Travelers of Philadelphia know that from neighborhood to neighborhood, scenery changes drastically. The look and feel, and what each neighborhood has to offer, makes leaps from one extreme to another, and Philly’s extremes are good extremes. Fishtown, as most visitors know, is no exception: everything it has to offer is young and “cool”, from coffee shops, to concert venues, restaurants and everything in-between.
Starting with their soft opening on Thursday, December 9th, The Fin will officially join Fishtown’s slew of hip offerings. Tying nicely with Fishtown’s earlier days (the Leni-Lenape tribe settled close by to take advantage of the abundance of shad fish!), this Surf and Turf cuisine’s classy, fishy vibe will fit in well.
Walking into The Fin, diners will be struck by the open ambiance. (10,000 square feet of space, in fact!) To the right is a bar area with an enormous 25-foot television screen displaying underwater scenes, while to the left is an open waiting area. The place screams blue: lighting at the bar, as well as the waitstaff uniforms (fisherwomen and men), brings the seafood theme alive and creates the unique atmosphere that visitors to Fishtown will likely be searching for (and if they’re not, they’ll be pleasantly surprised).
With a bar that big, blue, and beautiful, it goes without saying that a wide range of drinks – up to 120 cocktails and 325 wine selections – are waiting for drinkers to drink up. The Cranberry Mule and Manhattan were drinks of choice during our experience, and both come highly recommended. (One *might* lean more towards the Manhattan.)
The television and drink menu are not the only extensive pieces of The Fin: wide arrays of appetizers, soups, and sandwiches tempt visitors before becoming potentially overwhelmed by the vast number of options to be found in the Ice Bar, Surf and Turf, and the Seafood Boil. Chef Bay and his staff describe the menu as American surf and turf with French, Italian, and German influences. The menu can be found here.
A favorite of the night was the Bisque. Less soup than an abundance of thick crab, corn, and spices, it made its way onto a must-order-again list.
Of the two entrees, the Fried Alaskan Cod was more impressive than the Fin Jambalaya. The spices expected of a jambalaya were not found here, making this a good enough, but not great, choice.
Obviously, one will wonder about dessert. With perhaps the most unique item on the menu, the Cajun Crab Cheesecake (yes – CRAB cheesecake) can be found in the Dessert Trio, which includes Burning Apple Cake Cobbler (carmelized apple, streusel, and burning rum), Schokoladen Dreierlei (chocolate, chocolate, chocolate berries).
The Fin is not the place to go for a quick bite to eat. It is a place where, perhaps after or in-between enjoying the delights of Fishtown, diners will go to savor and enjoy, and add one more experience to their day. Perhaps it is because the cook is from Germany (he was born there, and he was formerly the Executive Chef at Brauhaus Schmitz on South Street), diners will be left to enjoy, and not rushed, as they partake in bites and sips, and make one more Philadelphia memory.
The Fin is located at 1000 Frankford Avenue #1 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19125. Their hours are Monday through Friday, 5pm through 2am, Saturday 12 noon through 2am, and Sunday 12 noon through 10pm.