What I Ordered
- Seafood Ceviche
- Dulce de Leche Cheesecake
In Short: The meal far exceeded my expectations. The seafood was juicy and delicious, served on little cups made of plantain which made this appetizer feel like a whole meal for myself, but could be perfect for sharing with others.
A friend and I were spending the day together. At around 1:30pm the hunger began to set in and names of restaurants started being thrown around. You should know that our eating styles are on the complete opposite sides of the spectrum: I’m an adventurous eater and prefer to eat someplace new, rather than a tried and true favorite. My friend is a no-nonsense, meat and potatoes kind of girl. She likes what she likes and is not open to much else. I’m sure you can imagine the struggle that goes down whenever we make plans to go out and eat. After a few names and suggestions were thrown out, we settled on FINKA Table & Tap.
I had first tried this place out when it recently opened and remember it being good, albeit a bit too salty for my taste and the service a bit slow. I assumed they were just working out the kinks and figuring themselves out, so I was excited to go back and give them another shot.
Tucked away in a very residential area of Southwest Miami, we arrived right at the sweet spot of the day, right after the lunchtime rush and a few hours before dinner. The restaurant wasn’t quite full, but not quite empty either. They seated us within minutes.
When you walk into FINKA, you are instantly greeted by bearded waiters, farm style lamps hanging from the ceiling and a hip antique-y feeling. It’s like visiting your super trendy grandmother’s house. I love the feel of it and the decor. The waiter was a sweetheart who insisted we were family, not patrons, and that if we needed anything at all, to let him know. He asked for our drink orders and said their house chips were on the way.
I wasn’t in the mood to have anything super heavy so I settled on an appetizer, the Seafood Ceviche. According to the Yelp pictures, this was going to be your typical tiny serving of ceviche, which I was ok with. My friend ordered the Cuban Bibimbap Bowl and we agreed on the Islas Canarias Croquettas as the appetizer, which are well known around Miami as being the best croquettas in town. (Fun fact: The restaurant is run by the grand-daughter of the owners of Islas Canarias, your friendly, dependable cuban eatery.)
We received our drinks and after sometime, we received our entrees. We were so wrapped up in our conversation that we didn’t notice we never got our appetizer or our house chips. By the looks of our food however, the waiter did us a favor. My ceviche was much bigger than I anticipated, and my friend’s Bibimbap was a hearty, hearty dish. I mentioned this to the waiter, who was very apologetic and promised us house chips that instant. It wasn’t a big deal. Nothing some chips couldn’t fix.
My ceviche was not at all what I was expecting. They surprised me with five little cups made of plantain, filled with bits of juicy seafood. It was everything I hoped it would be, perfectly tender and flavorful. The plantain cups provided the perfect amount of pizzaz that would have been missing without it. It made it feel like a more complete meal, rather than just a starter.
My friend’s Bibimbap was more up her ally. She enjoyed it, and the tiny bit I tasted was good. After dinner, we decided to have dessert, and again, what a struggle that was. I wanted to share, but she likes cakes and I like creamy desserts. We settled on separate desserts, so she ordered the Banana Bread and I ordered the Chocolate Mousse. The waiter came back and broke my heart.
“We’re out of the mousse” he said, with such sadness in his voice.
“What?! Why? I thought we were family?!” I yelled back, voice full of disappointment and heartbreak.
Seriously, I was so sad.
After a few laughs, I asked him to surprise me with any of the cheesecakes.
The desserts came, and I was happy to see he brought me the Dulce de Leche Cheesecake. I was still disappointed by the lack of mousse, but the cheesecake made up for it. My friend on the other hand was ready to kill for the Banana Bread recipe. She said it was like no other she had ever had, and being her favorite dessert, she’s had her fair share. I tried it and loved it, but I was hesitant to admit it since I had made such a fuss.
All in all, our experience at FINKA was a great one. If you’re in a hurry, this may not be the place for you. We ended up leaving at about 4:30pm, but we left full and happy, and eager to return. We are family, after all.