Fin Raw Bar & Kitchen


By Dane Feldman

Photos by Dane Feldman.

I’ve been to Fin Raw Bar & Kitchen a small handful of times now since my first review, but once in a while a restaurant strikes me and a follow up review seems necessary. This is one of those instances.

Fin has two locations, but like my first review, this one focuses on the Summit, NJ location on Maple Street.

The food
As you might infer, Fin Raw Bar & Kitchen is largely a fish and seafood restaurant. The dinner menu doesn’t change much from season to season, but the restaurant often offers a handful of impressive specials each night.

On this occasion, my family and I ordered the tempura-fried oysters special and a shredded Greek salad to share. The oysters were fantastic. I’ve long been a fan of fried oysters (really any kind of oysters), but frying them in tempura flakes is a real game changer.

Speaking of game changers, the shredded Greek salad was amongst the most wonderful salads I’ve eaten to date. The vegetables and cheese were fresh, the olives perfectly salty and not scarce, and the salad itself was a great size to share between three people. I kept going back for more helpings and I think I polished off almost all of the chickpeas myself.

After our starter and salad, I ordered the short ribs & shrimp: orange barbecue ribs served with sriracha and guajillo chili shrimp, and a side of jicama, mango, and black bean slaw. Dear lord were those shrimp spicy, but I loved them.

The spicy and tangy shrimp paired fantastically well with the sweetness of the orange barbecue short ribs and the sweet, freshness of the jicama, mango, and black bean slaw. The portion was a bit bigger than was necessary for me, but for $31 (not bad for short ribs), I was happy to take some home to eat as leftovers.

The drinks
I’m sure I sound like a broken record by now, but like most restaurants in this area of New Jersey, Fin Raw Bar & Kitchen does not own a liquor license. The restaurant is strictly BYOB, but there is at least one liquor store within walking distance so patrons won’t have to go in empty handed.

The service/ambience
Dining at Fin is truly a lovely experience. The wait staff is as remarkably friendly at all times as they are helpful, attentive, and knowledgeable.

The space itself is a breath of fresh air. Even at night, it creates the feeling that natural light is flooding in from the windows. The seafood restaurant boasts a subtle beachfront quaintness that is neither obnoxious nor tacky.

Fin has a real sense of self and it isn’t overflowing with pretention either. Dining here is as comfortable, relaxed, and transporting as physically dining on the coast. In honor of Fan Week, that is something of which I am a true fan.