According to Karen Brooks, and confirmed by Fin, the popular seafood restaurant will serve its last dinner on Valentine’s Day. According to Brooks, “owner Joan Dumas sold the restaurant and a new owner plans to open his own eatery. Pierce had hoped to buy the restaurant after two years, and he plans to seek funding to open his own place, possibly with some of his Fin comrades”.
[Chef Trent] “Pierce says Fin opened on a slim budget in Dumas’s former Sel Gris space, lost to a fire the previous year. “The sad thing is we’re making money now,” says Pierce. “That’s the bummer. It all boiled down to not enough dining capital.”
Fin is one of our favorite restaurants, and one of the few to earn and ‘A’ grade in the history of the site. I consider it to be one of the best in Portland. Though its run has been short, it was the brightest new light to shine on the Portland dining scene in some time, and it will be missed.
Thanks to Paul Gerald for this one: Pitxi (pronounced pea-chee) over on North Lombard closed last week. I never quite figured out this restaurant. First they opened over in the Sandy area, and when that didn’t go well, they moved to Saint Johns. It seemed to me, the food was way too expensive (and highbrow) for either location. It never caught on, and more often than not, was empty when I drove by. Still, I’m sorry to see any business fail. Best of luck to the owners and employees.
Michael Pollan is giving a lecture at the University of Portland on April 16th. He is, of course, the author of four New York Times bestsellers,Food Rules (2010), In Defense of Food (2008), The Omnivore’s Dilemma (2006) and The Botany of Desire (2001). Tickets are free for students of any college or university, as well as for University of Portland faculty and staff, and will be available to the public for $20 general admission and $25 for reserved seats.
If you go to Portland Farmers Market, you have probably seen Barb and Fritz Foulke from Freddy Guys Hazelnuts. The New York Times has taken notice, and ran a nice article over the weekend.
It’s hard to say which is more responsible for Freddy Guys’s success: the nuts — definitely superior in their freshness and flavor — or Barb Foulke herself. Bright, outgoing and tireless, she’s a believer in the exponential power of one-on-one marketing. She knows a good chunk of the 15,000 weekly visitors to the Portland farmers’ market. And she’s up early every morning corresponding and sharing recipes with customers from Maui to Maine before hand-writing their shipping labels. Early acclaim from key Portland chefs like Vitaly Paley and Naomi Pomeroy gave her confidence; today, the award-winning Paley is a close friend. She’s also the rare guest farmer on Martha Stewart’s SiriusXM satellite radio channel who isn’t ruffled by the medium. And she still works as a nurse practitioner two days a week.
I’ll always call them “filberts”, ’cause that’s what my grandmother called them. You can read the entire article here
Too bad about Fin. Fresh innovative seafood. Under appreciated and maybe not enough advertising? Had several great dinners with good service, unfortunately not enough patrons. Sophisticated and artfully presented, get it while you can!
Wow! Terrible news about Fin. Great restaurant and I guess just like Sel Gris glad I had the chance to enjoy a meal there. The really sad thing is there is now NO real seafood restaurant in town… Again.
Well, another ‘brightest new light’ flames out…
people speak of a meteoric rise
watching a falling star
everyone goes ooh and awe
at the fire of their destruction
and heads for burgers and beer when the show is over…
as to the galaxy St John’s
The spot where Pitxi died is too large and expansive for the gravity
Leisure and the Fixin’ To seem to be coalescing well…
there is a new star rising perhaps in the old Ladybug sphere…
you couldn’t kill McMenamin’s with a stick…
The thing about Fin is that it requires a total commitment to their concept of the area of food the focus in on.
Maybe they should have ramped us up a bit. You know, a couple of slow ball pitches to get us going on the concept, and then, WHAM, the fast ball. It seems like Fin just descended on us fully blown (good concept,) and expected us to absorb its approach.
Like I said, a bit of coaching and coaxing along the way, some education one or two plates at a time, might have served them well.
are you suggesting that given a high inside pitch
Portlanders walk rather than stepping up to the plate?
that’s not cricket…
Pollan’s “mostly plants” rule can’t be too popular in “whole animal” PDX.
What’s contradictory about “whole-animal” and “mostly plants”. “Mostly” does not mean “entirely,” and “whole-animal” doesn’t mean one person eats an entire animal at one sitting.
oh JDG, you late adopter you…
just a tad behind the curve, not actually hep
of course you do…
Whole animal means just that. And if you add hole to whole?
I’m going to show Portland how to dine.
thank me now, worship me next month, ashcan of history by June.
Accepting investments this week only
that’s the way it is
in the city that takes food to the limit
to prove to… someone…
that it IS a city
Peta will be at the door, but not be at the table.
habitrail to table
you heard it here first
taking whack a mole
and kicking it up a notch.
Sucks about Fin. Whats to come? Another pig heavy bisro restaurant? Portlandd is so amateur.
Very sad to hear about Fin. Had one of the best meals ever, in Portland or elsewhere, there recently. We found it challenging and thoroughly enjoyable. Very much hope the chef and crew end up with a similar focus at a different location.
Damn. FIN was also one of our favorites and did seafood like no one else here In Portland. It’s something this town had needed for a long time. Really sorry to see that they didn’t make it. I really hope Trent does open a new restaurant. He’s definitely one of the more creative chefs in Portland.
Ten-01, now FIN. Crap… what’s next?
Perhaps the Machado empire will soon start to crumble????
I must add that Machado’s food is nothing in comparison to the fore-mentioned great restaurants
Um ... No says
Come now, there’s nothing wrong with Machado’s restaurants. Don’t be a food snob if you can help it. I’m actually quite fond of Nel Centro – great for lunch downtown.
So sad about Fin. I had three great meals there.
I hear that the owners of the building want to bring a new concept to the Fin space. Something new to Portland that will turn the dining scene on it’s head. It’s going to be a local/sustainable farm-to -table supper club that will specialize in charcuterie burgers wholly made from organ meat and off-cuts of locally raised pigs that are only butchered (by gluten free bakers) after being allowed to die of natural causes. I think some guy called hebberoy is at the helm. Apparently everyone eats out of a community cauldron!
Look for the Portland Monthly to do an entire issue on that concept soon.
Yeah, people will flock to that like lemmings.
Sounds to me that the owners of fin just wanted to get the insurance check post Sel Gris. A lot of hype for nothing but a fading fin in the water. So they screwed Mondok before and now they screw him. Selfish. I’d stay far away from those owners chefs.
you don’t know what you are talking about!
Does anyone know much about Joan and her Dumas Restaurant Concepts LLC business? In the Oregonian today, Joan says she’s getting old and tired and wants to move somewhere warm. But, is Fin her only restaurant? Does she have other active restaurants in the Portland area?
Something smells fishy here (no pun intended)
Ten 01, Pitxi and now Fin. The problem is that all we want here in Portland are burgers and beer. We make a big deal out of street food and grunge cooking. We worship restaurants that we think are doing high cuisine. The fact is that so many of the so called best restaurants in Portland have a very similar menu. The moment a restaurant does something different it gets put down and gossiped about. Why is Portland no longer amongst the leading culinary cities? Because something like Bunk is voted as one of the best restaurants. We need to do better than this. Bunk is good but its just a sandwich. Its a shame that an area with such great produce, wine and beauty is so close minded. Keep Portland weird? When everyone has tatoos, rides funky bikes and listens to indie punk…it is the freak that does not. There should be room for all kinds of food!
Why wouldn’t Bunk be a best restaurant?
anyone can have great lunches every day at Bunk
or pack their own brown bag of jello shots
and save up for a challenging meal once a month
with a $200 pinot and I gotta wear a good shirt too?
Which is best?
Um ... No says
Portland’s not among the leading food cities? Hmmm I beg to differ and so does Travel and Leisure, Food & Wine etc. Besides even Fin admits they had started to turn a profit, though I’m sure their food costs were through the roof so your theory doesn’t really … ahem … hold water.
I will agree the loss of Fin is sad indeed.
Very very sad that Fin is closing. My wife and I have taken both in-town and out-of-town guests and always have had great dinners there. The food is different and challenging. And I actually agree with some of the posters here. Why can’t Portland support an interesting sit-down restaurant like this? I’m sure if Trent Pierce opened, “Fin, the Foodcart”, people will flock to it, because it’s foodcart and it’s in Portland so somehow that makes it better.
i would bet large amounts of grass fed beef that the fin thing has almost nothing to do with their numbers and almost entirely to do with sideline’s comment.
I don’t get this. Not because I’m not cynical enough, believe me I am. But if you’re going to open a restaurant just to collect an insurance check and then fold, why on earth do something so complicated and original? Why not just open another upscale burger place or an asian street food joint? Like the concept or don’t like it, but it wasn’t exactly textbook, and I can’t imagine it was low-cost. It just doesn’t add up to me.
I am very sad and surprised about Fin, especially since it got such good reviews. I have had wonderful meals there on the the best restaurants I have been to in a long time. I keep telling people both in Portland and San Francisco about it. I will be sad to see it go.
maybe I WAS pronouncing her name right after all!
Do you think a personal attack is necessary? Particularly given the lack of real evidence and nothing more than a lot of conjecture? Not funny, just sad.
JandJ, it’s ok. not every joke made needs to be rebuked with feux-indignation. Also, trust me, from all the word of mouth I have heard about the owners of this space, people seem to be taking it fairly easy on her.
themick, from one mick to another, let me say….you found the Dumas&Dumas joke in there before I could cobble it together into a witty one liner. well played sir!
He’s Dumas kind of people!
Nothing “faux” about it… just the lowest form of “humor” and all based on hearsay (including your remarks). Glad you thought it was funny… you can join the ranks of jerks who get off on making fun of people’s names. Either way, I’m really saddened by the whole situation and hope the kind of real talent that resided in that kitchen will surface elsewhere in Portland.
Mobile Disco says
Its just such a shame :(
Sorry about the confusion, I thought her name was Jo-Anne!
Pitxi you will be missed. Your food and service had no rivals in Portland. You should have chosen a better area. No one goes to North Portland. Maybe in the Pearl you would have been great, maybe in another city. You certainly were way ahead of the food scene here. Thanks for all the great meals! No Ten 01, No Fin, No Pitxi…makes for a boring scene :(