‘Watts for Dinner’: The details define Fin Bistro

Will Watts
The "Shellfish Meyer Lemon Brodetto" from Fin Bistro, Marco Island.

How come it took this long? That’s the question I asked in the middle of my meal at Fin Bistro, Marco Island. I’ve been doing dining reviews for over a year now for the Eagle, and yet, I had never been here. And here was magnificent.  

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The attention to detail in each dish makes all the difference. Take, for example, the Caesar salad I started off my meal with ($6, $9 if you add chicken or shrimp) – Romaine hearts, garlic croutons (yum!) and creamy Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and an anchovy-infused dressing. This was hardly your run-of-the-mill Caesar. Something so simple, so often served; but a few added details and voila! Magic!

The "Bistro Bibb Salad" from Fin Bistro, Marco Island.

My partner in dine started with the “Bistro Bibb Salad” ($10) – featuring Boston Bibb lettuce (a quality butter lettuce with large, loose heads and thick leaves), radicchio (which resembles red lettuce or cabbage) a warm walnut crusted goat cheese (that looks like a hush puppy in the center of the salad), potato straws and a tangy mustard herb vinaigrette. If you just said OMG! You are correct. And it won’t be the last time in this review.

For his entrée, my dining companion picked “Shellfish Meyer Lemon Brodetto” ($27) – with clams (local according to the menu), Key West Rock shrimp, jumbo prawn, calamari and scallops in a white wine tomato lemon broth. Sound good? It was. But that’s not all. Buried in the bowl is a crispy corn risotto cake. Another one of those amazing and defining details. The ingredients alone are enough to make one’s mouth water, but the execution of this blend of ingredients deserves a standing ovation.

Coconut tempura shrimp from Fin Bistro, Marco Island.

For my entrée, I picked the coconut tempura shrimp ($28) – Giant breaded shrimp with a creamy chili sauce, served with veggie side that combined a lemongrass emulsion with green beans, shiitake mushrooms and radicchio; along with a side of jasmine rice.

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Anywhere else and this dish would have been the star of the show. But after seeing Fin Bistro’s other masterpieces, I started to wonder if I should have ordered something more complex. Needless to say, the shrimp were cooked to perfection. I wouldn’t have minded more chili sauce, but that’s hardly a complaint. Oddly, I though the veggie side was the best item in my plate. The combination of flavor is the best thing to happen to green beans since southerners added pork.

Complimentary bread, served with a red pepper and oil mixture from Fin Bistro, Marco Island.
White chocolate apple croissant bread pudding from Fin Bistro, Marco Island.

If all this wasn’t enough, I doubled down with dessert. The name alone is enough to make your drool: white chocolate apple croissant bread pudding ($9.50) – Warm bread pudding with vanilla ice cream and a Bourbon caramel sauce. The sauce is stout, like the flavor of the darkest portion on top of a crème brûlée; with big chunks of apple in the mix. For me, the white chocolate did get lost in the flavor. I would almost suggest they take it out of the name, as it creates an expectation that is not met.

Fin Bistro is my one of my new favorite places to eat on Marco. If you pay attention to details, you’ll not just love it too, you’ll downright appreciate it.

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If you go

Fin Bistro

  • 657 S Collier Blvd, Marco Island
  • 239-970-6064
  • finbistro.com