By Dane Feldman
Photo by Dane Feldman.
Fin Raw Bar and Kitchen has two locations in New Jersey, one in Montclair and one in Summit. This review focuses on the latter location on Maple Street in Summit.
I came to Fin for the first time for dinner, but the restaurant also operates during lunch hours and offers a separate lunch menu.
The dinner menu is divided into several categories: raw bar, starters, salads, pasta, wood-grilled fish, table tastings, and dinner. “Add ons,” or side dishes, are also on offer. The restaurant also provides several dinner and appetizer specials each night, which are not listed on the menu.
Thankfully (or maybe not so thankfully), there were so many delicious specials to choose from in addition to the main menu that my dining companions (read: my parents) and I had plenty of difficulty making decisions.
To start, we ordered the oyster special: oysters on the half-shell topped with tuna tartar and spicy wasabi sauce and served with a champagne flute filled with tomato jalapeno gazpacho. I could have ordered three more of this dish and been happy, but alas we went on to main courses.
My mother ordered the seafood pot pie special: half of a lobster, crab meat, shrimp, and scallops in a tomato-based sauce all within a homemade pastry puff. My father had the 7 Spiced Big Eye Tuna (seared and served with a heaping side of soba noodles, stir fried vegetables, and a sweet soy and scallion vinaigrette).
After plenty of agonizing over what to order, I went for the Strozzapreti pasta dish: short hand twisted pasta served with lobster, crabmeat, and shrimp and topped with mint, lemon zest, and chili flakes. All I can say is I will be attempting to make this myself and when I fail, I’ll be right back at Fin.
Like so many other restaurants in New Jersey, Fin is a BYOB establishment, but does offer soft drinks, bottled water, and sparkling water. It is, however, located a stone’s throw away from The Office.
The wait staff at Fin is some of the best I’ve encountered in a while. Our waitress was extremely friendly, attentive, and knowledgeable. She was quite helpful when we were making our entree choices and even walked me through the length of the entire restaurant to show me to the bathroom.
The restaurant itself is a bit rustic. In fact, I imagine it as an old Boston fish market converted into a restaurant, which seems like the perfect place to chow down on some oysters and lobster. Fin is, without a doubt in my mind, the holy grail of seafood restaurants in the area.