Friday, November 19, 2010

Finz during Restaurant Week

No no, I had a different kind of banana split...

Last Thursday night Ricky and I had date night at Finz before I headed out for my girl weekend trip. It's walking distance, and since it was Restaurant week, we knew we could get an amazing meal for less.

We were not disappointed. It was easily one of the best meals I've had in Salem.

It was surprisingly quiet for a Thursday night, especially since it was Veteran's Day that day, so we got seated almost immediately and by the window. During the day, it would have been a nice view of the harbor, but right now it was just darkness and some lights. The room looked quite pretty nonetheless.

Thanks to Restaurant Week, we got a three-course meal for $25 each. This is a deal for Finz, where entrees are averaging $20 a plate. We also each got drinks. Ricky got beer, and I had the ginger peach martini. The ginger warmed me upon this cold night, and the peach helped mellow out the flavors. If I go back, I'm next eying the cinna-rita or the autumn mule.

I got a salad that featured blue cheese, bacon, nuts, apples, and a pomegranate vinaigrette. It was very filling and the flavors were a unique twist on the typical "salad with nuts and fruit and a pungent cheese" fare. The bacon added a meatiness and weight to the salad without overpowering the flavors. Ricky got the lobster bisque, which had leeks in it. It had interesting flavors, and wasn't too fishy.

For entrees, I got salmon wrapped in bacon with a side of asparagus all over a cranberry walnut risotto. The Great Escape, THIS IS HOW YOU MAKE RISOTTO. Perfectly cooked, great flavors, and definitely complimented the fish. As far as wrapping some things in bacon... I'm not usually crazy about it. I hate soft, undercooked bacon, and I feel like this is what usually results. The top was well cooked and the smokiness of the meat complimented the salmon well, but the bottom and sides weren't as good, so I just picked around it. I could have eaten that risotto morning, noon, and night. It was that good.

Ricky got shortrib tacos with sweet potato strings and a slaw. I had a few bites of his meal, and it was quite flavorful. The meat had a lot of heat on it, but the creaminess of the slaw mellowed it out. And who doesn't love a sweet potato product?

For dessert, we each got their take on the banana split. I tend to shy away from banana splits because they usually involve pineapple, which I'm allergic to. This version, fortunately, did not involve it. Instead, it involved banana ice cream, candied walnuts, whipped cream, and fried cubes of cheesecake. Needless to say... it was a nice departure from the classic.

Finz is clearly not a "go every week" kind of restaurant, but I've found a new "go for special occasions" restuarant in Salem. The location is great, the convenience is equally key, and the menu is thoughtful and tasty. I strongly recommend it.

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