Sunday, October 12, 2008

Dinner at the Blue Fin

I dined at the newly minted (well, it's been open since July) Blue Fin Bistro last Friday evening and wanted to present my thoughts below. The place had a lot of buzz about it and I was truly looking forward to dinner.

The ambiance is nice enough; I guess you would call it fine-modern or something like that. Blue Fin spins itself as an upscale joint, offering fresh fish, sushi, and a pan-Asian take on dishes. This was countered by the nice woman singing Alanis Morissette and the "pick a song" request lists on the table. Kind of a contradiction if you ask me. But you didn't, so I should continue.

Service? Terrible. After the meal I tried to give them the benefit of the doubt, but I was quickly (and properly) corrected that it stunk. When it takes 20 minutes to get a bottle of wine, you have to ask for bread even when you bring it to other tables, and there is little flow in your approach, it just comes back as bad service. Not a good start to the night.

The wine and drink list was nice enough, and I give major complements to a place that has a page of blue drinks to compliment its name (not enough places do things like this). The wine list, albeit a bit pricy, was nice, and the Argentinean white we selected was good. The food, not so much. The menu was expansive and expensive. Very expensive. They offer a large variety of seafood, sushi, steaks, and other Asian inspired dishes. I chose a spicy seafood noodle dish, while my other half chose a lobster and mushroom ravioli (let's face it, the fish dishes and crazy sushi were a little out of our budget range). We were then given the gift of no bread on the table and a 45 minute wait for our food. When it arrived, it was pretty tasty, but I have to main beefs with the meal. First, don’t call something on your menu "spicy" and then have it be as tame as a piece of chicken. I want some heat in the back of my throat. Second, overcooking your shrimp, slicing a scallop with some onions and peppers, adding chile paste with garlic, and tossing it all with noodles does not constitute an interesting or inspiring dish. If I can pick out exactly what went into it, why wouldn’t I just make it at home?

All in all, I cannot say I recommend this place. Because the experience was pretty shoddy (company was good). I really expected a bit more out of a hyped up, fine dining restaurant, but what I got was instead a poorly serviced mediocre experience. To top it off, the coffee they served me post meal (they proudly brew Starbuck's) was lukewarm. Not Han Solo-hot, but lukewarm. Bah.

Now that I have been a negative Nancy, I promise to post some positive thoughts next restaurant writing (I have a good one).


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