Although the name may imply a Latin flair, Secreto Southern Kitchen & Bar in Alpharetta has its culinary roots planted firmly in Southern soil.
Chef Boyd A. Rose describes Secreto’s concept as “a contemporary spin on classic Southern cuisine within elegant yet approachable environs.”
Inspired by the countless meals that Rose and managing partner Paulo Junior have shared in their own homes, Secreto opened in June 2016 as a neighborhood restaurant welcoming friends, family and the community to pull up chair at their kitchen table.
“Secreto, which translates to ‘secret’ in Spanish, represents the art of recreating recipes that have been handed down for many generations,” Rose said. “This resonates in the inspired cuisine and heartfelt service.”
Over the past year, Secreto has become a favorite among locals for lunch and dinner, and landed on the “best of” lists for critics and food bloggers alike. None of this acclaim comes as any surprise to Boyd, who has held executive chef roles at nearby restaurants Etris Kitchen & Bar, Milton’s and Rainwater, and is known for his unique take on farm fresh, Southern fare and his passionate culinary style.
Boyd is committed to sourcing regional proteins and produce to develop soul food dishes that reflect his upbringing in the South and the recipes he learned from his mother and grandmother.
“I have many memories of sitting on the counter and stirring cornbread dressing for my grandmother,” Rose recalled. “My mother cooked six nights a week, but that is now a lost art for many families. I want to provide that same kind of soul-satisfying meal for our patrons.”
That passion for authentic food is reflected in the menu starting with a Southern-infused collection of appetizers including crispy seared lamb belly served with lemon pearl cous cous, toasted cumin tomato vinaigrette and fried green tomatoes stuffed with house made pimento cheese.
Dinner entrees include Southern fried chicken (Rose’s personal favorite) served with buttermilk mash, garlic green beans and smoked bacon jalapeño gravy, Charleston-Style crab cakes and coastal shrimp and grits.
On the lunch menu, abbreviated selections of the dinner menu are available, in addition to sandwiches and paninis such as the smoked pork loin ciabatta panini and “Bang Bang” shrimp sourdough po’ boy.
Finishing off the perfect meal are a selection of desserts including Rose’s signature warm buttermilk-glazed carrot cake with orange cream cheese frosting — a longtime favorite which always sends guests home happy, he added. Other sweet favorites include the flourless chocolate torte and seasonal crème brulee.
The extensive wine lists complements Rose’s Southern-inspired cuisine, and prominently features selections from small producers in California and Oregon as well as those from French, Spanish, Australian and Italian origins.
A rotating selection of cocktails includes both classics cocktails and new favorites like the Southern Passion (vodka, orange liqueur, falernum, passion fruit, agave and lime).