato, red cabbage slaw, and crema de aji amarillo. It’s complemented by beverage director Kursten Berry’s drink menu, including eight signature cocktails featuring Latin spirits like mezcal, pisco, and rum. Spanish and Chilean wines, as well as Latin American beers, will be available, too.

“At Oreatha’s, we touch on [flavors from] quite a few countries, but left the Latin countries off,” VanTrece says. “We’re trying not to step on [Serenidad’s] toes. It’s also a different feel. Oreatha’s is a little more formal. Serenidad is playful, and the menu reflects that.”

Paella grits

Photo by Josh Swinney

Horchata panna cotta

The name Serenidad is intended to reflect the feeling of serenity she’s experienced when dining in Latin America, Mexico, and Spain. The 58-seat space features an upscale, contemporary look. There are cream walls and elements of wood and metal. The plates, bowls, and glassware feature pops of tangerine, red, mango, yellow, orange, and green. Although there is no patio, VanTrece is having long picnic benches installed on the side of the building near a small putting green.

Duck fat tamales

Photo by Josh Swinney

Salud Peru