Fin, Key West: Take Two

Peach palm fritters... yum!

We decided to give Fin another try over the weekend as (a) it was my mother’s birthday and nothing says birthday better than fancy food and (b) most recently the owners have told me that the portions have been increased and we should really try it again. So we did, and once again I have a somewhat mixed review. First the good:

The food is truly incredible. Every dish was fantastic, and most of them were shared amongst four of us. The peach palm fritters with guava and jalapeno were amazing, a little spicy and caused FKGuy to alter his stance on hearts of palm. The spring mix salad and romaine salad topped with grana padano and a quail egg were both delicious and perfectly dressed. They had enough dressing on them to be packed with flavor, but not too much as to wilt the lettuce. Bravo.

We tried two of the flat bread offerings: one with mozzarella and tomatoes, the other with artichoke, almond and black truffle. I started with the truffle one (natch) and was sure there is no way I would like  the mozzarella/tomato version better. I was wrong. The tomatoes were cooked perfectly, the mozzarella was not stringy and the basil was fresh and full of flavor. They were also perfectly sized for sharing, each cut into 4 pieces.

Foamy yellowtail

Next up were the proteins: yellowtail over Cuban style black beans topped with sour orange foam, skillet roasted grouper with patatas bravas, mushroom escabeche and chimmichuri, baby rack of lamb four ways, including a smoking piece of cinnamon on the plate, with beets (who knew you could sous vide a beet and it would be awesome?) and a duck dish with coffee couscous, hold the candied bacon. The coffee flavored couscous was amazing – there is no doubt that it could wake you up, plus it was served in a coffee mug alongside the duck. The yellowtail was as good as I remember, and even the foam – though I’m not normally a fan of such tricks – was tasty. The grouper was delicious, however there were two pieces on the plate. One was perfectly done and the other slightly undercooked. One piece of grouper sat atop the mushroom escabeche, which as it was presented was announced that it is mushrooms with ham. That is a tidbit that would have been helpful prior to ordering (Remember the part where we asked for no bacon? We feel the same way about ham. Thanks.) Plus, you list just about every other ingredient on the menu. Just saying…) Oh well.

We indulged in the cheese plate, a Valdeon blue cheese panna cotta (holy crap good) topped with more cheese and almond powder. Then we moved on the dessert plate: mango butter ice cream atop salted chocolate crumbles, tiny macaroons and something deconstructed that I didn’t quite get (but it tasted good).

The service was good. The food was amazing. I was a little shocked to find that corkage is $33/bottle, but then again, I didn’t call ahead and ask. Still, that is a steep charge, in my opinion, especially when we order another $100 of wine off the menu. I have had a hard time coming up with any other restaurant that would charge a corkage fee when that much was ordered off the (only okay, not great) wine list. I was not impressed, to say the least. Over the summer, food is 50% off, so now is a good time to try it out.

Would I go back? Sure. The food is amazing, the service was good, but when most other places charge between $10-20 corkage, Fin’s $33 corkage fee seems excessive. I’m a wine geek. I know this. Whatever.

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