Sunday, March 7, 2010

Spring 2010 Austin Restaurant Week: FINO for Shu's Birthday Brunch

Food Dilettante, Fickle Foodie, and Shu

My graduate classmate and good friend, Shu, celebrated her birthday at Fino. We were happy to catch Fino during Restaurant Week and took advantage of the prix-fixe brunch menu.

Our table of 9 was not fond of our waiter, who rudely interrupted our conversations to tell us that it's going to be a busy day so we must pay attention to what he had to say now.  Throughout our brunch, we barely even saw him.  We saw more of other waiters who were more attentive to us than him.

The food tasted fine.  I find the dishes are catered more for the trendy.  A couple of us were laughing about the "House-made Spiced Almond Granola with Yogurt and Fresh Fruit" starter.  It was more like "granola with a dollop of yogurt for garnish."  My "House Cured Salmon with Tzatziki and Cracker Bread" had more Tzatziki than salmon.  Again, the main ingredient turned out to be the garnish rather than the center piece of the dish. 
Hibiscus Mint Tea

House Cured Salmon with Tzatziki and Cracker Bread

House-made Spiced Almond Granola with Yogurt and Fresh Fruit

The main brunch course was so much better in that the ingredients are in expected proportions. I liked how they replaced English muffins with thick slices of potatoes for the benedict.  The ham gave the dish just enough saltiness without overpowering the other ingredients. 

I didn't get to taste the other main dish option for the prix-fixe, the Tortilla Espanola, but did manage to take a photo before being devoured by a friend.

FINO Benedict with Poached Farm Eggs, Paprika Hollandaise, Serrano Ham and Potato

Tortilla Espanola with Roasted Peppers, Egg, Onions and Tomatoes

The doughnuts were fun to eat, but there was no wow factor.

Made to Order Doughnuts with Blackberry Compote and Vanilla Crema

Maybe I should try FINO outside of Restaurant Week, but I honestly don't feel compelled to return.  There are so many other restaurants around town that I absolutely can't wait to return to and others that I have yet to try.  FINO just didn't make a mark on my taste buds.

Happy Birthday Shu!

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