Thursday, January 26, 2012
Restaurant Review: Big Fin Seafood Kitchen (Orlando)
Most of the time we were in Orlando, it was go-go-go pretty much the whole week. There is so much to see and do, that it doesn't leave much in the way of leisure time. On the Friday night we were there, we went to Animal Kingdom that day. Animal Kingdom is a lot of fun, but it's automatically going to be a shorter day, because the park closes so much earlier than the other parks (it closed at 7:00 the day we were there). Graham wanted seafood that night for dinner. Living in Arkansas, really good seafood is harder to come buy. Since we were in Florida (even though we weren't on the coast), we wanted to take advantage of our options. We asked the concierge at the hotel for a recommendation, since our hotel had HORRIBLE Internet service, and she recommended Big Fin.
On our way there, I read some reviews, and they were very mixed. Most people complained about the price, the portion size and most of all the service. The reviews kind of turned me off and then we couldn't find the restaurant, so we passed a Bonefish and decided just to stop there. But once we found out the wait was over an hour, we resumed our search for Big Fin. And I am SO glad we did.
We get there, and there is no wait at all. We were seated very quickly, and our waiter approached us for our drink orders almost instantly. And our server was AMAZING. He went over every aspect of the menu and recommended a few new items they had.
We ordered one of the new items on the menu for our appetizer and it was delicious. It was a flat bread with a smoky chipotle sauce. It was very good, but the texture of it made me feel like I was eating a frozen Totinos pizza. The taste was about 6,000 times better (it was sweet, smoky & spicy at the same time), but the texture of the crust, along with the very finely diced toppings were reminiscent of those terrible little pizzas.
But our entrees were fantastic. I had the blackened salmon with mashed potatoes and green beans. A lot of people complained about the texture of the green beans in their reviews, but these were amazing. Everything on my plate was amazing, and I told my husband that I didn't know why I kept eating the "stupid green beans". They were perfectly cooked. They were tender, but still had that little bit of a bite to them. The mashed potatoes were excellent, but it's hard to mess up mashed potatoes. The star was the salmon, though. The salmon was to die for. With their fish, you can order any of them cooked in whatever method you prefer, so I ordered mine blackened. When they brought my plate out, I know my eyes must have been huge. It was the biggest piece of salmon I have ever seen. And it was perfectly cooked. It just flaked apart, and had amazing flavor. The blackening did not over power the fish itself and it was just absolutely delicious.
Graham ordered the Fra Diavolo with scallops. It was very good, but not on the same level with my salmon. The scallops were huge and tender, and the sauce was delicious, but it didn't work too well together. Scallops are so easy to make, and they have his delicious, simple taste. They don't need much, and this sauce was overpowering. You couldn't really taste the natural flavor of the scallops. The dish was excellent though. There were huge chunks of artichoke hearts in the pasta and the sauce had just enough heat to it.
This was a pretty expensive meal, but only because we ordered an appetizer and a bottle of wine. But the cost of the entrees wasn't that much more expensive than what you'd get at any other nice restaurant. I mean, you have the option of ordering a $60 one pound king crab leg, but most of the items on the menu are between $20-$30.