Top Chefs

June 2017

Mike Shetsky

by Tyler Davidson

Mike Shetsky

Mike Shetsky

Finding a good steak in Dallas is hardly a challenge, but finding a premier steak served with a side of the atmosphere and view offered at SĒR Steak + Spirits, on the 27th floor of the Hilton Anatole, is as close to beef heaven as one’s going to get.

“The way I see SĒR is it’s a modernist take on a traditional steakhouse,” said Mike Shetsky, executive chef at SĒR Steak + Spirits. “We’re taking a lot of the traditions of a steakhouse and steakhouse dishes and playing around with them, improving on them.”

One thing it’s hard to improve on is the quality of beef available in Texas, which Shetsky leverages to full advantage.

“I try to use as much local Texas product as possible,” Shetsky said of the sourcing of his beef—mostly Waygu beef from Rosewood Beef in Rosewood, Texas—and other ingredients he uses. “I lived in a very, very small, secluded town in West Tennessee—farm country, mom-and-pop diners—‘farm-to-table’ is what I grew up on and something I’ve always believed in. It’s supporting your local farmers and everyone around you. That’s all they knew. They couldn’t afford all of those big-brand places; they had to use their cousin’s farm, where they got fresh eggs every morning.”

Besides the ethos and quality of sourcing locally whenever possible, Shetsky and SĒR also pride themselves on surprising diners with innovative approaches to cuisine.

“Eating is a necessity and cooking is an art,” Shetsky said, referencing his personal professional credo, which he extends to his group dining customers. “We’re having fun with food. People want to celebrate—not just have a meeting. We have that open exhibition kitchen here, so we’re putting on a show for people. You’re eating with your eyes first. It really brings that experience to them.”

Examples of his gastro experiences include Caesar salad spears encrusted with pop rocks; Akaushi tartare deviled eggs; Gulf shrimp and grits with blue corn grits and chorizo gravy; and a “broken baker” baked potato that finds the tubers deep-fried and loaded with house-made pimento cheese, lamb bacon and house creme fresh.

In addition to a full range of seafood and imaginative vegetable options, a house specialty is a ribeye using a 20-hour sous-vide preparation, seasoned with a Barbacoa rub and served with fried apples and local blue corn grits. Certainly not to miss!

Group Offerings
SĒR offers five private dining rooms, which when combined can seat about 250 people. To liven up the experience, the restaurant can facilitate special dinners that include chef’s menus and tasting menus, and wine pairings courtesy of the SĒR Wine Club, with five to seven courses. Shetsky is also working on a craft cocktail program that provides his signature twist on the traditional.

And having previously worked for five years at one of the largest convention center properties in the U.S., Nashville, Tenn.’s 2,888-room Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, the ability to efficiently serve guests at the Hilton Anatole, which clocks in at more than 1,600 guest rooms, half-a-million square feet of function space and 11 ballrooms, is not a problem.

“This is a smaller hotel,” Shetsky joked. “Sixteen-hundred rooms? That’s nothing!”

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