Austin >Food & Dining > Fino Restaurant
2905 San Gabriel St, Austin, TX | Directions 7870530.297832 -97.747733
Neighborhoods: West University, Central Austin
When I'm feeling swanky and have a hankering for tapas, Fino is my spot. The perfect spot to meet the girls for happy hour or grab dinner for a hot date.
I really do love Fino, it is a great spot for a nice date. We have come as a group, but I believe that it's a better date night spot. Sit outside when it's not disgustingly hot as they have a great patio! I really enjoy their drinks, bee's knees being my absolute favorite. The muhummara is always a great tapas to start with. The PEI mussels are a delicious small plate, as well as the quail. I always try to get the specials for that night. Expect to spend a little bit of cash to get a couple of cocktails, but they will not disappoint.
Great Outdoor Dining – A relaxed, romantic setting with Mediterranean and Spanish cuisine make this a perfect date spot. Call ahead for a seat on the patio when the weather's nice.
Finos-atx – Just ate here for the first time last night. The wine selection was great, the waitor recommended our meals and I enjoyed the chicken entree as well as the romaine salad. the pound cake dessert was awesome and the appetizer was also very tasty. We had the tortilla espanola, romaine and manchego salad buddys natural chicken and poached farm egg, wagyu beef cheeks. I would recommend this mediterranean resturant. the presentation was nice and the staff professional and on point. we really enjoyed our date.
Hands down the WORST MEAL OF MY LIFE – Okay let's start by saying whats good about Fino. Good: Decor, well thought out and has a great outdoor entertaining space. Parking: is convenient. Tapas: the dips are tasty, fried calamari done just right, stuffed peppers yummie, fried olives, all good.
Now the BAD... (why the 180?!)
for god sake we even sat at the "chef's table!" I don't know who was the chef that night but the food was atrocious. When you claim that you are sitting at the "chef's table" you have high expectations of a fabulous meal. Unfortunately this did not come to fruition. It seems the only things they can get right are the tapas.
So on to the pre-selected menu...The endive salad was super bitter so/so the butternut squash soup was sweet and bland. The fish tasted fishy and injected with loads of butter to mask any flavor at all. Granted it said it was a brown butter sauce, HELLO? brown butter when properly browned should have a pleasant nutty flavor. This was just straight lazy clarified butter. The flank steak was better..marginally. With overly salted puree and a lackluster amateur red wine reduction, it was meh nothing I couldn't do at home. The dessert, a sorry excuse of a creme brule, the texture wasn't silky it tasted like a jello pudding cup with a hint of orange, with an uneven caramelized sugar top, kinda sad.. They also lack platting consistency. It's been a long time since I've had a really REALLY bad meal..the kind of meal that pisses you off, especially when you drop over $120 for a meal c'mon? seriously? that's the BEST you've got?
Fino is a great place for Apps and drinks. The rest is risky foodie beware...
Citysearch Editorial Review – Chefs Emmett and Lisa Fox, the power duo behind Austin's popular Asti, transformed the site of the former Granite Cafe. Young, well-heeled patrons can choose from two distinct areas: a sleek, open dining room with muted decor, or another boasting tall bistro tables and a spacious bar. Nearby, diners enjoy candlelight conversation on the covered patio with shutters that open and close to accommodate varied temperatures. Fino's Mediterranean menu is divided into sections for big and small plates.
Excellent food and service – My husband (French) has been lamenting about vacations in Spain and the paella on the beach there for a couple of months now. So we went to Fino's last Saturday night for the first time. Immediately I liked the atmosphere - very hip, contemporary, lounge-y. We ordered a couple of cocktails with the artisenal cheese platter to munch on while waiting on the paella, which takes about 30 minutes. It was well-worth the wait! Now, this isn't an absolutely 'classic' version of paella, but I personally loved the idea of the aioli and fried eggs. Really interesting (and HUGE). I love any menu which includes half-bottles. Dessert was an incredible blood orange sorbet with sparkling rose. I wish that I could remember our server's name, because he was great. Can't wait to go back!
Great evening - food, drinks and service – I found Fino online while searching for a restaurant to bring a group of our important clients to while in Austin for a conference; it was important that the quality of the food, beverages and service be 5 stars we were also looking for a relaxed ambience for the final evening of the event.
When I booked our reservation about a month out the vast majority of online reviews were very positive - a few days before hosting the dinner I went back online and was very surprised to see several very critical reviews. Rather than embarrass myself in front of my boss and our clients my first thought was to cancel the reservation - but I had no guarantee that the next restaurant would be any better; so I phoned Fino and spoke with the General Manager who assured me that there had been no major staff turnover and I could be confident in my choice.
The restaurant was perfect for our occasion – we were all arriving by taxi – by the time the 4th cab arrived and everyone had a drink the selection of tapas and small plates I ordered were on the table. Everyone could relax with a drink and a tasty nibble – every plate was a hit.
Our waiter was contentious but not the least bit intrusive – a true professional; dinner orders were taken and variations and recommendations made for the vegetarians and those with allergies in the group.
As it worked out, everyone had a different main course – the depth of menu selection offered something for every palate. Everything arrived hot, and well presented and timely.
Although we were all exhausted by the weeks activities the great food and service at Fino Restaurant made it easy for us to linger of coffee, dessert and after dinner drinks.
When it was time for the check the waiter offered to call for taxi’s knowing that is how we arrived – only needing to know how many we would like.
We left not only well fed but feeling well cared for as well. I recommend Fino Restaurant without hesitation and look forward to returning my next trip to Austin.
Dining experience from Thurs, 9/3/09 – Dined at Fino for the first time. Not thrilled with my choice. Ordered the chicken entree, with garbanzo beans and spinach (very salty), did not have the wine choice I requested, alternate white wine was good. My dining companion ordered the Halibut, he was pleased with his selection. We noticed there was really no ambiance, or substance to this restaurant. Nothing really stood out about the restaurant, except it being a bit pricey. Dinner for 2 was around $80. Review: 1 star. I will not return or recommend.
I am NOT returning to Fino! – Just to be concise, we went to Fino today, July 25, 2009. We were sitted in the bar, because apparently we did not make reservations for the main dininig area. The waiter was not particularly interested in us and rather indifferent to our presence in his restaurant?! The main thing is food of course, and it was merely not enough. Risotto as the only vegetarian choice was probably 1/4 of a cup, not more. There was also barely cooked zuccini/squash and something else in it which I could not recognize. Bread pudding was $9 for a tiny piece! The manager of both Fino and Asti came by, and I told him that the portions were to laugh about. He tried to expIain that usually people get full by ordering tapas.... HOw pretentious and how not European at all. BTW, if you visited Italy nowadays, the portions in their restaurants are now big, trying to satisfy us, Americans. The way to go and be happy. I left very angry and hungry. Would not recommend at all! The customer who weighs only 115 lbs, but still likes to eat and enjoys loads of best food!
Don't understand what the appeal is here . . . – Fino must think it's a tapas bar, but it's not really touted that way so it's confusing. Granted, the appetizers are pretty good - but when our risotto entre arrived with no more than 1/4 cup of the risotto rice, we felt gyped. Asking the waiter about it, he said that most people fill up on the tapas so they keep the entrees small. Hmmm. . . we didn't get the memo, and that's no ok with us! The crab and avocado bruchetta didn't taste like anything, the jambalaya was way over salted, and as I said-the risotto was almost non existent on the plate (the scallops were good). We would not go back - it's our second time and both times we were disappointed.
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