Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Fino Happy Hour

I recently had a delightful Happy Hour at Fino. Their patio is one of the nicest in Austin, in my opinion and their food is generally pretty good. However, Fino and I have a rather love - hate relationship. I love some of their dishes, but hate others. Sometimes their food is so fresh, innovative and delicious. But other times, I feel like they "over innovate" and their dishes come off as pretentious and not that tasty. But now that I've been to Happy Hour at Fino a few times, I know how to tiptoe through flavor minefields in their perilous menu.

Piquillo Peppers stuffed with Gulf Crab - Quite tasty. Get a few.

Fried Anchovy Olives - Hands down the best (and smallest) thing on the Happy Hour Menu

The Ginger Apricot Daiquiri - A tasty cocktail for a summer afternoon

The Badass Manhatten - Is certainly badass. It had a rich, complex flavor that made me feel I was in an episode of Mad Men

Mussels Escabeche - Only ok. Stick with the peppers. But they do look pretty.

Things to avoid:
The spreads - They always sound delicious, but they've always underwhelmed me
Fried Goat Cheese - Sounds wonderful right? Its not
Fried Calamari - The calamari itself is pretty average, but the mojo sauce served with it is simply disgusting.
Tortilla Espanola - Its like a frittata. I know its a dinner dish in Spain, but I just can get excited about a happy Hour frittata.

I still assert that the most delicious thing on the Fino menu is their Seafood Paella. It's wonderfully addictive. Trust me. So if you go, order some peppers and olives and a drink for Happy Hour and then stay for the paella. You'll thank me.

P.S. Since I see Bill, the Bar Manager at Fino, reads these posts, I will also say that Fino has some of the most innovative drinks in Austin. Every time I go, I get excited when I see what delicious treats are offered up on the drink menu. Keep up the good work Bill!