Florida cobia at Fin Bistro — Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster WaltonIn the Naples, Florida, area, Fin Bistro stars as one of Marco Island's newest and hottest spots for dinner. It lives up to its name by carrying and preparing fresh, fresh fin fish in a nice,interesting variety, along with local and imported shellfish. In most cases, the fish comes simply prepared but lovingly complemented with seasonal vegetables and original side dishes such as the bacon wrapped arugula potato cake with the Key West swordfish and Calvados stone ground mustard jus. The atmosphere, too, veers toward simplicity - tile floors, white linen tablecloths, dark wood chairs and minimal wall decoration.
Start with an appetizer of warm goat cheese bruschetta – crumb coated goat cheese croquettes with beefsteak tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, shreds of basil, roasted garlic and grilled bread. Or try the grilled asparagus and prosciutto with crunchy poached egg, Reggiano fondue, watercress and white truffle. Both show off Chef Brian O’Brien’s bold creativity in the kitchen.
From the Greens and Pasta department, progress to a roasted beet and hearts of palm salad with creamy gorgonzola, spiced walnuts, aged balsamic vinegar and baby spinach; or red chili chicken ditalini pasta with creamy Reggiano and white cheddar sauce, bits of prosciutto and fresh spinach.
The Fresh Caught section typically lists 10 fish from Florida and the Caribbean, including snapper, yellowfin tuna, wahoo, cobia, black grouper and spiny lobster. The grilled Caribbean wahoo is a specialty that the chef serves with Mediterranean accents atop roasted eggplant puree with tomato caper caponata and fresh herb infused olive oil. Another headliner, the yellowfin tuna comes with white cheddar roasted chili polenta “ fries,” a miso portobello and smoked tomato emulsion.
The daring and delish is in the details here. Meat-lovers find a treat in the cider brined pork tenderloin, its sweet saltiness balanced with smoked tomato butter and accompanied with a chilled farm bean salad and roasted garlic and potato puree.
For dessert, the warm white chocolate apple croissant bread pudding steals the show with bourbon caramel sauce and ice cream. There is also dark chocolate truffle cake, berry and brandy cobbler and key lime flan to take you to the sweet finish line.
A well-curated wine list and spot on service complete an experience at Fin Bistro that transcends the care and craftsmanship found at standard seafood houses on Marco Island. Just make sure to call early for reservations, especially in season, when the smallish dining room fills nightly with snowbirds, tourists and locals who just cannot stay away.