Sunshine on a rainy day
It was a horrible wet and windy night when we visited Fino at the North Rotunda (beside the SECC, Armadillo and new Hydro music venue) in Finnieston. The last time we were at the Rotunda, there was just a single restaurant: Yen; now there's three and another is on the way...
"Fino" is Spanish for:
1: fine, excellent
2: delicate, slender
4: sharp, acute
Fino opened in late 2013 with the aim of bringing authentic Spanish tapas to Glasgow and if you've ever been to a proper tapas bar in Spain then you'll recognise one of these!
And Fino have one of these tapas display units - and this is reason #1 for visiting! We were served some cold tapas from here while we looked over the menu - both the main menu and pre-theatre were available when we visited in the early evening.
Reason #2 for visiting is the wine and there's an extensive selection - on one side of the drinks menu is the regular wine list split into "sparkling", "sherry", "white", "red", "rose", "sweet" and "sangria"; on the other side is the map with wines grouped by the various regions of Spain. But what if you'd like to try a fancy wine but are put off by the price? Well, there's a "By the glass" machine to dispense them, this is a similar concept to the Enomatic machines which we've come across in some other wine restaurants such as Le-di-Vin in Edinburgh, which keeps bottles at the right temperature and allows them to be opened for weeks without affecting the taste or going off, as such all the Spanish wines are available by the glass and not just standard measures either - a 50ml tasting measure exists so you can sample something expensive without too much of a gamble. We went for a La Makerida Bobal which was lovely (PS the Enomatic is great but we've heard that the "By the Glass" machines are even better!)
And reason #3 for visiting is the food itself of course!
Entrée of cold tapas to start...
Simple and brilliant - a little loaf with plump juicy olives, garlicky alioli, crunchy almonds and fresh manchego.
And then the hot tapas...
Dúo de salmon ahumado y marinado con pastel de puerros y crema de queso £6.90
Smoked and marinated salmon served with a leek mousse and cream cheese quenelle. Salmon and leek always goes together well and this was no exception - delicious moist salmon with a smooth leek mouse.
Gambas al ajillo con pasta brick y salsa romesco £5.90
Garlic prawns wrapped in a long unusual cone of filo pastry. The pastry was lovely and crisp and the prawns were thick and juicy. Yum!
Patatas bravas £3.50
Potatoes in a spicy brava sauce with alioli. Spicy potatoes always go down well, especially in Glasgow!
Coca de morcilla de Burgos , cebolla confitada y huevo de codorniz £3.90
A savoury tart base with Spanish black pudding, a quails egg and onion marmalade - a bit different! Delicate little eggs perched atop proper Spanish black pudding and sprinkled with sea salt. A great combo!
A small stubby miniature burger with squid and cuttlefish served with alioli dressing - again, another unusual sounding dish! A spicy meaty Cuttlefish burger, which certainly smelled fishy - but in a good way of course!
Chorizos al Fino £5.20
No Spanish tapas meal would be complete without the obligatory chorizos, and these spicy little sausages were cooked in “Fino” sherry and were lovely!
Sopa de coco con pina salteda, bizcocho al ron y espuma de coco £5.20
A sautéed pineapple on a rum sponge and coconut broth with coconut foam. A light & exotic pudding.
Torrijas con peras al vino £5.20
"Spanish" French toast served with pears poached in wine. French toast is always good, even when it's er, Spanish! And the pear had a lovely crisp fruity taste.
And after all that we were stuffed! We finished with a Crema Catalana liqueur, which if you've never had it before is a bit like a Spanish version of Baileys - it's mild, sweet & creamy and has notes of caramel, lemon and cinammon.
Lager-wise they sell one Spanish lager - Estrella Damm, as well as "North 28" draught lager which is brewed by Belhaven for all the restaurants at the North Rotunda, 28 Tunnel Street.
It was a dreary wet night when we visited but it was warm and cosy inside the modern spacious restaurant interior. The food was great - tasty, well-cooked and well-seasoned, the staff were friendly & attentive, the food came out quickly, there's free WIFI and the toilets were spotless. And, as someone who has had a number of Spanish holidays with plenty of visits to tapas bars, I've found that many of the tapas restaurants in Glasgow are a bit of a let-down in comparison to the real thing, so Fino is a much-welcome addition to Glasgow's array of tapas restaurants, and it's obviously an ideal place for food if you're going to see anything at the SECC, Armadillo or Hydro - we'll be back just as soon as we decide what our first concert at the Hydro should be!
See their website for further details: