Just a quick turn off of 35 and another right turn at 4th street and you have arrived at the lovely Hilton Austin, the home of Finn & Porter. Although parking and finding bars and restaurants in the heart of downtown can be quite tricky this trip was exceedingly smooth. The inside of the Finn & Porter is golden, and almost Gatsby-like, with very elegant and modern furniture and a beautiful spiral staircase that is not only eye-catching, but the way to the second-floor bar.
After sliding into a luxurious booth and browsing the menu, unspeakably delicious Texas Martinis arrived to the table. Upon glancing at the menu, one will notice the many Go-Texan symbols that fill its pages.The need to keep ingredients local is very refreshing, and one that fellow Austinites are sure to enjoy. Following drinks was a plethora of elegantly plated sushi in varying colors of white, green, and orange. Of the rolls we tried, we were head over heels for the “Hot Hama”, which is a compilation of hamachi, succulent Asian pear, parmesan flake, shredded coconut, a miso vinaigrette and habanero pepper. The infusion of the sweetness from the pear and coconut and the saltiness of the parmesan adds to the powerful heat that stems from the habanero.
Following the sushi was a delicious plate of the pan seared scallop, which is smothered with a colorful brussel sprout and bacon topping. Although the topping itself could make quite the appetizer, the seared scallops were divine and had a great texture and offering a subtle but delicious flavoring. Accompanying the scallops was a soy glazed pork belly topped with a sliver of Asian pear. The moist texture of the pork belly was indescribable and the complex flavors of the meat and the glaze along with the pear were exquisite. Finn and Porter’s Chef Peter Maffei does a great job of combining multiple flavor types and finding the perfect combination and rations to give a very complimentary and satisfying dish to his patrons. The bite that followed was one of their specialty oysters, which is topped with a sliver of Fredericksburg peach. Another great addition to the mixture of sweet and savory flavors the restaurant has to offer.
We moved on to the entree portion of the evening starting with their summer goat cheese ravioli topped with a salad containing mixed summer vegetables including sauteed red and yellow peppers. They vegetables were cooked perfectly and offered an aromatic flavor that helped draw more flavor from the ravioli it topped. Next a gorgeous 7oz filet arrived, garnished with stalks of asparagus and a feta creamed corn. To say that the garnishes were not to be overlooked would be an understatement. They created a dish of their own before you were able to slice into the steak that was perfectly pink in its center. The simple flavors the dish offered were very refreshing and leaves one extremely content.
For dessert we were brought a creamy creme brulee, a mixture of Absolut vanilla, Frangelico, Godiva white chocolate and vanilla bean. And, as if the perfectly mixed drink wasn’t enough, we were treated with the brioche french toast. The french toast dawned a Nutella garnish and a scoop of Amy’s Mexican vanilla ice cream. A visually stunning and mesmerizing dessert containing very sweet and creamy flavors along with the fluffy brioche bread.
(Chef Maffei & Chef Triet)
There was nothing about our trip to Finn & Porter that would lead us to believe it wouldn’t be worth a frequent stop to their restaurant. Offering a fantastic array of menu items from sushi and oysters to steak and ravioli, Chef Maffei has not only learned to master the blending of flavors in his food, but how to offer a menu that could be pleasurable to one who was looking for a hearty American meal or a delicious oceanic plate.
Thanks to Newton O’neill Communications!