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We went here for our meal Saturday night. Tapas-style, mostly, with a nice outdoor patio seating area and a cozy, elegant, borderline Asian-inspired interior.

The menu is divided into a "small plates" and "large plates" portion, with the small section obviously being the tapas-style stuff. A lot of the large plates looked interesting, including a paella for two and a duck breast.

We ordered:

Fried Brandade Fritters with Aioli

Fried goat cheese with onion jam

Hummus and eggplant dip platter (it wasn't baba ganoush)

Clams with Chorizo

Shrimp with pimenton

Pickled summer squash salad

I think there was another dish but I don't remember it.

The summer squash salad was very unusual and had cinnamon or some spice in it that made it refreshing and comforting all at once.

Personal favorite was the fried goat cheese and the onion jam.

There were no real blunders in the food, though, everything was really good. The sommelier was knowledgeable, chilled our red to "true" room temperature and was eager to discuss our selections.

The menu changes seasonally and Fino is the sister restaurant of Asti.

On the whole, very enjoyable meal and evening. I'd even put it on par with our equally enjoyable experience at Rouge a few months back.

I gotta say, I hadn't had a really good, upscale meal in Austin in several years, but this weekend fixed that. The dining scene really seems to be taking off here and we didn't have one bad meal in the city. Kudos, y'all!

Fino Restaurant

2905 San Gabriel St, Austin, TX

(512) 474-2905

Edited by Kevin72 (log)
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My aunt and I went to Fino a couple of times about a month ago. It was good, but I still say the Asti venture is better.

I didn't know they even had a sommelier. Our wine order was taken by our knowlegeable server, but I would have like to know we could at least asked for a sommelier if we wanted.

Also, another reason I haven't gone back lately is that I live in fear of being sat at one of those incredibly uncomfortable-looking tall tables in the bar section. I'm really short, so sitting at one of those would make me so uncomfortable I wouldn't have any fun. Sure, they look cool. But they also look REALLY annoying to have to eat a meal at.

The food was good, but not exceptional. I remember my duck confit being rather bland. For the prices, I'd rather go to Asti.

-Sounds awfully rich!

-It is! That's why I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness!

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From today's Food-o-file in the Austin Chronicle:

Talked with local chef/restaurateurs Emmett and Lisa Fox when they returned from a two-week vacation in and around Barcelona, Spain. They had a great time enjoying the food, art, and architecture in that bustling metropolis and came back energized and eager to implement new dishes on the menu at FINO (2905 San Gabriel, 474-2905). Look for a week of meals inspired by their Spanish sojourn sometime in June. The Foxes are also excited about the new team on the range at FINO: Executive chef James Moore has returned to Austin after honing his cooking chops in Los Angeles and Santa Fe, while pastry chef Amanda Rockman comes to FINO after spending two years in the pastry kitchen of chef/cookbook author Gale Gand at Tru in Chicago.
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