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Fin & Fino: A Seafood Social House Experience in Charlotte

Updated: May 13

Almost four years ago, Jon & Kim Dressler opened their fifth restaurant in Charlotte called Fin & Fino. Dressler’s in Birkdale was their first followed by a second location in Midtown’s Metropolitan development. Dogwood Southern Table in South Park and The Porters House in Waverly soon followed.

Located Uptown, Fin & Fino is billed as a seafood social house. According to the restaurant, they celebrate the explorer’s mindset and the sailor’s heart with a menu that draws inspiration from seafaring cultures on both sides of the Atlantic. The food is largely small plates intended to be shared by those at the table.

On my birthday recently, we took an Uber Uptown to tour the Museum of the South then walked over to Fin & Fino for an early dinner. We had made a reservation but given the lack of people working Uptown right now, getting a table is not difficult during the week. However, Friday and Saturdays are generally packed. So if you plan to go on a weekend, we recommend making a reservation well in advance.

We were warmly greeted at the table by our server whose name we regretfully have forgotten. With a dry, witty sense of humor and a superior knowledge of food and their menu, he was one of the best servers that we have ever had. His recommendation, which we followed, was to order The Treatment. The way that it works is that you tell the server about any food allergies or menu items that you definitely do not want. Then you sit back and let the server and the kitchen decide what dishes to serve. It’s a super fun culinary adventure, since you don’t know what’s coming next. And they do a good job of pairing the dishes. They serve one or two dishes then give plenty of time for you to enjoy those before more food comes out. Should you not be feeling adventurous however, you have the option of ordering a la carte from the menu.

For our visit, they started with the Tuna & Salmon Poke. That was followed by two oyster preparations. One plate was Grilled oysters with 2 in a flavorful cajun marinara-like sauce & 2 in a poblano butter. The second plate was 6 raw oysters from New England. Our next adventure began with candied golden & red beets with a homemade scoop of whipped goat cheese and walnuts. This was truly spectacular. That dish was paired with a plate of scallops with peruvian lima beans and smoked aji amarillo aioli. Next was tilefish on a bed of Chinese forbidden (black) rice with bok choy and sliced garlic followed by Wagyu flank steak with caramelized fingerling potatoes and farm pear mostarda. The last dish before dessert was the squid ink pasta w/mussels, littleneck clams, butternut squash, pecorino, fried sage. If you have been dining out much in the past year, you may have noticed that squid ink has been showing up on the menus of many fine dining establishments. For dessert, they brought us New York-style Cheesecake which was sensational and carrot cake which was just ok. The desserts at all Dressler-owned restaurants are recipes created by Jon’s mother. At one time, she was even making all of them herself.

It likely goes without saying that we loved our experience at Fin & Fino, and we definitely plan to go back. If you like seafood, this place is a must try.

seafood picture at fin fino charlotte

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