The Pond’s Getting Smaller

Posted by Aaron Munter on January 19, 2011 in Eating, Food |

Karen Brooks over at Portland Monthly reported a couple of days ago that Fin, the six-month-old seafood spot in inner southeast Portland, will close on Valentine’s Day.

Although I never want to see any decent-or-better restaurant close, I’m particularly sad about this one. Fin was among the most promising restaurant concepts in a while, with an array of unusual seafood options in a non-chain, more intimate atmosphere. My hope was (and still is) that it would trigger other chefs and restauranteurs to think about opening unhomogenized, interesting fish-focused spots.

On the other hand, my dining experience at Fin wasn’t as stellar as it was for Roger Porter. The menu was interesting and the food was reasonably well-executed. There were some issues with temperatures and doneness of the non-fish components of the dishes. But most concerning, there was a real disconnect between the front and back of the house.

Dishes came out with haphazard timing, and servers didn’t seem well-prepared to deal with it. A night that we were there, a large party was also dining, and both the kitchen and servers seemed swamped. We were offered a halfhearted apology, but befuddlement seemed predominant.

These are the kinds of issues that can easily be ironed out over time, and indeed, may have already been addressed — it has been a couple of months since we’ve been back. It’s just too bad that Fin didn’t get the time and opportunity to last.

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