Finz Seafood and Grill, 8 July 2012

Based on my friend Kara’s recommendation, I checked out Finz in Salem.  Finz, a harbor-side restaurant on Pickering Wharf, has a fantastic menu full of excellent starters, entrees, and cocktails.

View of the Finz deck.

Being that I’m not local to Salem, and because everything sounded so good, I went a little overboard with the appetizers.  I wish I could have had more than four – several others sounded excellent – but I had to draw the line somewhere.  Our server, Kim, made some excellent recommendations throughout the evening.

I started off with a half-dozen of the Finz Wasabi-Stoli Oysters, a popular item at the restaurant.  The oysters were topped with wasabi caviar and Stoli “Raz” vodka, and served with cocktail sauce.  It was a good change from regular oysters-on-the-half-shell.

Fresh oysters with a twist.

Next up was the Tuna Tartare.  It was excellent, and included mango, avocado, red onions, ginger-soy dressing, and wonton chips.  I was sad when it was all gone.

So good…

Baked Goat Cheese with roasted garlic, Kalamata olives, and garlic bread followed.  A great Mediterranean dish, it reminded me of Zaytinya back in D.C.  I was surprised at how good it was – it was, after all, relatively simple – but I’d get it again.

Great Mediterranean touch to the meal.

The menu had a few interesting du jours, including a gazpacho of the day (I didn’t get it, although I was considering it – that day’s was an asian version) and a guacamole of the day (which I did get).  This particular day Finz was serving an apple cinnamon guac with cinnamon-sugar chips.  It was a very different flavor from the norm and worked really well…just another indicator that the creative talent at Finz is top-notch.

I’m a big fan of guacamole, and this version was creative and delicious.

Completing this last starter, we moved on to the entrees.  Going on our server’s recommendation, I went with the Black and White Sesame Tuna, which was served rare on top of seaweed salad.  It was plated with a sushi rice cake topped with crab “dynamite”, which was similar to the creamy and spicy crab topping found on some of my favorite sushi rolls, and avocado.  A wasabi cream lent some additional flavor to the dish.  I think this may be my new favorite tuna dish.  Excellent all around.

What a great dish this was. I’ll probably be getting it next time I am in Salem.

Tuna is definitely something that Finz does well.  I’d encourage visitors to try out some of that, although likely whatever one gets there would be excellent…I was impressed with all of the dishes.

Dessert was also fantastic.  I went for the Warm Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie.  The description of it interested me because it said it was baked cookie dough.  It was like a deep dish, cake-like cookie – soft and moist.  Good stuff.

Awesome close to the dinner.

Good cocktail menu as well at Finz.  Here’s a couple I had:

  • Ocean Flower – Ketel One vodka, St. Germain, papaya puree, agave nectar, yuzu juice, sriracha-infused sugar rim.  I was a fan of this one…just the right level of sweet.
  • Cucumber Spritzer – Crop Cucumber vodka, Thatcher’s Cucumber liquor (hadn’t heard of this, but it’s now on my to-buy list), lemongrass syrup, white wine, soda water.  Cool and refreshing.
  • Strawberry Fields Lemonade – Ketel One Citron, rhubarb basil simple syrup, strawberry puree, lemonade.  This one was dangerous…tasted like a really tasty strawberry lemonade.

The Ocean Flower.

Good beer selection as well.

If you’re around Salem, Finz deserves your attention.  Check them out.

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