Craving the coast? A quick trip will get you there in about three hours. But often, we just don’t have the time to get away.
Luckily, Fin & Fino, a coastal experience in its own, exists right here in the city.
This social seafood house is part of Rare Roots Hospitality, the restaurant group by Jon Dressler that is also home to Dressler’s, Dogwood, and The Porter’s House. Fin & Fino has been open just under two years at 135 Levine Avenue of the Arts (that wide brick road next to Knight Theater.)
Executive Chef Dominic Cerasaro is taking care of things in the kitchen with seasonal, local ingredients and fresh-daily seafood.
“At Fin & Fino, we work with the freshest ingredients and have the ability to continually create and test new recipes and techniques,” said Chef Cerasaro. “It all adds up to a dining experience that we hope our guests will never forget.”
The drink menu is not to be missed, either. Choose wines from curated lists fit to pair with proteins (oysters, fish, meat), a robust selection of beers, and a unique cocktail line-up.
“We wouldn’t be able to call ourselves a social seafood house without having a little fun behind the bar,” said lead bartender Brittany Kellum, also known as @bkandtheclams on Instagram. “We’re inspired by coastal flavors and tiki-style presentation, while also working with some smaller and unique spirit producers to craft fun, inventive drinks that (we hope) transport you to happy places, wherever that may be for you.”
If you’re suddenly left speechless by the food and drink options or maybe by the beautiful oyster shell decor above the bar, consider opting for The Treatment. This tasting menu experience takes you on a surprise adventure full of on- and off-menu items from the kitchen. Every guest that takes this route helps raise $5 for a charity, too.
However, if you’d like to take the traditional route, check out our suggestions below. We think you’ll be pleased.
Participating in dry January or just not a drinker? We feel that. Try the Rumless Punch ($7) with mixed juices, fresh nutmeg, and mint. It’ll whisk you away to a tropical island.
If you are indulging in spirit-filled drinks, go for the Call of the Clam ($15). You tell the server what liquor and flavor profiles you enjoy, and the mixologists create your perfect drink. They definitely nailed this one.
Fin & Fino serves a rotating selection of at least 12 varieties of oysters daily. We had the pleasure of slurping on oysters from Rappahannock River (eastern Virginia) and Totten Inlet (Washington.) Garnishes of lemon, horseradish, cocktail sauce, peach hot sauce, and mignonette were on deck for extra flavor. (Prices vary, but these were $3 each.)
A F&F favorite: the Salmon and Tuna Poke ($17) with sushi rice, furikake, pickled jalapeno, avocado, and bibb lettuce. It’s great for sharing but makes an even better solo meal. Just sayin’.
When the pasta is homemade, half the battle is won. And the rest of this dish definitely delivers. The Mussel Tagliatelle ($15) is tossed in a rich mixture of miso butter, sherry, and leeks and topped with fresh mussels and house-made tarragon sausage.
Another must-order: the Furikake Fries ($7). These potatoes are fried crispy and topped with Kewpie Japanese mayo. You might clear the whole plate.
The Octopus & Sausage ($16) is tossed with agrodolce onions and packs lots of flavor. Octopus is easy to overcook, but these folks have it down pat. The sausage adds a unique flavor and texture to the dish (it’s delicious, by the way).
You can’t walk away from a Dressler-owned restaurant without a slice of his mother’s famous N.Y. Cheesecake ($8). Seasonal flavors are usually available, but you just cannot go wrong with the classic.
While this dessert is usually topped with espresso, Fin & Fino’s Affogato ($7) gets a sherry bath instead. We were absolutely stuffed but couldn’t stop scooping this up.
Fin & Fino is open Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. (lunch); Monday-Thursday, 5 p.m.-10 p.m. (dinner); Friday-Saturday, 5-11 p.m. (dinner); closed Sunday. Check out their Instagram and website to stay up to date on the latest happenings (including a fun reoccurring food and beverage ticketed event called “Drink New Sh!t”).