June 2nd, 2009

Por Fin at last

Por Fin Restaurant & LoungeI have a confession to make. I live about four blocks away from Por Fin and last night was the first time I ever set foot in the restaurant. A little embarrassing, I know, but sometimes I’m a late adopter like that. Maybe it’s not so bad that I waited, as I hear the Spanish/Mediterranean restaurant has gotten better since opening.

We arrived at 9 and were seated in one of the booths along the mirrored walls of the clean-lined dining room. Yesterday was the start of Coral Gables Restaurant Week so we were given the restaurant week and regular menus. For the two-week event Por Fin is offering three courses plus dessert for $36. For each course, you have six dishes to choose from.

For a moment, we feared we were off to a shaky start when more than 10 minutes went by after sitting and no one had been by our table to take our drink order; it was Monday night after all and the restaurant was far from full. But once it was brought to the staff’s attention, they apologized, sent over some serrano ham croquetas and from then on the service was excellent throughout.

I started with Carlos’ salad, followed by Huevos Por Fin and then the cochinillo (roasted suckling pig). D decided to veer off the restaurant week menu and ordered the ceviche and the one of the evening’s specials, a risotto with mussels and shrimp.

Carlos’ salad satisfied with its multiplicity of textures from the crunchy thin potatoes, buttery avocado, juicy tomatoes, and crisp but not crunchy bacon. Alone, it would make a great light lunch. D’s ceviche of Chilean sea bass with avocado, yuzu, aji panca, red onions and shallots, was good but didn’t really stand out. To me, the yuzu seemed to overpower everything else.

Next came the Huevos Por Fin (fried eggs, with potato crisps, potato foam, Serrano ham and truffle oil). When our server set down the dish on the table, he told me the best way to eat it was to just mix it all up together. I did and the simple dish won me over.

The cochinillo was served over apple compote and vanilla. The meat was tender and the skin crisp to perfection. Not to diminish the meat but I would’ve been happy with a serving of that delicious, crispy skin.

Come dessert time, I was hoping to find something light on the menu. It’s all I could take after all that food. I chose Caribbean Passion, passion fruit cream, topped with a layer coconut foam and shaved mint granita. I’m a fruit fan so this little treat was to my liking. Not too sweet and very refreshing.

It took me a while, but at last I made it to Por Fin. And our first experience was good so I’ll definitely visit again to taste other items on their menu. With only four blocks separating the restaurant and me, I have no excuse.

Por Fin
2500 Ponce de Leon Boulevard, Coral Gables
305.441.0107

Por Fin Restaurant & Lounge. on Urbanspoon

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14 Responses to “Por Fin at last”

  1. It still took you less time to try Por Fin than it took them to open it! I am not a fan of the ceviche either. Too much acidity and too much liquid. And too much environmentally irresposnible sea bass on the whole menu for that matter. But they do a great cochinillo, and almost all of the tapas-style items are very good too.

  2. The Huevos Por Fin are awesome. I’ve been thinking about that dish lately…

  3. That’s it – now I’m hungry!

  4. Frod – Agree about the ceviche; it tasted a little too sour. I’d like to go back and try some of their small plates.

    Tere – The eggs had the comforting effect of huevos con arroz, which my mom used to make us anytime she didn’t feel like cooking. These is a much, much more refined dish, of course, but that’s what it reminded me of…

    Vic – I heard they have great lunch specials. You should go by since you’re close.

  5. I’ll be honest, at first as Paula mentions the service threw set me off. I emphatically hate the poor service in Miami however Por Fin instantly fixed everything after I spoke up. From there on the service was quite nice. From what I could tell the service will probably be consistently good in the future. The wait staff was very knoweledgeable.

    I don’t crave risotto ever but when mentioned by the waiter the mussel and shrimp risotto perked up my ears. Nice and creamy with nice flavors.

    We also had a nice Montecillo Rioja Reserva 2002 Tempranillo Wine that was only $38 which was not that marked up. I would drink this again.

  6. I loved the Huevos Por Fin the first time I tried them. However last night they were swimming in foam. The potato foam was the base for the dish, which was served in a big sudsy bowl. Was this how you got them too? The first time I got them, they were served on a plate with much more restrained foam portions. I really could not stomach it.

  7. p.s. I totally agree about the cochinillo. Yum!

  8. Trina – Yes, I got them in a bowl and since it was my first time there I don’t know how they were served before. There was quite a bit of foam in mine but I wouldn’t say they were swimming in it. Sorry to hear they were bad for you.

    Isn’t that cochinillo skin delicious?!?

  9. Everything else was quite tasty though. I also had the lentil soup with smoky sausage. For dessert, I had the chocolate upon chocolate upon chocolate one….delicious, except for the odd gelatinous cubes of chocolate placed on the side of the plate.

  10. I went there last night. The special menu was down to 3 courses, not 4. The waiter explained that the week before, with a 4 course menu, the kitchen ended up having to make a lot more dishes and it was just too chaotic. So they down it to three but he assured us that the portions are bigger.

    My husband was disappointed not to be able to try the cochinillo you guys raved about, but loved the short ribs, rated it above Michy’s. We did try the Huevos. It was nicely done, and definitely not too much foam. We finished with chocolate souffle, and a chocolate combo (mousse + ice cream + jello + brownie), for dessert.

    Service was not excellent, but won’t call it bad. Overall quite an enjoyable evening. The NZ sauvigon blanc was delicious but the R Collection Cab was something we definitely won’t drink again.

  11. Crystal – What a shame that they reduced the menu. I’m glad, however, you had a good experience overall. I’m hoping to visit again soon for another try.

  12. Oh here’s a pic of the huevos we had. Very nicely presented and definitely not swimming in foam.
    http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u314/azuki726/food/P6122124.jpg

  13. That’s what mine were like. They were very good. I may just have to go back for some.

  14. [...] bulls. It happens every summer during Las Fiestas de San Fermin in Pamplona. And starting tomorrow Por Fin is celebrating with two-for-one drinks, flamenco and $5 tapas. The celebration will carry on [...]

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