Well the local guy was in the mood for some good fresh seafood so off we went to Big Fin Seafood Kitchen. Big Fin is located off the nearly world famous “Restaurant Row” in the Dellagio Town Center in the Dr. Phillips area about 3 miles away from Universal. It’s in a good location for them, because they get the convention business crowd (aka folks with expense accounts), the tourists and us locals. Big Fin is a large restaurant. Its 11,000 sq feet in size. I have never had a problem getting reservations or just walking in. Its family owned and operated. It’s a one of a kind restaurant in our local area. Big Fin has been open since Dec 2009. When you walk in they display their fresh seafood in a case, they are proud of their fresh seafood and they should be. Big Fin Seafood Kitchen has great atmosphere. They have indoor seating and outdoor seating. They have a nice upscale bar inside, and they also have a nice bar outside. After being seated we got off to a slow start. It took several I mean several minutes to get acknowledged. When the server finally showed up he did apologize for the wait, he stated he was chasing down the previous diners; apparently they left their sunglasses at the table and he was off tracking them down. He had a great excuse and we appreciated his honesty. I felt like we would be in good hands going forward.
We next put in our drink order along with the appetizer. The server did not write down any of our order, when this occurs, I get nervous, there is about a 70-80% chance in my opinion the order will not be correct or something unusual happens during the dining experience when the server does not write down the order in my opinion. Let’s see what happens, shall we? I was so in the mood for oysters. So I went with the Grilled Smoked Oysters (Dozen) $16.95. I don’t know too many places around that prepare oysters like this in Central Florida. The oysters came with hot fresh garlic and cooked with butter, topped with parmesan cheese and fresh parsley and with garlic and more garlic; I think they had at least 50 cloves of fresh garlic in this dish, but who’s counting, I am a big fan of garlic. Big Fin grills the oysters first then they broil/bake them to perfection, I loved the charred ness look of the oysters as well. These oysters were the perfect size, not too big but not small at all. This is one of my all time favorite appetizers. These oysters are shipped in from Connecticut. They better be for $16.95. Only place that does them better in my opinion is ACME Oyster Bar in NOLA. Only disappointed thing about my pricey appetizer experience was that my grilled oysters came out before my ice cold Stella Artois. Yes, we waited that long for drinks. How does that happen? I mentioned this to the server who brought the oysters out to me. Then I was told by our original server the bar was backed up. I guess someone had to get thrown under the bus, and so it was the bar team? When you are paying $16.95 for oysters and top dollar for a Stella (in the bottle) you would think someone could figure out how to make this uncomplicated food order process work. This just in, I got an idea, “write down the order”. For my entrée, I ordered the salmon $24.95. This entrée came with 2 sides. I had my salmon prepared blackened. You can also get your fish broiled, grilled, or steamed. The salmon was cooked properly to my liking. I don’t like my salmon med rare. I like my salmon cooked through and I like the option to get it blackened. Big Fin did not disappoint on the blackened salmon. My sides were garlic mashed potatoes and fresh spinach. The garlic mashed potatoes were good. However, I am always surprised that many restaurants serve their mashed potatoes plain. When I was growing up my family served a lot of potatoes and white rice with the main course. Some sort of scratch gravy was always on the table that accompanied the mashed potatoes and or rice. Having these sides plain was not an option at our dinner table. My other side that I ordered was the fresh spinach with fresh slices of garlic cloves. The spinach was cooked just right and the fresh slices of garlic gave it the right balance of flavor. I asked them to substitute for my spinach. My wife ordered the (6oz) lobster tail $26.95. The lobster tail was broiled and served with drawn butter. The lobster was good as expected, hard to mess up lobster. My wife had the green beans and sticky rice for her sides. She stated the green beans were pretty much flavorless. Well, I must agree. She liked the sticky rice but again, how do you serve white sticky rice plain with no sauce or gravy on it? Please don’t get me started again on my opinion of serving plain rice or mashed potatoes gravy less or sauce less I don’t get it but I understand a lot of people do like these 2 dishes plain, but to each his own I guess.
At the end of the day Big Fin serves good fresh seafood and most of the fish is imported from all over the globe. The service was good overall except for a couple of over sights. The ambience is good. The menu is extensive, with lots of food choices. But I don’t find Big Fin to be a great value. I remember the days Big Fin was a good value but things have changed. However, on Mondays they run a special on lobster where you can get a whole steamed Maine lobster for $13.95, you can’t wrong with that. Plenty of parking is available. The Dellagio complex has outside parking, plus it has a parking garage that is below the complex and they also offer free valet. I chose the free valet service on this night (being lazy). Big Fin Seafood Kitchen is open Sunday –Thursday 5-10pm and the bar is open til 10:30, and Friday & Saturday 5-11:00pm and the bar is open til 11:30.
Big Fin is located at:
8046 West Sand Lake Rd
Orlando, Fl 32919